Our understanding of “stuff” is never complete. Things change. Circumstances change. People change. I have found that as I have gotten older that while the feeling of “understanding something” implies that we have knowledge, it is only when we see that everything around us is situational that we can begin to translate our understanding and knowledge into better choices and more effective action.
It’s hard to live our lives based only on facts. Our lives require more of the talent of a swimmer that is able to feel the current, to anticipate the waves, while expending effort to get ahead. We are constantly bombarded by situations that are dynamic, moving, and changing.
Because of this, we must apply our knowledge and understanding contextually. We need to figure out the uniqueness of the situation first, to understand the context we are working within and then see how to apply our knowledge. When it involves others, the situation becomes even more dynamic because you cannot control how others will react when developing a solution.
There might be gaps in our knowledge simply because the situation we find ourselves is a little different than what we faced in the past. We are no less capable. Only the context of the situation is different maybe requiring a different approach or solution.
That is why you hear people say “that you can get a different answer depending on how the question is asked”. That is why certainty (on our part) fails us so many times.
You need knowledge to figure out what to do. But to understand (before you act) you first need to clearly see the context or situation around the issue or problem you are struggling with. You need to see what are the obstacles you face. You need to see what I can or cannot do today.
I may not have the money or time or the skill to get through what I am looking at. Then what? I need to finish this today whereas the last time I had a month to “figure it out”. I had this issue with a teenager but now it feels the same but the person is fifty years old. Now what do I do?
There are always possible ways to approach “stuff”. Some more effective than others. Be smart. Look around at the situation to gain understanding of it before you decide what you can or cannot do. When you do this before you decide what to do, your actions (that never lie) will better align with a more effective result.
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.
Understanding, while powerful, needs to unfold. Situations make understanding more dynamic. Be the swimmer that you always wanted to be in life. Jump in the water, understand the current around you, anticipate the waves and then navigate ahead.
Swimming is fun. So is life. Enjoy both while you learn and proceed on your journey!