Memory Versus Understanding

Memory versus Understanding.

Memory is like a grocery list, reminding you of what items to buy, while understanding is like knowing how to cook a meal using those ingredients.

Understanding is more beneficial because it allows us to make connections between different pieces of information, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.

When we understand something, it’s like a lightbulb turning on, illuminating a dark room and helping us see the connections between different objects and ideas.

What is the best way for me to understand something?

You don’t forget 80% of what you understand.
You forget 80% of what you memorize.

Rich Carr

The best way to answer that question is to forget HOW YOU LEARNED in school.

You know, the sit-down, shut up, listen to a lecture, ask, “Any questions?” model.

That model, called the Behaviorist Model, is what most people imitate today when they exchange new information with another. It’s the only WAY they know how to do!

Think about it…
Sales Pitches…

Lecture, then Test. Apply a label.

The Behaviorist Model is rote memorization. Recall. Search engine stuff.

This three pounds of goop up here called a brain….

It thinks.

If you know how to think, that thinking can bring you anything you think of.

But here’s the rub:

You’ve never been taught to think—only TOLD to think.

And, what to think about. Think about that!

Memory is just you remembering facts like names, dates, and facts.

Understanding is about how these facts relate to each other and how they solve problems or answer questions.

How do you want on your team? A memorizer or a thinker?

Humankind now has the framework of how the brain processes new information and how people love to make it their own.

‘Learning to think’ has become business’ most valuable asset – from learning and development to management – in the face of bots, databases, and artificial intelligence, getting Brain-centric is table stakes today.

The primary difference between memory and understanding is that memory is the ability to store and recall information, like facts or events, while understanding is the ability to make sense of that information and apply it in different situations.


Never Taught To Think

You have never been taught to think.

Only TOLD to think.

Think about that.

Rather than being taught the skills and processes necessary to think critically and independently, we’re just told to think.

It’s like being given a map without ever being taught how to read it.

Be a non-conformist. Think!

Rich Carr

Just like a map is useless without the skills to read and interpret it, information is useless without the ability to think critically and evaluate it.

Consider how much of your thinking is influenced by others, whether it’s the media, your peers, or authority figures…not much of your thinking is really your own, and it is more a reflection of the views and opinions that have been handed down to you.

Ask yourself, “How would knowing how to think benefit me?”

People are beginning to understand that our culture values conformity over independent thought, compliance over thinking independently and critically.

Without the ability to think critically and independently, individuals struggle to analyze information, make informed decisions, or question the status quo.

It’s a bit unsettling to realize that you may not have been taught how to think, it’s also a chance to take control of your own thinking and become a more independent and effective thinker.

Thinkers are characterized by their curiosity, open-mindedness, and willingness to consider alternative viewpoints.

They are not afraid to challenge assumptions and biases, and are always seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

In addition to being analytical and reflective, thinkers are often creative and innovative. They are able to generate new ideas and approaches, and are willing to take risks in pursuit of their goals.

They’re also the most valuable asset in any business, group or activity.

Or, you can simply accept information at face value without questioning it, rely on others to provide you with opinions and beliefs and how do that thing you do.

Like ‘laugh tracks’ on television shows…

Laugh. Here. That was funny.

Fun 😐 Sad.

Go ahead, be a non-conformist. Learn to think!

Question assumptions, Evaluate evidence, consider multiple perspectives, practice reflection, seek out challenges and realize this brain is an instrument you can learn and utilize for the things you naturally think of.

Thinking and communicating clearly is important because it helps you make good choices and solve problems.

When you can think carefully and talk with others, you can understand different ideas and make smart decisions.

We are drowning in information, and information is useless without the ability to analyze and interpret it.

That’s One Right Answer

As a proponent of Brain-centric Design, I firmly believe that individuals can unlock their full potential by embracing a growth mindset. One statement that can be incredibly powerful in promoting this mindset in others is “That’s one right answer.”

At its core, this statement encourages individuals to think critically about a problem and consider multiple solutions. It acknowledges that there is not always a single “right” answer and that there can be value in exploring different perspectives and approaches.

When we embrace the idea that there can be multiple solutions to a problem, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and opportunities for growth. We become more curious, more creative, and more willing to take risks.

In contrast, a fixed mindset sees problems as black and white. It believes that there is only one correct answer, and failure to arrive at that answer is a sign of incompetence. This type of thinking can be limiting and discouraging, leading individuals to shy away from challenges and opportunities for growth.

“That’s one right answer” is a statement that can be applied in many contexts, whether we are working on a complex project, tackling a personal problem, or engaging in a group discussion. It can be a powerful tool for promoting collaboration and innovation, as it encourages individuals to share their perspectives and ideas without fear of judgment.

By embracing a growth mindset and encouraging others to do the same, we can create a more positive and supportive environment that fosters learning, growth, and innovation. So the next time you are working on a project or engaging in a discussion, remember that there can be multiple right answers. Embrace the opportunity to explore different perspectives and solutions, and see where it takes you.