Understanding is so difficult. Most times it does not come easily. It rarely appears without focus, practice, and repetition. There is an aspect of understanding, not visible at first, that needs perspective to place what we hear/see/read and then learn into the context of our lives together with the problems or issues we face. This perspective helps discover nuance which leads to filtering what’s important together with the emerging realization that there are different ways to look at something. Surprisingly leading to many options instead of the one we first considered.
There is a process of first hearing/seeing/reading, then learning, and then understanding that is different for each of us. Most all of us can hear, see, and read. So step one rarely fails. For step two, not all of us learn at the same rate nor as we as curious as others. For learning to occur, we must have interest in learning more that what we are initially exposed to. Learning when effective begins to adjust our thinking based on the new information we obtain. Becoming evident to us when our points of view, ideas, and desirable choices begin to change. Leading us to a much larger world of possibility.
Learning is never sufficient though to achieve better outcomes. You need to understand what you learned by now constructing perspectives that take into account who you are and what you are facing or trying to solve. Not everything you learned will “fit” your situation. It demands self-reflection which is difficult for us to do. Without this step (of creating perspective from learning) it cannot by itself lead to better outcomes. Learning that does not create some doubt and more questions NEVER leads to understanding.
Our humanity gets in the way of understanding by taking many forms. Sometimes we simply rush and we think we learn but do not understand what we were told. Indiscrimately applying what we heard that then leads to poor outcomes. We sometimes let our emotions derail this process towards understanding. Letting our emotions choose for us. Other times our ego forces us to not change our minds or points of view because it wants us to feel good about first being right. Rushing, emotion, or ego can completely destroy the learning/understanding phases of this type of journey. Leaving us exactly where we are and no better for it.
In my life, I can count numerous times when someone has told me something that has taken me months (and in a few cases a year or two) before I understood the value of what they shared as well as the concepts they were trying to teach me. My humanity trapped me as well. The time it takes from hearing/reading/seeing to learning to understanding should not be a source of frustration for us. It too confirms that we are just human.
What should frustrate us is when we become too impatient with this process. We should not give up on it for it does take time to get through these steps when we are in the middle of them. (I don’t know why. but when looking at others we think this process should be so simple, clear and quick to achieve.)
I encourage everyone to think about this process and “join its dance” towards understanding more things with greater clarity that can impact your life. It will become easier, more engaging and helpful the more you try.