In a world where information is readily available at our fingertips, it's easy to think that surface level understanding is all we need in order to succeed. But the truth is that there are limitations to this type of knowledge – it can only take us so far.
Imagine understanding as an onion, with surface level layers that can be understood quickly and operationalized to produce results. While this knowledge is valuable, it's important to recognize that it only has a certain level of functionality. It may be highly tailored to a particular use case and only address the most common problems we encounter. But as soon as we start dealing with more complex tasks or situations, we realize that we need to go deeper in order to truly understand what's going on.
This is where the next layer comes in. By understanding the principles operating behind the surface level knowledge, we can start to take a more creative approach to solving problems. These principles provide a foundation that we can build upon, allowing us to come up with unique solutions that are tailored to our particular circumstances. Of course, this requires judgement – we have to make trade-offs and consider the unique context of our situation in order to come up with the best solution possible.
As we continue to operate at this deeper level of understanding, we start to see commonalities and patterns emerge. This allows us to develop good practices and frameworks that can be applied to similar situations in the future. In other words, we start to build models of how to handle particular situations with a given context.
So the next time you find yourself facing a complex problem or task, don't be discouraged if your surface level understanding falls short. Remember that understanding is a process – one that involves peeling back the layers like an onion. By going beyond surface level knowledge and understanding the principles at play, we can take a more creative and effective approach to solving problems. This not only helps us tackle more complex challenges, but it also allows us to develop good practices and frameworks that can serve us well in the long run.