Learning how to see

This is a sequel to one of my earlier blog posts.

Learning how to see helps us identify things that matter the most. This will help us understand where we need to invest our finite resources such as time, energy, and money making life more meaningful and fulfilled.

Learning how to see surprisingly begins with shamelessly copying the masters and then developing behaviors and processes that help you see the world as it is.



There are two capabilities that play a big role in determining our value to society – our ability to transform knowledge to skills and our ability to transforming learning to insight. The key in this conversion process is developing mental models that help you make sense of what you are seeing. This mental model development is how you “learn to see.”
So, how do you learn to see? Or, even better, how do you develop mental models?
Your knowledge gets converted to a model via deliberate practice. You then keep practicing till you develop skills which, in turn, further develops your mental model.
We develop mental models by reflecting deeply on what we learnt (note that learning, in the first place, requires some base level of reflection). These reflections generate our first mental models. Over time, however, these mental models help us cut through the noise and synthesize lessons into insights. This, in turn, keeps improving our mental models.

How do you get started with developing mental models? Copy shamelessly from people who operate better than you.Once you understand their process (effectively the equivalent of “deliberate practice”), you can then create basic mental models that will, in turn, help you understand what behaviors you need to repeat or how you need to think about synthesis to develop skills and insights.

This is all about process. Good results, in the long term, will follow good processes. And, how we approach one thing will be how we approach everything. Excellence, as Aristotle observed, is not an act, but a habit.