The Power of the Word Interesting With an Emoji
A colleague shared me his Facebook password — you can get whatever you want (even from you)
I was the one who can do anything to please people.
A person I connected with to learn from: “Are you afk?”
Me [in the head]: I should be this …okay. Uhmm, what can I be? I am ‘as fun ….’? No no, I am ‘as frank kk….’? No dude, that guy is smart, it’ll be something genius. Okay, I am ‘aastoundingly foolish k’? Oh, what am I thinking! He’ll never say that to me. By the way, what could be with that k? Astoundingly foolish kkilogram? That’s odd! One sec, I didn’t say him anything bad, still, could that be a curse word? I heard some popular abbreviations, like wtf, omfg but afk doesn’t seem to be on the list. Ohh, afk too has the letter f in it, like the other two. No no no no, this can’t be it.
<After some time, I remember we have Google>
“Aah, away from keyboard. Yeah, I can be this. I am away from keyboard.”
I never made it visible to anyone I am a fool. That I don’t know much. That I suck. I made sure I am perceived as the smartest, no matter what.
In our daily scrum, “Does anybody have any general questions?” shouts our scrum master. I’m silent. So is everyone. After the fifth shout, everyone starts asking questions.
I am silent. Till the very end. I know everything. I don’t need to know anything.
Smartness Kills Learning and Decreases Your Value
You can’t be smart and learn. You have to be a fool to be smart.
Being a fool, I gave away 24 months of my life for free to a start-up. Working there made me smart, in every way possible, at least that’s what I now think because I started writing on Medium for that.
Being a fool, I tried a lot of things. Everything I could get access to. I would even try to steal tasks from people and do it? How? In our Discord server, the product manager tags the video editor to edit the youtube video from 3.56–3.59 minutes and add a grandma illustration with voiceover. I even didn’t know what video editing is, but I researched it, explored a few mobile apps and when I shared my edits, it was better than the professional editor.
When I got smart, I stopped learning. I stopped being curious about things. I asked the least questions ever.
Working for free, I got access to the CEO, who only everyone dreams off. I can ask him anything and he has to reply to me. I helped me, long back, by starting to work for free, for him, for his company. I benefitted them. They’ll be happy to now return it to me as well.
Our mindset is what blocks us. I am smart means I know everything, thank you. I acted smart which kept making me fool even more. I was stuck. I wasn’t improving. My growth stopped.
Unless you are curious, your value decreases. Don’t trust me? Same here. At one point my overconfidence grew so much, I stopped trying and experimenting with new stuff. I could sense my value was decreasing at the team, with every interaction.
True smartness is to be curious because to be curious is to turn out genius.
Curiosity Makes You Fool but Gets You the Secrets
When I understood my value started decreasing and now I wouldn’t be able to brag I’m the most invaluable asset in the team just because I work for free, I did everything I could to get my curiosity back.
While doing that, after a lot of failed attempts and a few slaps, I found a one-word-with-an-emoji hack.
Me: “Buddy, I’m super-tensed. My Facebook password gets hacked every 2 days.”
My colleague: “That’s sad.”
[With his response I was certain he wasn’t interested in answering me. But I’m naughtier than him. I learned a hack in childhood. I was shy but I needed an answer. I wanted to know how many children a person had. So I asked a question that might give me the answer. It worked: “Uncle, is that person married?” Uncle: “He has three children.”
I tried this hack on him. My agenda was: I want to know what to do now. What do you think I should do?]
Me: “Does this happen to you?”
He: “Not exactly. My password was hacked a few times and I applied a few things: make sure there are at least six numbers in it, six capital and six small letters, and six special characters mixed up. The idea is to make it long enough to be discrackable. Each of them in six is a good rule of thumb to follow because it gets hard to crack it.”
Me: “Interesting 👌🏻”
He: “Yeah, my password is 1APE#&8734*%HOTalgwel^~0"
At that moment I went crazy. I quickly turned on the VPN (so he doesn’t know it’s me), logged out from my Facebook account and was surprised when I typed the password: “Holy moly, it’s working. This is real.”
Real secret: He didn’t change his password even after six months now. Please don’t disclose this to anyone, okay? Promise?
When he shared the password, most probably he got hypnotized, because note he didn’t mention his Facebook password. He just mentioned his password.
Whatever it is, I’m not a scientist, nor a psychologist. But what I could interpret is: everybody wants to help us if we just ask. Everyone is empathetic but you need to have something to be empathetic about. If you can show your foolishness, people will come to you to make you smart.
People can make you the smartest if you are a fool but they can’t make a smart person smarter because smartness breeds overconfidence.
If you are the smartest, how can you be taught something?
Now I act a fool, doesn’t matter how people judge me so that I get to learn what others never can.
Showing my foolishness is the new coolness.
To get people empathetic about us, the word Interesting with an emoji shows it’s magic.
Interesting means this is surprising to me. And the emoji transmits the right emotion, ultimately amplifying the emotion. I wanted to show him I am a fool by hinting whatever he has said is new to me and getting the chance to learn it is amazing to me.
I wanted to know whether this hack works in every moment. I tried it. Whatever my colleague said when I asked him questions, I reply it with Interesting 👌🏻. It didn’t work well.
People know we are smart. To act a fool, do it occasionally and they will trust it. The idea is you can’t be a fool about everything and if you try to, they’ll think maybe you are trying to play with them.
But… every time I tried this hack (occasionally), I got whatever I wanted.
This Idea Changed My Life, So Can It for You
I wondered whether I can use this hack to get whatever I wanted, from me as well.
I kept wondering and there was no result. So I tried. Before diving into any task, with a romantic voice, and OK hand gesture, I said to myself: Interesting.
The result? I started to explore everything I could get my hands on with excitement. Trying something new excited me. Learning anything new cheered me up.
We enjoy movies or sports the most just because we are excited (curious) about what’s coming even before we sit down to watch.
When you do something out of curiosity, to fail is still fun. You enjoy failing because the trial is what mattered to you.
Also, curiosity gives you stories to share later on. You learn, try something crazy and you discover something rare which would be impossible otherwise.
Applying this hack, I started working on my book, Idiot-preneurship which I dreaded earlier. I gave a try to become a YouTuber. I stopped doubting and started enjoying it.
“Interesting 👌🏻” generates the curiosity to try. To try is to win half the game.
My Parrot Took This Away With a “got It, You Rock" (Yes, He Can Talk)
The first step to getting to genius is curiosity. The first step before starting is curiosity. The first step before trying is curiosity. The first step before learning is curiosity.
I’m finishing with a quote from my book, Idiot-preneurship:
“It’s better to be an idiot who is curious than to be smart being nervous.”