#539 Racing is life – s5 E2 – Basics – The difference between Knowing and understanding!

In this world, people always want to understand. We want to know what is going on, why this is going on and how we can use this for our own advantage. Oh really? At least when we are talking about money, I guess!

The technical evolution this world has experienced in the last 20 or so years is just mind-blowing. Every 10 year old can have a video call with a friend from the other side of the planet, google everything the kid wants to know and most of the time gets even the right answers!

In this modern world, people have stopped to truly understand. I mean, you can’t know it all, can you? And so we walk through life with a very basic understanding for what is going on. It is just not that important to know how something works, once you figured out what to do with it. And so we use technology on a daily basis without even the slightest of clue how it actually works. I, for my part, have no clue about programming stuff. Sure, I know the basics, but that’s it. I just don’t have the passion for it, and so I let others do this job for me!

But when we are talking about racing, you should just understand it all! Of course you can get in a car, start the engine and just drive wherever you want. But this is not the same as racing. Driving a car at its limits? Of course that is possible without even knowing what is going on, but it might take a while until you understand. Sure, if you have the money, go for it! But I don’t think that this is the right thing for us to do.

Instead, we should understand! We should ask ourself what we need to know in order to do our job properly and study it until we understand!

Photo by Chris Peeters on Pexels.com

How does an engine work? How does a suspension work? What movements does a car make? Where is the racing line under which weather conditions? How to drive through a corner? How to fight against others for a position? How to defend your position? What are the rules? Which changes in the setup will do what with the car? How can you save fuel? How does the slipstream work? Which oil to use? What is a differential? Which tire is the best? How to drive in the rain? Where can you stop the car in case of an emergency? Which equipment do you need? What kind of training should you do? How can someone prepare for a race? What kind of nutrition should you have? How can you improve?

Questions over questions! The answers? They are out there! In books, in videos, in movies, in documentaries, in interviews, in blog posts, in whatever kind of source you can imagine. But out there the information is not really helping us! We need to absorb the information and truly understand.

Understanding is the key! You can learn something by heart, sure! But you will forget about it over time! We don’t want to just learn it once and forget about it the very next day! We want to understand it! We want to think it through in our own little heads and finally understand!

The difference between knowing and understanding? Whatever you know, you can forget! What ever you understand, you can recreate without external sources.

If you know how a suspension works, you might forget about the details in 2 years of time. But if you understand how it works, I can ask you in 20 years, you will think it through and tell me instantly.

Basics are called basics for a reason! This is the knowledge on which everything is based! Or build up! You don’t build a house starting with the roof, do you? No! You start with the basement! If you don’t understand the basics, how are you supposed to understand the details? Spoiler alert, you will not!

If this is really the thing you want to do, you need to understand! There is no way around that! But honestly, this makes a lot of fun! Why? Because you get familiar with something new!

You just understand how it works!

Some couple of month ago I was driving a Porsche 911 991.1 Turbo S. Five years ago, I had no clue about everything in the world of cars. But today, I understand it better. I sit in the car and feel what is going on. I can process the inputs and take the right decisions! And this makes it so brilliant, believe me! A car is no longer just a car! It becomes something else! The whole process of driving changes! You change! You treat the car differently! Your driving style changes! You get quicker and saver!

Don’t just know stuff! Understand it!

See you next time!

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