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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

The Edge

I remember back in the day after graduating college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life.  I was riddled with social anxiety and the future was blurry for lack of a better word.

In my first full-time job, I was working in the Imports Department of Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear doing relatively mundane paperwork every day.  Just pushing paper and double-checking line items on documents.  Even though my job function was trivial at best, I still tried my best to learn as much about the job as possible.  Because I was genuinely interested in this topic.

I would pepper my manager with questions about everything related to imports.  Like what is the difference between demurrage and detention?  What is the lead time for a typical shipment coming from India?  And how many containers of these goods would we ship per month?  Some questions were useful for my job responsibilities, and some were just random thoughts about imports that were concocted out of my mind. 

And I remember during one of our team meetings, she specifically complimented me by saying that I would ask questions that she would never hear other people ask.  It came quite naturally to me and perhaps it was because of my innate interest in imports.

I didn’t think much of it, but I guess questions are what motivates us and inspires us.  Questions help us move society forward and find our blind spots.  Questions are the foundation for curiosity and growth and self-improvement.

These days, we are given every chance to succeed if we ask the right questions.  After all, there is Google right at our fingertips, and we can search for anything that we want to gain relevant information in a moment’s notice.  There are experts galore that we can look for on social media for various applications.

I guess many people like to talk and talk some more about what they know and like.  They love to share their knowledge with the masses.  And that is great.  But I feel like the real growth is in the questions that people ask.  In trying to figure out things that we simply do not know yet.  After all, we are taught about the “5 W’s” in elementary school - who, what, when, where, and why – for a reason. 

Everyone has questions and it’s okay to show people that you don’t know everything.  The more curious you are about the world, the greater of an edge you have in this competitive society.  Ironically, the more you admit that you don’t know, the more that you can move ahead in this world if that makes sense.

After all, people don’t just gain knowledge out of nowhere.  They must’ve asked the right questions or known what topics to search for to gain that treasure trove of information in their minds.

Questions never cease to amaze me about this world.  Like how on Earth were we able to create whole cities and pave cement roads that span an entire country?  How were we able to invent air travel and space travel?  How were we able to grow and produce such a large variety of food to nourish us?

These questions are all on the tip of my tongue and some just randomly pop up at inopportune times.  And I’m sure I will never be able to finish Googling up every single question that is in my mind.  After all, the answers lead to even more questions! 

But questions do tend to further our understanding of the world and they have a pivotal role in the development of society.  My suggestion would be to focus on things that you are interested in and to continue to dig deeper into that type of world.  Not all your questions will be answered in this lifetime and that is okay.

Questions can help provoke wonder and wonder helps promote lasting happiness.  That is my theory at least.  My interest in imports came because of my inherent interest in working in my family’s import-export business.  Perhaps that interest led me to ask more clarifying questions, which in effect gave me an edge in my career.

Either way, find your lane and continue to probe and ask and learn more about it.  The world is filled with industries and markets that are looking to be developed, so asking questions can trigger limitless potential and growth for not just yourself but your team as well.

Whatever industry suits your imagination, whether that be automotives, air travel, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, the world truly is your oyster.  Question everything and everyone and see where these questions can take you.  Chances are, the more you ask, the further you have to and will go. 

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