The Feeling of Confusion: When you find a knotted ball of string unknot it!

As a tutor, you repeatedly hear people say “I feel confused.” This feeeeeeeeling of confusion is a feeeeeeeeling that humans throughout the ages have felt. And guess what? Those ancient peoples clearly understood what you should do in response to this feeeeeeeeling. How do we know? Well, the answer is buried in how the words they used to represent this concept.

Let’s learn some Chinese!
See this character, it’s appropriately enough the Chinese for confusion. And when you pick apart the character, you can see that the parts are a person kneeling next to a ball of string and picking apart the ball of string. Basically, this character is a picture of you with this character…assuming you don’t read Chinese.
And the Chinese weren’t the only ones who thought this way. The Romans did too! Confusion comes from the Latin confundere. Con means with. Fundere means to mix. Things that are confused are all mixed up with each other. How do you unmix them? You pick them apart…like someone unknotting a ball of string.
And yet, even though humanity across cultures has known for thousands of years that the feeeeeeeeeling of confusion is your brain TELLING YOU to pick this info apart that is not how a lot of students react. Instead, they go all Monty Python…
Having taught students for long enough, I’ve learned that in my own life I want to run towards what confuses me. Those are the things that have the most to teach me. The more I learn the faster I improve and that is the challenge of the 21st Century…who can learn the most fastest and put it into action for the benefit of others.
So when you feel confused…get down on your knees and start unknotting. In the end, you’ll come to see that a knotty ball of string is a fun puzzle!
Right now, the world is a very confused place. There are a lot of confused people. It’s the world’s largest ball of string.
We can be pissed at it…or we can get unknotting. And the more you do that, the more you learn to love the puzzle!

Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

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