Can I Explain it?

It is incredible how many things there are that I think I understand but as soon as I have to explain that thing to someone else I realize my thoughts are still fuzzy, I’ve made assumptions I can’t defend, and I can’t separate what information is important from what information is unnecessary.

When do I truly understand something?

The surest way to know if I understand something is to explain it to someone else. If I can get another person to understand it then I know I understand it too. This doesn’t mean that other person has to agree with me. In this exercise I am merely interested if I can get the person to understanding.

Why should I understand something this well? Isn't it enough if I understand it, even if I can't verbalize why? No. It isn't good enough. An idea has no power if it only lives in my head. An idea only becomes powerful when more than one person shares it with me.

By practicing your explanation you will refine your thoughts. You will learn what is important and what is not important. You will begin to understand that thing better yourself.

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Jonathan Collins resides in Portland, OR with his wife and two sons. He is a co-founder of EpipheoSincerely Truman and The Bible Project. He enjoys turning ideas into realities, writing, speaking and breakfast burritos.

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