Last night my fourteen year old came to me, excited out of his skull about a study trick he’d just developed. In preparation for an upcoming biology test his teacher told the class that they could bring a 4×6 index card to the test with them. Whatever they could fit on the card, they could use for the test.
Austin had painstakingly typed out his notes, printed them, trimmed them, and coated every square millimeter of the card with them. It reminded me of my college finance final (the very last test of my university career) when our professor made a similar offer and I found the smallest possible font to do the exact same thing.
But what I told Austin was that he shouldn’t worry about the small font. Nope, he should find the smartest senior biology student he could and have them stand beside him in the test, tip-toed on the card.
(At least until he’s expelled for listening to his smart-aleck daddy.)
I’ve learned that I’ll never know enough about certain topics. Handyman projects around the house? Lowe’s doesn’t print enough how-to books to cover my stupidity and propensity to electrocute myself. Retirement plans? I don’t understand why my 401 needs a (k). Deep theological concepts? If you’re depending on this pastor to explain supralapsarianism, you’re going to be disappointed. I’m not even sure I spelled it right.
But I’ve tried to seek out and befriend people who know those things. When a deck needs sanding and staining or I need to diversify my funds or my lapsarianism needs some supra flava, I know who to go to.
And so should you.
Don’t seek to leverage all your learning so you can be the smartest guy in the room. Yes: be well read. Expand your knowledge. Tackle a subject you’re unfamiliar with. But at the end of the day, figure out the experts and go to them. You let them be smart about the stuff they’re smart about, and you focus on finding the smallest font possible. You’ll need it for that bio exam.