Learning begins with unlearning

Any construction of a high-rise tower begins with digging the land to create strong base. This depth of the base is directly proportional to height of the tower. 




"It has been observed that people who have learned left hand drive vehicles do fatal mistakes when they are attempting to learn right hand drive vehicles. I was once nearly escaped death when I was learning to drive Classic Royal Enfield 350 because I was expert in driving latest Royal Enfield Motor Bikes and the placing of Clutch, Gear and Breaks of the both the vehicles are designed opposite. 

In learning life skills, each one us have an attached past. A past which has made us learn things which is hinderance in learning more important tools or skills. We all have pre-conceived notions about certain people, place, behavior, art or skills. Like, when I was living with my parents in a small town far away from any known city, my family used to discuss in dinner table about traffic in city. Road accidents, pollution, traffic used to be our argument to feel pity about city life. A common knowledge was that poor people from our village used to die in city traffic because they often fail gel with the city traffic. When everyone started talking about me coming to Indore for higher education, I was terribly scared about the traffic of city. It took more than a month for me to learn how to cross the busy roads. And because anyone would laugh at me if at all I share with people about my phobia, I used to lie low and remain silent. I used to follow my classmates in whatever they decide hoping to be with the crowed and no one will ever suspect that I am scared of crossing roads. I was not able to deal with this phobia not only because I was scared of crossing roads but also being irrelevant and not-so-cool person among my peers. This fictitious fear was my first target… I had to learn that my parents never lived in the kind of city I have arrived, they have only seen such cities in TV or in some pictures. So, I had to unlearn for learning how-to live-in this city respectfully. Such kind of attached learning often comes from our parenting, schooling or peer-groups performance pressure. It also depends upon who have played what role in our life and how much. Two things are observed about professionals in their leadership practices. One, we quickly learn bad things from the good people we meet in life because admiration brings fantasy. Second, we tend to miss the core learning objective as planned and pick up something which was never in the agenda and/or is not helpful. 
  
One of the most important part of unlearning is undoing the expectations from the proposed learning. The moment we join a Karate Class, we think we will become Jacky Chan or Bruce Lee in a year or so. In Fact, when Prince Siddhartha left his palace in his penance to become Lord Buddha the first thing that he was told to learn was to disconnect himself from any possible expectations out of his deeds. Trimming down loads of expectations from self and surrounding is one such event of unlearning that fosters learning in its true spirit. It is important to remember that expectations and objectives are two different things! It is advised to slash expectations but not to give up the objective of learning.  

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