|  |
     0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9         10

Complete   Largely        Knows "of",             Pretty                  Sufficient knowing       Perfected
ignorance  ignorant         "about"              knowledgeable                                           knowledge                        
     |---------------------------- Amateur ---------------------------------------|

     |-------------------The land of poor results-------------------------|  The land of desired results |
                (which is how you know you are in
                        relative ignorance)


We get confused about the purpose of learning.  Though it may give some people pleasure to learn, the actual purpose of learning is to improve one's capability to do and experience what one wants in life (and to make a more informed choice in choosing what one wants in life, other than beer and partying).

Yes, most successful people have linked learning with pleasure, pride, or satisfaction because it produces, later, those desired results.  Some people who are successful in just one area, and not life overall, have linked learning as a response to fear and being driven.  I would suggest that the latter is not success.

The reason that it is not wise to go after perfected knowledge is that it would take time away from doing other things that might have a higher "return" for our time.  It is a physical reality that one thing inserted into a space displaces anything else being in that space (The Law Of Displacement)  (Those who seek perfection in anything are often doing it for "malpurposes" that have no real payoff, such as "having no faults" so that one can avoid getting criticized and/or get approval.  Read Perfection - The Sure-Fire Path To Hell.) 


The Law Of Diminishing Returns (consistent with the 80/20 Principle) acknowledges that we first get big payoffs to our efforts and then gradually every extra amount of effort has a lower return (payoff) to us.  This is similar to getting the most pleasure from the (20% of the) first bites and then we get less and less pleasure from each subsequent bite.  Smart dieters eat only 20% of their desserts, as they know it gives them 80% of the pleasure, but at less of a cost.


Yes.  The cost is the time and effort.  It is the price to "purchase" something that is of greater value to you - but, of course, you have to be able to see that, during the moment of decision as to what else to do.  The long term value must be clear enough with enough value in today's perspective to choose it over TV, anxiety relief, etc.  See The Long Term Benefit Conversation.  This represents the main problem people have with so-called self-discipline (in their incorrect view of it.

Surely, if you were to get $100 back in a year, you would be willing to give up $4.75 now (by not drinking the frappucino).  It is our decided relative evaluation of a future benefit that is the determinant - so read the piece linked in the above paragraph and get clear on this.  Learning in the key high payoff areas has a huge return compared to the cost, as the benefits are received every year for many, many years - there is no contest, though people seem to not see the relativity.


But what about "the 'drudgery' and pain of learning"?  That's a myth.  Even children who "don't like learning" were excited when they mastered a topic and got a right answer, and later a certificate of mastery from the process at the Khan Academy.  If we celebrate and reward, we get the same dopamine effect that we get with all celebration and reward.  And many people get alot of satisfaction from learning things. 

So, unless we add fear and resistance to the equation, there is no pain of learning. 

But what about sacrifice and that ever-difficult discipline?  Well, there is no sacrifice if you feel like you are getting something more valuable than you give up. 

Check off all that is true below:

__ I am not getting the results I want in life or in a particular area.
    __ This means that I stopped short of learning enough to have sufficient knowing.
         __ By stopping short, I have made the choice to keep on getting undesired
    __ I am the one who made the choice to stop before sufficient completion.
    __ I can, instead, choose to do adequate completion in my learning, so that I will be
         knowledgeable enough to create the results I want.
__ I choose to be able to get the high payoff results I want in life.
__ I choose not to do what is necessary to learn to get the results I want in life.  I
     choose the status quo.


I would not contest your contention that you "know alot".  "Knowing alot" plus $2.50 will buy you a cup of coffee.

But I would propose that the criteria be "I know enough".  Enough?

I define "enough" as that level which is sufficient to get the results you want.

Or looking at it from a "proof" point of view:  If you are not getting the results you want that is a sure indication of not knowing enough to get the results you want. (Duh!)

It's your choice.  Use a criterion of "I know alot", which may be worth something toward one's pride - but I would propose there is no real payoff there, that it is a false concept and a false payoff.   The only criterion is "do I know enough to get the results I want?" 

Pretty simple and absolutely black and white:  Poor results = not enough knowing!!!!!

Still there could be a protest "I got my masters in all of this" so I know this stuff.

But I say "so what?"  If you don't get the results, that knowledge is nice to have but certainly not sufficient.  Plus you may getting stuck in insisting on a point you think you learned and understood but actually didn't have the right understanding.  Being stuck, despite lots of effort, is a sure sign of not being open to the fact that your knowledge could be wrong - and to find out if it is wrong, we can look at the results as the indicator!  When you find yourself arguing for your "rightness" with a knowledgeable person with a different conclusion, you might drop the arguing and just engage in seeking understanding(!). 

Learning Contents/Links

The Long Term Benefit Conversation - A View And A Persuasion Process - It's about getting perspective.

Discounting - A Key Concept In Life And Money - We overly discount and undervalue the future, so we need a better perspective.

80/20 Principle - The basis to decide on!
Perfection - The Sure-Fire Path To Hell