Last year I discussed how some areas of technology were in (and others were out) of the range of our understanding – depending on what area of focus we have ourselves.
And the guys from Gesher Academy ROCK!
I still think those things are true. We need to be willing to understand, and simply prioritize based on the available time and importance.
However, a blog I read recently reminded me of an important aspect – we also need to know why.
In an essay titled, simply enough, “Why”, Derek Sivers points out that you need to understand WHY you are doing what you are doing. And the answer is not a panacea. By asking and answering “why”, certain aspects of life will become more important, and others less so.
If your goal is to be famous, then you may have to make sacrifices to family life or even money. If your goal is job stability, then career growth may take a back seat.
This is the ultimate form of understanding. It is the meta-understanding. Once you nail down the fundamental reason for your choices, you can make them faster and with more confidence that they will ultimately get you where you want to go.
Derek summarizes by saying:
“That’s why you need know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Know it in advance. Use it as your compass and optimize your life around it. Let the other goals be secondary. So when those decision moments come, you can choose the value that you already know matters most to you.”
Shakespear famously wrote “To thine own self be true”. But this is impossible unless you first take time, as Siver suggests, to really understand what you want.