Synthesis is how we get from knowledge to learning.
We take a big step toward learning when we’re able to extract what is useful from all the knowledge, facts and data that we’re exposed to. And, we do this by developing mental models when we force ourselves to synthesize. These mental models, in turn, help us get to wisdom – understanding how to use the learning after we run facts through our mental model.
That, in turn, spurs action as wisdom brings about clarity. Besides, to learn and not to do is not to learn.
This loop can be self re-inforcing as the action can help us develop better mental models, and so on.
But, the key step is synthesis and that is incredibly hard. Think about how easy it is to just read the news or interesting articles or blogs over the internet without ever thinking about the implications of those ideas in our life.
That is is why synthesis is the entry point to this learning loop. It is a rite of passage of sorts.
We don’t learn until we synthesize.