For a moment, starting to write this post, I didn't feel like myself at all. Actually, I felt quite away from what I believed to be true, from what I believed to be the society I live in, from what I believed to be the right way to do things.
For a moment, I started wondering about information. What about it? Why consume it? Why does it matter?
For a moment, I thought I was the one pushing the limits too far. Well, I was wrong.
I've been thinking about the way we consume information for quite a few months now (starting before I launched this blog, but in a much more organized way ever since), which led me to believe that information is both dangerous and priceless. Which means there's a fine line between what can kill us or actually save us.
Wait, what? "Save"? What is this, some kind of religious belief where information is at the center? Well, I wouldn't call it a religion, but yes my friend, information should be at the center of what you ever thought you'd be able to do.
Information... well, informs. It keeps you updated. It enriches you by letting you know what's up, what's new, what's happening and what's old news. It inspires you. It gives you references. It drives you towards more information. It makes you a better person, it makes you learn, it makes you evolve. It makes you who you are, it shapes your behavior and if correctly applied it helps you shape behavior around you.
And yes, information can save you. It can help you become autonomous, and the mere act of seeking information helps you develop that increasingly valuable drive to search it yourself, to make your own research, to build your own knowledge and to never settle (exclusively) for anything else anyone ever tells you. Do you know another meaning for this? "Skills development", yet another increasingly valuable trace for the leaders of tomorrow.
I'm all for team work, I really am. But for team work to work, there must be a team in the first place who will work with you. And good team players gather information for the team, turning themselves into individual indispensable pieces for the group to work at all.
This means you must first become a valuable individual as well, so that you can properly serve your team (doing the 8-hour shift delivering what you're asked for is not "properly serving", but rather... well, keeping your schedule and not getting fired). Wanna guess where that value comes from? Yep — information.
How come, then, people get so outraged when they're questioned about something it should be their job to know? It's called the information economy for a reason — information is power, and power is what keeps us from going to the ground to never come back up. If you depend only on others, let me tell you what happens when you stop working with them (that will happen some day) — you will have a much harder time regaining your track. You will feel alone. You will be alone, in some ways. You'll have nothing of your own to build your own road, let alone a castle. And no one will build roads for you unless you start paving the way first.
What about if you surround yourself with the proper information? You'll have a much better shot at doing work that matters. Work that matters calls people's attention, so you'll end up connecting with the right people who, thanks to your information, will regard your values and help you grow even more; maybe they'll even help you identify new opportunities — like-minded people love working with each other. And when you stop to think, you'll have built yourself a no-speed limit highway, which can also be translated as a career.
Or maybe you can stand still, let others preach you their view and set your standards by your 20s. Good luck keeping motivation up until you retire.