What’s the difference?
One is bounded. The other is boundless. One is constrained by the laws of physics, of biology, of the universe. The other is constrained by nothing.
The physical and the mental.
You’re never going to be taller after a certain age. But you can always be smarter. More creative. More insightful.
Our mental capacities become limited only when we stop trying to expose their limitations.
One of the things I took from How to Read a Book wasn’t about books at all. It was about learning.
Adler said that after understanding the levels of reading and how to outline and conduct research, you should be able to penetrate any discipline.
Think about that for a second. Any discipline.
How often do we scoff at our ability to understand things we have no familiarity with?
The true power of learning about learning is that it unlocks everything. Nothing is off limits any more. You can learn physics. You can study math. You can take up multiple languages.
If you understand how you learn, how to deconstruct a branch of knowledge, how to devise a plan of attack, how to best retain what you learn and how to apply it, your potential is infinite.
Attitudes like “I’m not smart enough to learn that” or “I wouldn’t know where to start” are null and void.
Armed with the knowledge about how to learn you are able to learn anything.
The physical is bounded, the mental is boundless.
What any other human can learn is well within your reach.