Master the art of unlearning to grow exponentially

why-to-unlearnunlearning-helps-you-deal-with-this Master the art of unlearning to grow exponentially

In this article you will learn the following

- 45+ techniques on how to make the learn-unlearn-relearn cycle part of your nature - mastering the art of unlearning

- Three micro-stories - which may give you few of the fundamentals of the trilogy of learn-unlearn-relearn - you need to identify the lessons from them


Art of unlearning and relearning - How and why to unlearn

I can recall that from the time I finished my post-graduation [and till just few years back] - I was too arrogant because I was too-knowledgeable and I assumed I know everything that is needed in life.

This attitude and mindset of mine - made me completely finish-off my father's entire life's savings [which he got as the gratuity and provident-fund] - in starting an unknown-business of running a poultry-farm.

I started this business and put all the family-money - without doing any due-diligence, researching and talking with experts and learning the skills needed to manage a business.

This lead us to a bankrupt-state where our total family-savings were to INR 5,000/- and I had to get a job with General-Motors in Middle East - so as not to starve.

I made terrible mistakes in my life and suffered heavily losses and pains because of my EGO driven through my insecurities.

I kept on making mistakes - because my arrogance did not go away - I was too egoist to face the facts and learn.

Today I can relate-personally with this classic statement - "I am not young enough to know everything".

It takes courage [for being honest with yourself] about the mistakes that you have made - in order to unlearn - harmful and detrimental thoughts, habits mindset and attitudes.

It takes wisdom, humbleness [to admit what you don't know yet] and curiosity to learn anything meaningful and also to cross-check and test-drive your knowledge and skills in real-time.

Unlearning helps you deal with this relentlessly fast-changing world [by helping] you discard all those habits-skills-behavior-strengths-mindset-attitudes-knowledge - which are no more helping and could even have become the biggest obstacle for your success and growth.

You have to keep on learning to remain educated.

To be smart you have to learn, reflect and challenge all what you have learned.

But if you want to be wise - you have to learn-unlearn-relearn - by constantly applying your own lessons and the lessons you have picked from elsewhere.

Unlearning is like scrapping the old paint to prepare the surface for repainting - this scrapping is 70% and tough-work while repainting is only 30%.

Alvin Toffler's eternally-true statement - the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write - but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Only those people who are actively looking for opportunities in a crisis and changing environment find them

We might have learned many habits, acquired hell of a lot of knowledge and developed beliefs and have built assumptions - that might not be true anymore and helpful if we keep clinging with them.

We need to refresh, reboot, declutter, reset and format ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually time to time - with a structured plan - to make space for new learnings.

In today's disruptive VUCA world - if we keep on doing what we have always been doing - then either we are living in hallucinated world or we would be completely lost and become obsolete.

In order to grow we need to acquire radically different and at times contradictory to our beliefs - IDEAs.

We need to pursue the things which are in the realm of uncertain, unknown, unfamiliar and get to know them.

If you can learn-unlearn-relearn faster than your competition - your growth can be exponential and phenomenal.

Like the book title - what got you here won't get you there - no one ever can reach the future with the same qualities which brought them to their current level - good, bad or ugly.

All of us have phenomenal capacity to unlearn and relearn.

Some of you can remember life before mobile-phones and the internet and when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp didn't exist - and when you had radios and basic TVs and typewriters.

But most of you have mastered and adopted to - all these great technologies and inventions - so much so that many of you may find it difficult to spend one day cut-off from social-media.

If you are using Smart-phones for some time - you may find that you are unable to operate the earlier basic phone.

45+ techniques on how to make the learn-unlearn-relearn cycle part of your nature - mastering the art of unlearning

  • 1.Ask yourself what would you do today if you are not afraid
  • 2.Then list which qualities you need to acquire and which ones you need to give-up - to reach there
  • 3.Identify what are your fears and pain points - if you go for learn-unlearn-relearn mode
  • 4.Identify what you need to unlearn - which might have a big-impact on your present and future
  • 5.Identify what should you learn and why you need to learn these
  • 6.What should replace your current learning - the following list is just for your brain-stimulation
  • I.Do you need to unlearn and create new methodology
  • II.Do you need to unlearn and go for a new technology
  • III.Do you need to unlearn and create new marketing strategies
  • IV.Do you need to unlearn and create new communication channel
  • V.Do you need to unlearn and create newer ways to deliver value
  • VI.Do you need to unlearn and create new skills and knowledge get to the next level - the future competencies
  • VII.Do you need to unlearn and create new market
  • VIII.Do you need to unlearn and create new ways to lead your people
  • IX.Do you need to unlearn and create new habits - to manage your emotions better
  • X.Do you need to unlearn and create new skills and qualifications for a new job
  • 7.Identify what types of unlearning out of the following you need
  • I.The new knowledge doesn't contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way
  • II.The new knowledge may change our ideas about something simple into a more complex one
  • III.The new knowledge may mean - what you thought good actually becomes the enemy and vice-versa
  • 8.Create strategies to handle these 6 challenges of unlearning
  • I.When something contradicts your current beliefs - you may dismiss it - it has got nothing to do with the reality and the facts but your perceptions and assumptions
  • II.Replacing old knowledge isn't easy
  • III.When older knowledge interferes with the brain's ability to accept new information, learning doesn't always happen as quickly or easily.
  • IV.Unlearning is unpleasant for most people
  • V.Finding out something you thought you knew was false, or a misleading simplification, feels bad
  • VI.Most of our false or doubtful assumptions about the areas that impact our lives are never examined, reflected upon, studied or challenged - and because of this they keep playing havoc
  • 9.Identify your learning goals - based on this article or your needs and challenges - use the following 4 to uncover your whys
  • I.Is it just to collect more and more certificates, diplomas and testimonials of attendance
  • II.Or is it to show-off and impress others
  • III.Or is it to attract - the people who can propel your career and profession
  • IV.Or you are acquiring the new learnings - by unlearning all that is no longer helpful and adding value
  • 10. Make goals of learning and unlearning - ask yourself when was the last time you learned something new - what made you learn and whether you used it practically
  • 11. Recognize and accept - all those old techniques, knowledge and perception on which you've been relying on are no longer effective or relevant. This is most challenging because most of us are sublimely unaware of our mind-set and perceptions. We just employ them and those remains on auto pilot mode.
  • 12. Break your habits and routines - simply because breaking habits and unlearning are connected
  • 13. Identify all those old mental model which are no longer relevant or effective
  • 14. Find or create a new model that can better achieve your goals
  • 15. Ingrain the new mental habits. This process is no different from creating a new behavioral habit, like your diet or golf swing.
  • 16. Learning to forget different kinds of information is an important skill
  • 17. Learn by engaging your five senses
  • 18. Learn to strengthen your 6th sense
  • 19. Experiment through trial and error
  • 20. Because it is not possible to learn complex behaviors all at once - learn and use the principles of successive approximation and overlearning in order to gradually master your goal
  • 21. Combine the above tool with the complementary technique of chaining, is useful for situations when you are interested in learning a complex sequence of behaviors
  • 22. 26 tools to understand and use the power of randomness for unlearning
  • I.Change the location new surroundings can help you notice new things
  • II.Learn from your opposite when employees are surrounded by like-mind people, their ability to unlearn is hampered. When teamed with a business professional from a different background, employees are better able to look at things from a fresh viewpoint.
  • III.Exposing yourself to a different variety of experiences can pull you out of temporary snags
  • IV.Use your existing knowledge in familiar areas to try
  • V.Seek other people's experiences of the world - he more diverse their experiences - may create more optimal possibilities
  • VI.Travel by learning languages and living with different cultures can be a potent form of unlearning
  • VII.Become more varied and bold in your experiments in life
  • VIII.Take risks which won't make you lose your marbles - randomly
  • IX.Let the mystery of uncovering and new discoveries excite and thrill you
  • X.Challenge your mental maps - are you still stuck with pre-covid days methods - when almost everything that were taken for granted has undergone total change without any precedent
  • XI.Identify and challenge your assumptions
  • XII.Experiment with newer ways - on how you manage, motivate and lead people remotely
  • XIII.Ask more questions - even the stupid ridiculous ones
  • XIV.If think you are smarter than most - swallow the bitter-pill - you might be in a fools-paradise
  • XV.Think of a challenge or opportunity you're currently facing and imagine you are looking at it from different people's view point
  • XVI.Be comfortable with the idea of the discomfort of change
  • XVII.Prove yourself wrong
  • XVIII.Increase your number of data sources and testing and verification sources
  • XIX.Step into the unknown and feel the fear
  • XX.Get feedback from people you trust - to give yourself fresh perspectives on your behavior
  • XXI.Make sure that you're staying up-to-date with the knowledge that is relevant to your success
  • XXII.Spend time 'trend watching' and practice foresight
  • XXIII.Reevaluate your skills and ensure that they are 'future-proofed'
  • XXIV.Use self-assessment tools to develop your self-awareness
  • XXV.Get highly respected expert to challenge you and your beliefs
  • XXVI.Dive deeper - be curious to know the root-cause

Three micro-stories - which may give you few of the fundamentals of the trilogy of learn-unlearn-relearn - find what they tell you

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The Zen-master

Following is a story - i read in the year 2000 and started using in my workshops since then but started applying in my life only few years back.

There used to be a wise man - people used to seek his advice on what they could find answers anywhere else.

One day - a powerful-man [who was just like a dictator] and who thought he is omnipotent as well as omniscient - came to this Zen-master.

He asked the Zen-master - what you can teach me that I don't know already.

The Zen-master smiled and requested that first they should have cup of tea.

The Zen-master started pouring his visitor tea a cup - he kept on pouring and pouring even when the tea started overflowing and began to spill over and fell on the expensive clothes of this VIP - the scalding tea burned him so he shouted at the Zen-master - can't you see the cup is full and no-more tea can go in the cup.

Then the Zen-master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest - sir - you have become like this cup, so full that nothing more can be added - if you are seeking enlightenment - please come back - when your cup is empty - that is - when you have the curiosity and interest to learn something meaningful.

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This 2nd story I read in the last week only

One beggar who used to beg on the entrance of a sub-way.

One day he noticed one man dressed in expensive clothes and thought that this man is very rich so will give me more than others.

So he went and asked this man - the man looked at the beggar and asked him - I am a businessman and I never give anything to anyone unless there is an exchange.

He further said that I am curious to know from you that - you always beg and keep asking from people -have you ever give anything to anyone.

The beggar replied NO - so this man said - if you don't give anything to anyone - what right you have to ask and expect anything from anyone.

This made the beggar think - and he kept on asking himself - what he can give when he don't have money himself.

While he was sitting and thinking - he saw flowers in a park - suddenly he got the idea - that he would give flower to every person who gives him money.

The beggar found that - his earning increased manifold - as people gave more money to him when he was giving flowers.

The beggar also noticed - that when his flowers were over - his earnings also went down.

Then he met this businessman after sometimes and the beggar gave the businessman flowers and told him Sir I have started following your advice and my earning have also increased - this businessman also gave beggar some money this time.

The businessman told him - now you have also become a businessman like me.

After few months - two very well dressed men were travelling together in a train - one man greeted the other and asked him - Sir do you remember me - the other man said no I believe that we are meeting for the 1st time.

Now this first man told the 2nd man - we met 3 times - Sir I used to beg - when you told the importance of giving - when we met first time.

The second time you told me that I have become a businessman too and because of this I went into the flower business and I have outlets in few cities - and this is our 3rd meeting.

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This is the 3rd story - if Eclipse can learn - all of us can too.

You might have read the story of a dog in japan - who used to meet his master at a station and after his master's death was waiting for him many month till he too died.

This is eclipse of Seattle - who leaves her house, by herself, and takes the bus downtown to the dog park - where she spends a couple of hours getting exercise and then she takes the bus back home again.

She even has her own bus pass attached to the collar.

It stated when she became impatient when her master was taking too long when the bus arrived - she an ahead and got on the bus by herself. The bus driver recognized her and dropped her off at the dog park.

After several more trips by herself - her master started letting her go on her own - All of the bus drivers know her and they allow her - if other passenger don't object.

#mastertheartofunlearning, #howtolearnunlearnrelearn, #whyunlearningisimportantforyourgrowth, #whatmakeyouarrogant, #ifwedon'tunlearnwecan'tlearn, #howtolearneffectively



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