On depth, surroundings, and analogies

On depth In order to understand a subject at any meaningful level, you have to be willing to go deeper than just surface information. You can become good at plenty of things by skimming, but you'll only become great by doing more. That's not to say that you can't learn other things, or even that you should specialize in one area. In fact, please don't specialize in one area. You will become a single-faceted person with little else to identify yourself with. However, you should be making more sacrifices. You should be saying no to more things. Not so that you can say yes to other things but so you can focus on the things you're already focused on, just not enough. You could rapidly accelerate your language learning, but since you aren't focused on it, it's just a daily task that you slowly make progress on. That works really well, since it's not vital that you learn the language. But what about the things that you really need to improve on? You need depth in some areas and as of yet, have been unwilling to make the sacrifices to get there.

On surroundings When you feel unfocused or stuck in a pattern, make a change. One of the changes you can make is in your surroundings. When the scenery is different, your state of mind may also be different. In your own home, you are much more comfortable to be relaxed and generally unfocused on work. That's perfectly logical—home isn't your workplace, even though it is! If you can't get your mind on track, take the effort to physically get up and move elsewhere. Show up to work. Even if showing up to work just means taking a walk and then returning to your desk refreshed. 

On analogies Analogies work for improving yours or someone else's basic understanding. However, they begin to fail quickly, especially when you take the analogy too far. If I wanted to describe a marshmallow, I may describe it as "soft like a pillow". The analogy stops there. I can't even try to make the analogy more accurate by comparing all of the characteristics of a pillow to a marshmallow. For one, in more complex matters than marshmallows, the analogy quickly turns into a matter of imagination rather than fact. A pillow and a marshmallow are both soft, and the analogy serves to illustrate that one characteristic well. If I also want to describe specifically how a marshmallow tastes, I'd use another example rather than force the pillow analogy to illustrate all aspects. Simplifying things for other people to better understand is risky business, so pay attention to how you use certain techniques or comparisons. I would recommend you to use them sparingly. Find ways to simplify the thing itself rather than compare it to something of similar complexity that you already understand. 

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