The Essence of Comprehension and How It Reflects on Self-Esteem

There are too many things questionable. I mean how much essence is there behind the labels we use every day. The words, the phrases. And then how much attached are some emotions to them. How much admiration do we feel when someone is an authority, huh? When he has many degrees. Because he is educated he has fame and many other characteristics that go together with the label of educated.

So I see that most of the times we think that someone knows something when he has degrees on it and is working for years on the sector. At first glance that looks obvious because he has spent a lot of time studying to get the degree and he has been working for years so he knows well. However, I think that this issue has to be distilled a little more.


Ulysses as a symbol


Almost every Greek, till at least my generation, has been brought up with the archetype of the resourceful Ulysses. He was the one came up with the smart idea of the Trojan Horse that gave the Greeks the opportunity to enter the caste of Troy. He, also, managed after 10 years to return from Troy to Ithaca after roaming in several kinds of places, usually facing different types of adventures. But Ulysses was resourceful and was always figuring out a way in order to manage to reach his beloved Penelope back home in the end. So one of his greatest characteristics was that he was able to approach any new challenge in the most appropriate way. Evey challenge was entirely new so the strategy needed was also entirely new but also effective.


Two different types of “understanding” and “knowledge”


See now how this adapts to what I consider as real knowledge. Think of the following example. There is a carpenter who works in a factory of an international chain. He is involved in the construction of home furniture such as tables, chairs etc. He always comes to work on time at 8 am, he does his job perfectly and with no mistakes as he knows it very well. He is productive enough as he produces the amount of furniture per hour that the company expects. We can say that he is a good carpenter.

Obviously, they massively produce furniture with specific dimensions and design so the employee knows each and every characteristic of them by heart. It didn’t matter so much what he knew before this job as 8 hours per day for so many years where enough. He just had to do a specific training in the beginning to learn the basics of how they are conducting work there and then he would have more than enough time to learn by doing and looking at what the older ones do. Very soon it became automated, he could work without actually thinking. So good he seems to be as a carpenter…

As well there is a self-employed carpenter. He doesn’t start working before 9.30am because when he starts the day with a rush he has noticed that his whole day is affected. He believes that when he is very tired or stressed he can’t do his work so properly as he believes he should. Carpentry is for him an art and like every artist knows that pressure is disconnecting him from the real feeling of creation. When he is busy he may reject a new job offer because he doesn’t want to stay working till late as he wants to spend some time with his wife and children.

This man works with his team so obviously, he hasn’t been trained in a certain line of production. Every day they go to different houses and most times they approach entirely new issues. One time they need to make the appropriate cyclical table to fit in the limited space between the fridge and the kitchen. Another time he has to make a built-in orthogonal table with specific dimensions and so on. Sometimes the natural conditions of the area would affect the wood of choice, others the culture.

The first carpenter, on the one hand, is way more productive and can potentially be making more money or have more fame as an employee of a big company. On the other hand, he hasn’t been trained to handle individual or unexpected conditions. At the same time, the second carpenter is very well skilled to resolve new problems that he hasn’t ever imagined.

So if you have thought of the above I think you would easily choose the second one unless he was too expensive. However, do we really consider that kind of things in real life? Or we believe someone because he has some label on him that comes from an institution or a company that is supposed to be respected. Have you thought that many international companies are so efficient that most people are easily replaceable, a new one, in one to two months would easily do the same and potentially better work than the previous one? Most big companies are systems where the processes are so fixed that an average employee just needs some time to become familiar and that’s it. But is a knowledge of only certain processes enough to make you knowledgeable in a sector?


Evolving by accepting the unpredictability of life


Every new situation, every interaction with other people and literally every moment is, in fact, something distinct. Thus it deserves full curiosity and attentiveness, this huge seems to be our existence. When you really understand a process you don’t follow a script. You don’t come predisposed to what will happen. Because you understand how life works. Even if you may have anxiety you wait patiently. Your experience has shown that you can’t know what will happen but you know that at that time you will do what is needed.

We all say that life has many unexpected phenomena. Yet we are afraid if something new arises although simple logic says that this can’t be avoided. We try to take measures and fill ourselves with anxiety for the future. I think for the issues that scare us we deeply think, “Will I be able to manage if this happens?”

Then the understanding that unexpected phenomena will definitely be happening can itself be a move upwards. Because fear is being released and you open to life. This way you gain more experiences and you realize that in the end, you are managing. Even if you don’t know how the next moment will be, you start being ready for whatever comes. And you believe in yourself and in life more.


A potential meaning of Self-Esteem


This is maybe what we call self-esteem. Is a deep knowledge that I will be able to do what is needed when the time comes. Since I cannot have a certain view of the future, I am building myself to be self-collected and with the guidance of my intuition I will act appropriately.

In my experience, I have seen it work many times and this has helped it building inside of me. I saw myself in situations without a plan sometimes acting in a way that I couldn’t possibly strategize from before. However, when recalling the experience I would realize that I act as it was needed. A very important point is that this was achieved because I was calm and certain at that moment.

Every decision every moment has a risk because there are so many variables that can influence the circumstances. This means that it isn’t possible to micromanage. It seems out of reality to believe that we can have everything in order and all will go as expected. But instead, we could focus on the bigger picture. The more we cultivate optimism and trust in our intuition the more we realize that these are meant to be doing way more important work than what we were previously thinking. That doesn’t mean we don’t make a plan but we are flexible with it. We focus on creating good conditions instead of putting small pieces one by one into place. When we are mindful and cultivate emotions that make us stronger then we put the seeds for things to automatically be put into place, without effort sometimes. So every now of our lives instantly our instinctive decision and move will be as needed at this moment. It just needs a little trust in the beginning.

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