Why you shouldn't be quiet

Speak up even if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Someone reached out to me today by email.

“Did you know that your article was translated to Arabic?” he asked me.

Wow. Okay.

Then he added:

“You’re a smart person. That’s for sure. But definitely not wise. You merely pretend you’re wise. People wait to write about such things for a reason…”

Four years ago, such a comment would have offended me. Back then, I was young, arrogant, and stupid.

These days, I am just young and stupid.

So instead of getting offended, I started thinking: is that true? Am I making a fool out of myself by writing what I think, given that I’ll change my perspective on 99% of things as I age…?

And I came to this conclusion: no.

In fact, this is exactly why we must write publicly: to make fools of ourselves.

When you have all the answers (which you never do), there’s no risk (or growth) involved. You simply say what you know and try to be a know-it-all. It feels good alright, but there’s almost no value in it.

Blogging is valuable not because you say what you know, but because you say what you think. And sometimes you say what you don’t know and you figure it out while you write. That does happen.

Blogging is valuable because voicing opinions is scary. It puts you on the hook. It makes you vulnerable. But you do it anyway.

It’s valuable because you think, talk, and change your mind – publicly.

I’ve been blogging in 2 languages ever since I was 16.

Here’s what I realized: I couldn’t care less about being right. People can always find somebody else to read (there are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there), I know it. And I am no Ph.D. in life.

But I do care about being honest. Authentic. True-to-myself.

I don’t make money blogging – except a few bucks Medium sends my way once a month. (Which I approach as a nice bonus anyway.) So I have 0 expectations. Zero. I write because I can’t not to. I write to think.

And if my analysis helps somebody else, even better.

Wisdom is a natural by-product of age.

And young age (I am turning 23 this April) is a fault that comes to pass quickly, as my dad jokes. You can’t really speed up the process of aging and accumulating wisdom, nor should you.

But I don’t subscribe to the notion of keeping quiet until you know what to say. To me, it seems like a cop-out or a writer’s block that lasts decades. It’s easy.

We all trust honest people, not smart-asses.

Blogging gives you a platform to grow, be seen, and build credibility not by being right – but by being your authentic self. Now that’s hard.

So don’t stay quiet. Speak up. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

This world needs more authenticity, more heart, and a little less showing off.