I was listening to the radio a while back and they had a scientist on to talk. She studied ants. First I was stunned that there was such a thing, second that she most likely was not the only ant researcher. She spent all her time watching ants and this is what she said.
Ants are incredibly dumb. That’s what she said. She said it appears that they are smart- they find that one M&M that fell under the counter. They build complex houses. For having the tiniest brains it really looks like they know what they are doing. But they really have no idea. She said the reason why ants are successful is because they are thousands of them randomly walking everywhere. Eventually one finds something and lays down the pheromone trail. Then the cavalry arrives and instead of one ant trying to bring home the M&M there’s 1,000.
I was talking to a friend last week about teaching myself to make these resonator guitars and I told him “I just kept stacking up piles of work until I could climb over the closest wall, then started at the next one.” When you don’t know what to do try everything….a lot. That’s been my experience in guitar making and I’m willing to say, now that I’m supported by ant science, that it’s the most effective plan of action we are never taught anything about. We spend 18-25 years of life trying to be ‘right’-find the right answer, use the right words. If you are wrong you get the red marker. If advanced math is to ‘teach you how to think logically’ and is not the end in itself, then the way we are educated as has side effects as well. If you are relentlessly stacking up work you can solve all the problems. If you are waiting for the right answer you’re still just waiting. When you graduate life is not about being right, it’s about winning. My definition of winning means solving problems. If you need money you need work that pays- it doesn’t matter if its the ‘right’ work. If your friend is mad you need to resolve it- it doesn’t matter who’s fault it is. You must accept that fact that not everything you think is an earned opinion. Many times its just something you think. The mistake is made when we latch onto the idea and follow it as truth without doing a massive amount of work to provide proof. We want to know now and guess what if I just sit a think a little bit….oh! There it is. I thought something. That’s the solution. That’s ridiculous. “They would never hire me.” “I should be getting paid more.” “I’m going back to school.” ….really? Why? If you havn’t tried things you thought were wrong you havn’t tried everything. And one of those ways might just lead you to the M&M under the counter. The only way you can prove something is a massive pile of work. Relentless Forward Progress. Ants don’t stop moving. They are constantly attempting, constantly redirecting, constantly hauling. A colony of ants can move 50 tons of soil a year. If you need to figure something out for yourself- there is no right way there are only the wrong ways and you must try them all. Like ants.