Advice for today: we’re all stupid sometimes

‘What an idiot’ 

Is a thought that crosses everyone’s mind once in a while that when they witness someone else making a silly comment, not being perceptive enough, not noticing something that is right in front of them. And yet, we’ve all been there. Show me a person that has NEVER in their life said something dumb. Impossible, right?

One thing I know for sure – you shouldn’t overthink things if you make a mistake. Remember that we are all human and you cannot change the past anyway. Better to just move on.

I’m sure that even Einstein at least once kept pushing a door, that clearly said ‘PULL’! Nevertheless, if you still have trouble believing me, here are some real-life examples that I gathered from different sources:

  1. Boris Johnson when Secretary of State for the Foreign Office, admitted that he did not know what the Commonwealth flag looked like. When an official drew it for him, he said, “That’s a lovely flag”. Look at him now, he is the Prime Minister of Great Britain!
  2. “Seeing a patient in gynae clinic whose GP recently started her on HRT patches and now has some PV bleeding. I ask her how long she’s been on the HRT and she lifts up her blouse and counts the patches. ‘Six…seven…eight weeks.’ Her GP hadn’t explained that she has to take the old ones off. “*
  3. “I’ve had a complaint in the past from a patient who I refused to allow to have candles burning while she laboured. ‘I don’t think it’s such an unreasonable request’, she wrote. About having naked flames right next to oxygen tanks.”*
  4. Oral exam (Law & aviation regulations). A person was asked to provide a different name for the ‘fundamental act’ in Polish law – dead silence was provided in return. The answer is ‘Constitution’ and it’s something considered very much as common knowledge.**
  5. A person not knowing what cranberries are nor what they look like (and no, they didn’t grow up under a rock).
  6. A doctor who in a pub quiz incorrectly answered a question on how many bones there are in a human body – missing by 60 (it’s 206).*

What I am trying to say is that when you do or say something silly, or you do not know something that everyone else seems to(!) know – it DOES NOT make you stupid. 

The trick is to keep yourself afloat by having the unwise incidents vs smart ones ratio kept to your advantage.


A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

~Albert Einstein


*Fragments from “This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor” by Adam Kay, for more – reach out for the book itself, it’s absolutely amazing!

**Yes, that was me. And yes, normally I know the answer – but I didn’t when it mattered. Nice failure to have in front of about 60 of your colleagues. Even more embarrassing when you studied law before going to the Aviation course, even if it was just for a couple of months.

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