Seth Godin is my favorite thinker, but I’ve been pondering the words of Naval Ravikant a lot lately. In this interview, Tim Ferriss and Naval riff on how Richard Feynman differentiated jargon versus true understanding.
This has me reflecting on how humans seek the ability to effectively explain our thoughts, but too often a lack of understanding leads to fancy words and long-winded rhetoric. Sounding smart may protect our perceived knowledge, but as Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
This tweetstorm first introduced me to @Naval. I’ve since listened to his podcast, read the Almanack of Naval Ravikant and enjoyed this Joe Rogan interview where Naval says, “We have two lives, and the second begins when you realize we only have one.”
As I translate this collective wisdom, I’ve organized a few simple constructs to practice this mental mindset.
- Be more succinct with my words.
- Ask an increased amount of concise questions.
- Get comfortable with uncomfortable silence.
- Inspiration is perishable. Act on it immediately.
When trying to balance this cerebral equation, here’s are two questions to ask: Can we deconstruct, expand, or compress what was just said? Can we then describe the exact same idea five different ways? If not, seek further insight to go beyond memorized jargon for true understanding leads to more confident, diverse, and transformative conversations.