A problem well put is half-solved. – John Dewey (via Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss)
The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything. – Milan Kundera
There is an ongoing mini-debate in my family. I claim that I could build a house from the ground up, even though I have absolutely no experience in construction. My wife and adult kids consider my claim utter nonsense.
I’m curious about this, though: Why do I think I could build a house? Sure, I’ve used power tools, and wired sockets from time to time, and nailed boards together. But, in my saner moments, I realize I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
What’s also curious is this: Why don’t I think I could do other things? I’ve never said, “I bet I could do a root canal,” or “I think I could engineer a new airplane.”
What’s going on?
This is what I think – and I’m sure someone has a fancy name for this. I think that we are prone to overestimate our ability to do a thing well if that thing we are considering seems simple to us or is familiar (even if we really have no clue).
I’m sure I do this in more areas than home construction. Where do you do this? What do you think you could do that, in reality, is much more complex? What is something you actually do that is more complex than you realize?