The Ten Year Idiot Rule

November 16, 2018
Estimated reading time:
1 minute

I wish that I knew what I know now // when I was younger

The Faces, Ooh La La

Knowledge compounds. It builds over time, slowly but surely, until one day, finally, you really start to feel like you know something about the way the world works.

Unfortunately, that feeling is probably bullshit.

In ten years you will likely look back on the person you are today, and think, "God, I was such an idiot."

This is the Ten Year Idiot Rule, and it's an unavoidable fact of life. The 20 year old student thinks he knows all about how the real world will work when he graduates. The 30 year old thinks he's perfectly prepared to have kids. Both are wrong. They're idiots: and in ten years, they'll realise that fact.

The fun part is that this rule applies even if you know about the rule. I'm almost 30 now, and I have no doubt that when I turn 40, I'll look back on the person I am today and think, "Nice guy, but a bit of an idiot." Which is exactly how I feel about my 20-year-old self right now.

This is unavoidable. The only solution is to accept it, stay humble, and try to improve every day.

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