Understanding, while powerful, needs to unfold. Situations make understanding more dynamic. I have found that most times I know less going into a situation than I think. I sometimes make a small step first and then see what I learn before going further. It gives me a little more time to see the situation, to decide what I know and don’t know, and then decide how to proceed further.
Perspective means that I have heard and understood conflicting ideas or possibilities with respect to an issue or topic without passing judgment. Some say that holding opposing ideas in your mind at the same time leads to more clarity, creativity and understanding.
Certainty keeps us from gaining perspective. Giving us a false sense of strength that allows our ego to say that we are in control. It hides our fear of learning, changing, and evolving. Certainty stops us from listening to what others are trying to share for us to see. Limiting our chances for deeper understanding and greater movement in our lives.
Curiosity fueled by doubt can be very revealing and helpful. It’s having the maturity to know that you don’t quite understand what is being said or if something is really “true” and proceed to search for more relevant information. No matter how difficult or messy this may be. At times, curiosity takes an intent to better understand (through both reflection and search) why someone would say what they did to me.
On Context & Nuance:
Seeking out more context and nuance with situations you face can be critical to your effectiveness. Stopping to ask yourself what you don’t understand before rushing to the finish line of imperfect quick judgment and action. Paying attention to nuance gives us a chance to see things in more detail. Without understanding context, we most likely will make the wrong choice in many situations.
On Using the Phrase “I Don’t Understand”:
Three simple words that we don’t use well as adults. To expand and create change in our lives we desperately need to expand our knowledge of the world OUTSIDE of our daily lives. Making it important and powerful to never be embarassed to say “I don’t understand” when we truly are interested in learning things far beyond what we know today.