I don’t know what I don’t know till I realize I don’t know. I was told today that was a frustrating phrase…. but it is one of my favorites.
One of the greatest things about working stock dogs is all the things there are to learn. We get to learn about dogs. We get to learn about livestock. We get to learn about ourselves. We get to learn about inter-species interactions. We get to learn about different personalities within and between species. The list goes on.
As we begin learning we go through a period where we feel we have a a fair understanding of what is going on. For many people this is the stage that they can tell you everything you need to know…. or so they believe. We often stay in this state until we are tasked beyond our knowledge. Realization hits us that we didn’t know what we don’t know.
This is the point that we can begin, again, to make progress. Until this point we didn’t know that we didn’t know so we were not looking to find what we don’t know. By realizing what we don’t know we can now focus to change this. It is the fact that we do not know that pushes us to learn more.
The fantastic part of this is, once we know what we once didn’t know; we now get to find out what we don’t know now. The more we learn, the more the whole world of stock dogs opens up to us. The more the world of stock dogs opens up to us the more we see that we have to learn.
I am reminded of something my grandfather (my moms father; just for those of you that care which one) use to say. “When I stop learning, you just as well bury me.” I suspect that as long as I have stock dogs to work there will be no use burying me; the more I learn the more I see that I don’t know so have more to learn.
Be happy when you begin to see you don’t understand. It means that you have just learned something; the world is just about to open up a little more.