Chapter 2 always follows chapter 1 in a textbook. While in school, we learn something and then we learn something new that builds upon what we have already studied. Through college, we have 16-18 years of this type of training.
Once we leave school, acquiring knowledge changes dramatically. It no longer is linear or additive. The stew of stitching knowledge together is part curiousity & circumstance. Part problem context or skills desired. Complicated by what perspective or goal we are approaching the need for new knowledge.
Luck sometimes plays a role in this. Picking up the right book. Talking to the right person. Finding the article that opens a new door. Being faced with an issue or problem that interests you in solving. You see, new knowledge comes to us in pieces. Never complete. Always needing to be stitched together to get a more complete understanding.
Stitching knowledge together inherently requires an uneasyness or impatience with the way things are. Not necessarily knowing what “is out there”. Stitching knowledge together requires an awareness that what you are certain about is no longer that way. That something is missing or has changed.
Habits, tradition and algorithms are the enemies of stitching new knowledge together. Habits & tradition deaden our senses to possibility and change. Algorithms that tailor content you see on your phone, only makes your rabbit hole deeper without ever helping you develop an awareness of what else is possible or around you in the world.
Much of our lives gets stitched together as we go. This may explain why plans never turn out as they were written or hoped for. Each piece of new knowledge that comes to us changes us in some way with how we look at things.
Many times though, we miss new knowledge because we don’t pay attention to it. New knowledge doesn’t fit into our life. We blow past it without reflection or context.
Since new knowledge always comes in pieces, our knowledge is always incomplete. There is always more to learn.
The real challenge with new knowledge is trying to discern facts from context. Context is not a fact but rather is born of perpsective. Pespective is the tool we need to use to develop a context around new knowledge helping us decide how and where it fits.
We confuse context & perspective with facts all of the time. What we heard we believe to be true, even though it was only one person’s opinion and not necessarily fact.
Life’s struggle involves this stitching together of new knowledge while trying to survive daily. Having the wisdom to carry these two buckets carefully. One for facts and one for context/ perspective. Being able to look inside each while understanding the difference between them.
Once this is achieved, use the power of each bucket to help move your life forward. Inch by inch and day by day. Eventually waking up to a different tomorrow with a smile and a joy that surrounds you in a way that makes you glow from deep inside.