Don’t Just Learn, Understand and Apply

Since the beginning of our formal education, a lot of focus has always been on learning. But, is learning enough? Learning means nothing if you don’t understand it. You can have learned a new “subject,” you can have memorized the whole “book,” but if you don’t know how to use it, how to implement it, then it is as good as not knowing anything.

When you start tearing into the things you have learned, when you will start embracing critical thinking, you will be able to understand things and yourself better.


For us, a normal learning process has always been reading the new subject and then memorizing it. Nobody focuses on understanding it. Even the tests are designed to check how well you have memorized the concepts rather than how well you can implement it. This is why many degree-holders aren’t at par with the industry standards.

Let me give you an example to better put out what I mean about using what you learn in real life

Suppose, you are an economics student. Now, you have come across a concept that states that the scarcity of a product raises its value, while the easy availability of a product decreases it. 

A person without any critical thinking ability or without understanding the concept of supply and demand will only see the applicability of this concept in the field of economics. This will lead them to only be employed in that field when they finish their degree. 

Another person who can think critically and has grasped the meaning of the statement in general sense will see the applicability of the theory of supply and demand in other areas. While reading it at first glance, along with other jargon, it might not seem as simple as the correlation between supply and demand, but it is exactly what it is.

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It doesn’t only have to be about professional fields, it can be helpful in personal lives as well. Let me use the same example and make it completely personal, in fact, let’s make it a bit psychological. 

For example, take a person who has grown without love from parents or from anyone, so this person holds the value of love to be of utmost importance in their lives. 

Here, love is the commodity we learned in the concept and the scarcity of which increased its value. This is basically the same concept but you can only relate it when you have a thorough understanding of the said concept.


Focus on understanding concepts than learning the explanation. Major insights and proper understanding are what make it possible for people to apply knowledge gained from one subject to other areas of their lives.

While you might think that knowing a lot of things is important and will help you succeed, you can’t be farther from the truth. It isn’t knowing a lot of things, it is having a thorough understanding of the few things you know, that will take you to new heights.

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Mark Holland

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