UNlearning is harder than learning.
If I mistakenly recall that your name is Barry when it’s actually Carl, you could wrongly be Barry for the rest of my life. When we decide something is true (learn it), that “truth” clings to us even if it’s false.
The essential leadership quality of tenacity sometimes hinders success. Here’s what I mean. Every one learns strategies for dealing with life, management, and leading. However, life is changing. The scientific term describing life without change is death. Change antiquates strategies that once worked. The problem, tenacity causes leaders to UNlearn slowly.
Here’s a suggestion.
Look for repetitive head bangers.
Maybe you haven’t noticed but there’s an area of escalating frustration in your life. You’re drive to succeed minimizes that frustration and makes you “hit it again” every time it emerges. Head bangers point to the need for new strategies. Rather than trying harder, adjust. Relearning begins with unlearning.
Clarification: I’m not suggesting you change course like a tissue in the wind. And I’m not saying quit. But if you have a huge dent in the middle of your forehead from running into the same low hanging beam, perhaps it’s time to UNlearn.
Additionally, the Leadership Freak blog “Trajectory” suggests a useful strategy that helps in the Unlearning process. http://leadershipfreak.blog/2010/01/08/trajectory/
Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Leaders reach higher by UNlearning antiquated strategies.
Yes, UNlearning is the hardest. In the GTD literature there is not enough attention on this aspect.
I once read an article with the title ‘making habits work for you’ and that is the key I tink, both in learning and UNlearning.
BTW, my weblog is in Dutch… So please take a look, reading will be dificult 😉
Thanks, went to your blog…I have no Dutch…I have no understanding. Thank you for the invitation. I did a quick search for the article “making habits work for you” but couldn’t find it. If you happen to find a link, please let me know.
Loved your post. We’re thinking along the same lines. I have blog dedicated specifically to unlearning at http://www.unlearning101.com. I invite you and your readers to visit it.
All the best and I look forward to unlearning from you.
I’m so glad you dropped in…I went to your blog and loved it. I subscribed!
I guess some of us know this instinctively and act accordingly – however sometimes it is difficult to understand when you are in “too deep” and you need to change course (unlearn?).
Stumbled upon your post and found it refreshing.
So glad you stumbled in…I agree, we get in “too deep” and unlearning becomes hard. Hopefully knowing we do this helps.
I absolutely agree that unlearning is a challenging or perhaps impossible process for the most of the people. Those who unlearn, succeeds and those who unwilling to unlearn, crashes and fails. I have different perspective on learning. I believe that there are two kind of drivers that motivate unlearning or learning in human life. Unlearning is usually reinforced by arrogance, ignorance, ego and based on individual perception and often self created one whereas learning is reinfrorced by acceptance, experience and openness to understand and change. Empathy is differentiating factor between unlearning and learning. Learning is always accompanied by empathy whereas unlearning is not.
Unlearning is a sign of weaknesses and people unwilling to learn create wrong perception that unlearning is face saving masks for them and this becomes a continuious process and strengthen unlearning process unless person overcomes weaknesses through stonger will power to learn and change. Both category have stong will power to either unlearn or learn, but one is stongly negative and other is strongly positive in nature.
Dan – I assimilate the recognition of a repetitive frustration as personally calling-out the feeling, pausing and going about it a different way. By nature, I’m a linear thinker and like to map-out processes, systems, strategies, etc. When something continues to bother me, it helps me to simply start writing down what it is that frustrating me and working backwards to figure-out why. For me, the frustration is typically the output of another action or thought process. I like to work upstream to try to fix the source of the issue, like a leak in the dam upstream that is flooding the river downstream.