First Think, Then Learn and Then Master
What the words Think, Learn and Master have in common (in that order).
One of the most important attributes of humans, that allowed our specie to evolve and become the dominant specie on this planet is the ability to think.
Just by using their mind and without having any other support or experience, just by using their ability to think, someone might accomplish great things.
By thinking you can create knowledge. By thinking and analyzing you can learn new things.
Albert Einstein said:
“Imagination is much more important than knowledge.”Albert Einstein
I believe he was perfectly right. It doesn’t really matter what do you know. If you use your mind and think you can get all the knowledge that you don’t yet have and discover even more.
There is a big difference between thinking and knowing:
- thinking means finding creative solutions based on your imagination
- knowing means using existing information and paradigms that are either generated in your mind based on past experiences, or introduced in your mind by the society. Sometimes the information might be wrong, that’s why it’s important to think on your own and not rely only on existing knowledge.
To think is usually used by someone when facing a new kind of situation or problem. Knowing is usually used when someone faces a problem that he already solved in the past and for which they already have a solution.
Most of the educational systems today seem to somehow ignore the ability to think and are more focused on knowing and the ability to learn. Students are forced to memorize useless or obsolete information and data without developing too much their curiosity, creative thinking and imagination.
After 22 years of school, period when I was forced to memorize stuff that back then I considered useless and I still do today, I’ve got to this conclusion:
Thinking creates knowledge
I will explain in a moment what I want to say but I think it’s more important to find this answer on your own. What do you think I wanted to say with Thinking creates knowledge?
When I was in school, teachers came and poured tons of information in our minds. They didn’t had a clear motivation for me or for my colleagues to learn all that info, they only said because that’s the “school program” or to “get good grades”. I didn’t had a strong enough reason to memorize all that information. Good grades wasn’t something I was looking for.
Another thing is that instead of challenging us to find solutions and find our own answers, they given the answers “on the table” and deprived us on the fun in finding the answers. That’s quite odd because we humans are born with an inquisitive instinct, instinct that is not used enough by most of the schools.
What I’ve discovered is that school doesn't teaches you how to think, but it teaches you how to become obedient and to follow the rules of society. School doesn't inspire you but it shows you a way to live your life without bothering anyone and without getting much attention on you. School prepares you to be a worker bee. School makes you know without thinking.
When you answer why something works this way and you get the answer because that’s the way it works, you can be almost 95% sure that the person giving the answer doesn’t want you to understand what is really happening and wants you to blindly believe and follow the rules. Guess what? That’s how most of the schools work.
It’s now more clear why we said Thinking creates knowledge?
The Ability To Think
The most important ability of yours is the ability to think. Everything starts with this. If you use your mind and think, you will find creative solutions in almost any situation. I say almost, because in some cases the lack of experience, the paradigm and mindset and the state of mind might prevent you in finding solutions, but that’s another story.
The Ability To Learn
The ability to learn it’s derived from the ability to think. To learn means making use of past experiences and knowledge when facing a situation. Your ability to extrapolate also proves very handy: very often you use past knowledge that you use to solve a certain type of problem to solve a different type of problem that has certain elements in common.
There are many ways you can learn new things. Just search over the internet for “learning” and you will find a complete list of types of learning, starting from “non-associative learning” to “tangential learning” or “active learning“.
The Ability To Master
We’ve all seen people that do amazing stuff using their body, their mind or both. They reached the highest level of thinking and learning, they’ve reached the master level. The ability to master it’s what allows us to do unique and extraordinary things.
But everything starts with the ability to think!