Recently a group of coworkers and I had an in-depth discussion on how vocabulary is actually the basis for knowledge. Each time you learn new vocabulary, your understanding of the world actually increases.
Down and down the rabbit hole we went until one brought up a specific nation in Europe or Africa (the specifics escape me) that can actually distinguish more variations in blue than North Americans merely because they’ve used more words than North Americans have. We just say “blue”, but they may have 20 different words that describe that.
Experience & Vocabulary
While discussing a person who I have a really hard time communicating with, my Mom said this over Thanksgiving:
Maybe you have a hard time communicating with them because:
A) You have a lot of experience, but not a lot of vocabulary to explain it
B) They have a lot of vocabulary to explain things, but not a lot of experience
Since having both of these conversations, I’ve been thinking about their concepts a lot. And honestly, I think their message is spot on and highly relevant to everyone. The truth of the matter is this:
1) We have an experience which gives us a limited understanding of how something works then 2) we gain the vocabulary and “systems” to actually make us understand what we learned.
Coincidentally, the people that I admire in life are those that have both the experience AND vocabulary.
I’ve been noticing myself “level up” in business skills in the past two months drastically. I feel like every single week I’m having a major breakthrough. And each and every time it’s because I’ve gained the vocabulary to explain something “that I already knew.”
Before I just saw the color blue, but now I feel like I can see more and more variations everyday.
I know this may seem like a very rambling post, and it’s my first in over a year, but bear with me here. I promise I’ll be writing about a lot of the breakthroughs I’ve had in more detail very soon.
I think it boils down to this:
What do you know, that you don’t really KNOW? Put yourself in another persons shoes, learn how other peoples experiences and vocabulary relate to what you think you know, and use those to further your vocabulary everyday.