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Wednesday
Oct082008

Lies about Learning: 4 through 7 of 7

What worked so well in a school, college or university does not work in business.

Why? Because the goals of the two are not the same. The goal in the University setting is to pass the test.

The goal in business is to bring about a change in behavior which in turn will bring us better results in productivity, sales, margins, market share - in other words, growth.

Lie #4: We have to have a high “self-esteem” to be a good student.

Healthy Self Esteem or Self Concept is necessary to function in life. But when a part of a Self Concept is “I Already Know That,” it does not allow us to open our mind to allow new knowledge to come in. This means that while we are learning, we must get our Self Image out of the way before we can truly learn.

TRUTH: We must be willing to DROP our Self Esteem or Self Image before we can truly learn.

Lie #5: Learning is something to “strive” for.

Often, we think that we we have to “push” our brain to learn, like pushing ourselves in the gym to lift that extra pound of weight or run that extra mile. While there is a place for such things in developing our brains, it’s not true learning.

You don’t have to work hard to learn. In fact, if you are trying too hard, you are blocking learning. Learning, growth is natural. Groth is our basic nature. Have you seen a tree strive to grow? Have you seen a flower work really hard to blossom?

TRUTH: We must be willing to LET GO in order to learn.

Lie #6: Learning is something to do.  

Often, we assoicate learning with taking a lot of classes or reading a lot of books. Such things can trigger learning, but just because we do these things, does not mean we are learning. There does not have to be an external source that “teaches” us. Learning comes from within. The source of learning is already within us. We just need a stimulus from outside.

TRUTH: Learning is something that HAPPENS to you when you open yourself up to it.

Lie #7: The ultimate goal of learning is to know everything.

The true and ultimate goal of learning is to get to the point where we realize that we really don’t know ANYTHING! Intellectually, it’s impossible to know it all. Intellect has it’s limitations.

“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.”
  - Frank Herbert

TRUTH: The ultimate goal of learning is to get to the point where we realize that we really don’t know ANYTHING!

Role Models?

You must be wondering, this seems like such an idealistic image of a student. Where do you find such people? Are there any role models? Well, the role models are all around us. They are children. A 5-year old fits all of the seven criteria described above. It’s simple really, all you have to do to be an excellent learner is to be a child again.

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