October 16, 2021

The Iceberg Effect

There’s plenty of advice out there that sounds superficial, but has a wealth of meaning behind it.

The common proverbs and adages we hear day-to-day can be unpacked into heaps of wisdom, that is, if we’re lucky enough to experience them for ourselves or through others.

The tip of the iceberg does not do justice to its overall size.

I experienced this for myself when reading several books on business and marketing, back when I was a skeptic of reading ‘self-help’.

The chapters of these books consisted of neat, polished sayings that had not yet proven their worth for those front pages.

I’d say to myself: “I’ve heard these phrases a million times before, even a 10-year old knows this!”

But when said author shares countless stories, learned experiences and evidence for their points, these sayings plant their roots, holding firm against the winds of skepticism that inevitably test them.

The result remains oblivious to the outside; these roots are almost always invisible.

Yet, we’re infected with a deep-rooted understanding that won’t come to surface for just anyone.

Because when someone asks us to repeat what we’ve learnt, we often default to those very same adages out of laziness, forgetfulness or disinterest towards the enquirer.

But to us, they now represent something deeper – they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

But to those who are yet to swim in the same waters, the iceberg does not exist.

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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