The advantages of stupidity
Today I was thinking of Forrest Gump when Ivisited friends in Amsterdam. Their daughter, Karin, is mentally disordered.
She is 19 years old, but has an IQ of a toddler, lives in her own world and a
normal conversation with her is impossible. However she manages sometimes to do
She is for instance quite skilful with computer
games and reaches levels where a person like me can only dream of. She also
loves food. To prevent that she eats too much, there’s a number lock attached
to the refrigerator. It’s a lock with four numbers. If I remember my
mathematics classes this means that there are about 10.000 different
combinations possible. So it would take some time to break the code. And here’s
the funny part. Karin regularly breaks the code! She is patient and takes her time.
If her parents change the code, she isn’t bothered and starts again. Most
people would think and say: “There are too many possibilities and it is too
much trouble, I don’t even start trying to break the code!”
But not Karin, she tries everything over and over
again until she succeeds. And that is a big advantage if you aren’t bothered by
a little voice in your head constantly saying: “This is pointless, just stop it
here!” Forrest Gump is of course a fantasy. But Karin does exist! She concentrates
without distractions to one task. And that one task she brings to a successful
There are remarkable parallels with the world of
the salesperson. Most salespersons that I meet are intelligent. Unfortunately
their intelligence is often their bottleneck. Finding new customers isn’t easy.
They will do some attempts, fail and then say: “I quit, this is pointless!”
Precisely as most people will do trying to break the code on the refrigerator.
They will never break the code.
We can learn a lot from “dumb” people as Forrest
Gump and Karin. When they start with something, they’ll keep on trying and will
fail numerous times, but they will still go on until they succeed. It is
harmless to adopt a little stupidity from time to time and not to look further
then your nose is long. Combine this with a little intelligence and the world