What’s your elevator pitch?

When I read this writing prompt I had to ask myself “What actually is an elevator pitch?”. Never heard that one before, but the subtext of the Blog Challenge already told that I was supposed to write about what excites me. Luckily there is also Wikipedia, which has a site entry for the so called “Elevator Pitch“. It seems to be basically about the idea of meeting one of the big fishes by chance on the elevator and having the time of one elevator ride to convince them of your ideas or at least get them interested enough to continue the conversation after existing the elevator or even later on. Okay enough putting the actual question off. So what do I get excited about?

One thing that never failed to get me excited is finally understanding something that before seemed completely incomprehensible and complex. As a math student, something being incomprehensible and complex happened a lot to me. There were lectures I never really got into, because I failed to put enough effort in from the start and already was lost after the first few sessions. The complexity of the courses seemed just insurmountable. The weekly due exercises were copied from some genius classmates or someone who found the solution on the internet. More often than not, finding the solution was in fact the task of actually finding it – handed to you for copying. But there were also the lectures where I did not get left behind in the beginning and was actually able to solve many of the problems with my study group. There we sometimes ended up being the genius students that everybody would copy from. That felt great! In these lectures, no problem could stop us. Why? First, because it was fun solving things and therefore we took the time discussing the problems and actually tried solving them BEFORE looking for a solution elsewhere. In the end in most semesters it was about one or two lectures of the first kind I described and one or two of the later.

The lesson which I see in hindsight for myself is that you don’t have to be a genius in order to be perceived as a genius from others. Overcoming complexities and complicated things sometimes only depends on learning about it in little digestible chunks for the brain. Sometimes bottom up from the elementary. Of course this can take a huge amount of time and can often depend on getting the right material, but in the long run I believe we can overcome any mental barriers we thought impossible to breach. Doing so does feel awesome and I wish to continue getting high on that feeling here at this blog. This feeling of finally seeing some clarity, when things start to make sense. And I think there is a ton of problems in all areas out there to get syked up about.

Okay, if I told you all this in an elevator ride, it probably had to be a long one, possibly at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai with well more than a hundred floors. But I still hope you got a sense of what I am getting at here. I want to chase this excitement about understanding how something works once more. I hope this blog gives me the motivation and energy to pull it off, because standing in front of an unbreachable barrier can be quite a turn off. And in the recent past, I got intimidated way to much by the mountains of things I don’t know. Of course we will never be able to climb on top of all mountains in the world, but we can definitely climb one – step by step.

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