There are many discussions about whether it is better to know a little about many things or if it is better to know a few things very well. Modern life lets us “taste” knowing a little about a lot of things because of our smartphones. They expose us to so much random information in a day that we feel empowered by the end of the week thinking that we “know it all”.
Depth is much more challenging and not as easy to acquire. I find that distraction is our biggest enemy to acquire depth. We have less and less segments of time to spend on one thing. There is less and less quiet time to reflect on what we still do not know.
Depth can be a surprising journey. The more knowledge we acquire, the more the world is no longer black and white. There is less certainty in life, issues, or points of view the more we come to understand. Problems that superficially we thought we knew, now have many dimensions and aspects to them that require different solutions rather than only one.
When going deep, opportunities that we couldn’t see now present themselves as worthy possibilities. The possible paths for us to pursue no longer look endless but rather have boundaries and become more narrow as we begin to clearly see their inherent risks.
Time slows down when we pursue depth. There is not as much chatter in our lives as the noise of the world becomes muffled by our ability to concentrate on one thing. Time goes fast, as well, when we pursue depth because our attention is so focused that it forgets to look at the clock.
Pursuing depth can make our efforts more effective. We begin to see the levers in our efforts that truly matter and those that don’t. While it takes more time to learn when going deep, the actions we pursue move much quicker towards the outcomes we desire.
Depth gives us the opportunity to be both the tortoise and the hare. Think about this the next time you look up into a blue sky and bright sun, while enjoying a cool breeze, thinking about what would be best for you to do next.