The Map is Not The Territory

We humans have to process an insane amount of information on a daily basis. Our senses alone provide more than we can cope with.

So we create maps. Instructions on how to navigate the world. Some of them, you might call stereotypes; a system performs according to certain rules.

We understand cause and effect, we understand the ramifications of our actions, and the way people react to different stimuli.

But the map is not the territory.

These models of the world work until they don’t.

There’s always at least one exception to any rule you can imagine.

The brilliant thing is to deeply understand this and apply it.

That at a certain level, the map becomes useless and you have to discover new things. You have to adapt.

There is no rigid set of rules here. Rigidity, in fact, is the most vulnerable.

Following the path of least resistance allows for adaptability to overcome obstacles.

What I mean by all this?

Never say never. Never say forever. Never say always.

Life’s unpredictable. Anything’s possible. Anything can happen.

The idea is to have a mind that is willing to expand always. To gather new knowledge. To admit that it can be wrong.

What you think of the world is not how the world actually is.

Good news?

You can learn and keep learning, improving your map, making it more accurate and useful.

Bad news?

The map will never be 100% accurate. The map will never be the territory.

Life will never become rigid enough to be completely predictable.

10 thoughts on “The Map is Not The Territory

  1. As you say, we’d drown without formulaic patterns and shortcuts. The trick is to use them, but to be alert to signs that they haven’t worked. Many serious accidents (and also commercial and military disasters) are down to someone sensibly using his/her experience to identify a situation from incomplete data and acting accordingly, but then having once made an identification, ignoring mounting evidence that on this occasion it’s wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

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