A quote that is usually attributed to Albert Einstein goes like this: “If you can’t explain something to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
You could pretty easily get caught up in the weeds of enumerating what six-year-olds can and can’t understand, you could debate whether nine or twelve or fifteen is more accurate an age for this quote than six, and you could even insist that this statement was misattributed to Einstein in the first place.
However, in a general life-truth-kind-of-way, these simple words ring true.
Let me explain why.
To begin with, think of something that you understand really well, and let’s forget about the specific audience for the moment. Maybe you excel in your knowledge of a particular musical instrument, a particular technical area, or a particular historical period. If you were asked to describe such a topic in thirty minutes or less, would you be able to? Would you be able to describe it in such a way that the basics, at least, would be made irrevocably clear? All things considered, this seems like a reasonable task.
Consider this, though. What if you only had five minutes?
Or even just one minute?
What if you only had twenty seconds?