Richard Phillips Feynman was undoubtedly a genius. He may not be as popular as other scientists, but his contribution to quantum physics was essential. For his work on the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.
He was the kind of guy you’d expect to be incredibly knowledgeable and capable of understanding everything anytime. Instead, as you can hear from his own voice in the video below, he admitted that he was, more often than not, in a state of confusion.
You see, it’s tempting to think of the great innovators and geniuses as superhumans with the incredible power of seeing the answers, knowing the direction, and envisioning what’s next with clarity.
However, as Feynman revealed, the real power lies in their inability to understand things and acknowledge it not as a weakness, but as an opportunity. A source of wonder.
Obviously, Feynman knew a lot of things. But, he found pleasure in not knowing and being forced to figure things out.
If there is one thing we can learn from the great innovators of the past, is that to create impactful results, we have to muddle through, with no guarantee of success while seeing the perfection of uncertainty.
Most of us approach innovation because we want results. Preferably predictable results.
But, as Feynman taught us, it’s only when we become comfortable with living in a state of confusion, that we can create wonder.
I learn about Feynman and his state of confusion from this article by Greg Satell