14 January 2011

You Need 2 Things To Succeed In Life, Ignorance and Confidence.

I never really understood the meaning of the quote ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ until recently.

Before we could utter identifiable words, we became part of the education system. Most of us attended kindergarten school by the time we were 3 years old. Most managed to graduate, i.e. 2 years of kindergarten and 15 years of formal school and college or university. Some of us were courageous enough to attend a post graduation or Masters, so add another 2 years. Some rare bright minds manage to pursue a Ph.D. which is another 3 years. So this is where most people fit:
  • Graduate: 17 years of education
  • Post Graduate: 19 years of education
  • Ph.D.: 22 years of education
Assuming that most of us are graduates, it’s a really sorry situation to be in! Our minds have been ravaged and distorted in these 17 or more years. We have been told so much about everything, that we have stopped thinking for ourselves.

Unfortunately, whatever we are today is not because of us, it’s because of what we are told. And making that a base, we acted. We never knew or questioned about the things we were told. Did we? Did YOU?

Our mind is filled such elaborate, convoluted, highly structured and sophisticated GARBAGE that we have become victims of our ‘education’.

Why do I say so?

Tell me, how many of us ‘highly educated’ people of society really realize our true human potential? I can’t even give a percentage, but it’s a handful out of millions of us.

Who made it really big and make really big? Or to put it eloquently, who really come close to or achieve their real human potential? IGNORANT people!

Yes, Ignorance is bliss!

When you are ignorant, you don’t know the rules of the world. When you don’t know the rules of the world, you make your own rules and follow it. When you make your own rules and follow it, you are the master of your ‘own world’. And that’s how you achieve for what you were born.

Ignorant people are fearless. Why? Because they don’t know the rules. And when you don’t know the rules, you are not afraid to break them. Simple!

Let me exemplify. You stand in a long queue at the railway ticket counter because that’s the rule and that’s the ‘right’ thing to do. An ignoramus walks to the counter, shoves his hand with some currency and walks away and hops that train. And what do you do? You stand there and stare and do what? Most would gulp their anger. Some would sigh audibly. And one of you might shout! And by the time you buy your ticket, you missed you train, but the ignoramus was already ‘ahead of you’.

That’s true in life too.

Many of you would argue that education is the means to a content life because the learned men said so. These learned men who have passed away lie dead in their graves and are quoted in universities! Had they been practical, they’d been entrepreneurs and their names would have been alive on the things they made which helped humanity!

You need two things to succeed in life, ignorance and confidence.
– Mark Twain

Read the above quote once again. What are you watching? Read again!

Now, in context with Twain’s quote, think of every entrepreneur you know. Billionaires, millionaires or even the happy small time entrepreneur we all know in our societies. The two qualities mentioned by Twain are the heart of fearlessness. And I quoted the example of entrepreneurs because they are the most fearless people that the world today knows and respects.

Did that quote give you goose bumps? It would, if you are dissatisfied with what you’re doing after being ‘educated’.

I believe the ‘education system’ does more damage by instilling more fear than confidence.

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore knew the essence of education. 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The education we wanted was ‘where the mind is without fear’. And look what we got? We have lost reason and we are lead forward only by our fears, not into the heaven of freedom, but shackled in restraint, enslaved by the false rules, only to be searching for true guidance.

Due to the ‘distorted education’, you just know a lot.  When you know a lot, you think a lot. When you think a lot, you develop fear. When you develop fear, you fail to act. When you fail to act, you are stagnated. When you’re stagnated, you don’t grow. When you don’t grow, you DIE!

The damage is done. We all have to unlearn the false ‘facts’ and ‘rules’. That’s what I mean by ignorance. Probably that's what Twain's soul whispered in my ear! That’s how Ignorance will save you.


  1. Arshat: Thanks a lot :) Appreciate that you read it :)