Never say "I don't know" without adding "yet"

When I was in the first grade, my teacher wouldn’t allow us to say, “I don’t know.” It was a class policy. If she asked a question and we answered, “I don’t know,” she would point to the middle of the room.

There, hanging from the ceiling by a string, was a piece of paper that would sway and spin throughout the day. On both sides was the word YET.

We often become limited by what we currently know, our current skill set, by what we’ve done before. We become paralyzed by complex problems and unknown answers. We hit “I don’t know” and are stuck, waiting for something to happen or waiting for someone to give us the answers.

In second grade, the idea of “yet” instilled a sense of limitlessness in me. Every answer was just a matter of time. Every solution was a matter of learning. Every problem was a matter of hard work, patience, and determination. As a young little first grader there was nothing I couldn’t do.

I honestly believe the same is true today for both you and I. The things we don’t know are not our biggest weaknesses, they’re our biggest opportunities, and the power of “yet” is our biggest strength.

We often condemn people for not knowing, rather than empowering them to go find the answer.

The problem isn’t with not having the answers, but with our response to not knowing. The answers are all out there. Everything is learnable. Everything is attainable. Everything is doable. Everything is just a matter of time. If you don’t get stuck in “I don’t know” then anything is possible.