As we age, we realize that our understanding of things is always incomplete. Everything changes – circumstances, people, and things. While we may feel that we understand something, it’s only when we recognize that everything is situational that we can translate our knowledge into better choices and more effective actions.
Living our lives based only on facts is difficult. Life requires us to have the talent of a swimmer, who can feel the current, anticipate the waves, and exert effort (in smart ways) to move forward in spite of the resistance it provides. Dynamic, moving, and changing situations constantly present themselves.
Therefore, we must apply our knowledge and understanding contextually to confront them. We need to first figure out the uniqueness of the situation and understand the context we are working within before applying our knowledge to become more effective in dealing with them.
When it involves others, the situation becomes even more dynamic because we cannot control how they will react when developing a solution. We may have gaps in our knowledge simply because the situation we find ourselves in is different from what we faced in the past. However, we are no less capable, and the context of the situation may require a different approach or solution.
Certainty fails us so many times because people can get a different answer depending on how the question is asked. Therefore, to understand before we act, we must clearly see the context or situation around the issue or problem we are struggling with. We need to see what obstacles we face, what we can or cannot do today, and whether we have the necessary resources. While simultaneously trying to better understand how others view the problem or situation.
There are always many possible ways to approach them, some more effective than others. It’s essential to be smart, look around at the situation or problem, and gain an understanding of it before deciding what we can or cannot do. When we do this before deciding what to do, our actions will better align with potentially a more effective result.
Most times, we know less going into a situation than we think. Therefore, it’s wise to take a small step first and learn what we can before moving further. This approach gives us more time to see the situation, decide what we know and don’t know, and then decide how to proceed further.
Understanding, while powerful, needs to unfold. Situations make understanding more dynamic. Demanding we become the swimmer that we always wanted to be in life.
Jumping “in the water”, to better understand the current around us, learning how to anticipate the waves, and then deciding how to navigate ahead.
Life can be fun while learning and proceeding on your journey!