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We are at the very beginning of a scientific revolution in our understanding of how we make sense of things. The old, outdated, scientific understanding told us that we were biased, unable to know our subconscious, and irrational. This has left us helpless and hopeless in the face of life's complexities. The new scientific understanding has flipped this on its head, revealing how sensemaking is fundamental to us, that we are born with the full capacity to make sense of our lives, and that we are the only ones who can.
For many, the idea of sensemaking is as useful and fruitful as trying to answer philosophical questions like "what is the point of it all?", or "why are we here?", or "what is the meaning of life?". And reflecting on life is seen as the kind of thing that some people just like to do and others don't, with no real tangible outcomes.
But far from optional, sensemaking is something we are all doing, all the time. We are born with a full capacity to make sense because it is fundamental to navigating our lives. But far from rudimentary, science has only recently come to understand that our ability to make sense is actually the highest form of cognition, and essential to our long-term well-being. Tragically, based on outdated science, most of us have been taught to ignore it. This makes restoring and strengthening this capacity to make sense the most pressing and important life skill.
Outdated science told us that the barriers to making sense are limitations in our native abilities and are simply part of 'the human condition'. This has led many to believe that life simply isn't supposed to make sense.
However, modern cognitive science has turned this view on its head by revealing how barriers to making sense are imposed on us, creating artificial limitations that can be overcome to restore our near limitless native capacity to make sense of complexity.
On its own, making sense of complex things in life and the world can take a long time. But by leveraging well established principles from information science, cognitive science, and learning theory, through technology, we can accelerate the process as well as amplify our native sensemaking abilities.