There’s a funny scene in “The Office”, where the company has a budget surplus but Michael doesn’t really understand what that means. During the conversation, Michael asks Oscar to simplify things and “explain it to me like I’m five”. Here’s a clip of that:
It’s a funny clip, but there’s a lot of truth there. Oscar is a sharp guy, but it takes someone that really knows their stuff to be able to take a complex issue like that and bring it down to a simple level.
As Albert Einstein said:
If you can’t explain it to a six-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.
Being able to explain complex topics without complex language, as well as coming up with analogies to help with it, takes some time.
It’s part of the reason I have this blog. Not quite to the “six-year old” kind of level, but it’s so that I take new ideas that I come across and try to really understand them and then polish them up before I publish. As I mentioned last year, that polish is why I prefer to blog instead of journal.
If you’re ever trying to explain something to someone and end up saying “it’s just too complicated to explain”, that’s a sign that you need to spend more time with the subject to learn how to distill it down to the essence of the problem.