In response to a blog post published in early April entitled “How our Beliefs Influence our Success” a reader referred me to an excellent video created by Destin Sandlin … the originator of “Smarter Every Day”. It’s entitled ‘The Backwards Brain Bicycle’ In watching and listening I had two realizations:
First realization, it rings a loud bell pertaining to what we all contend with in today’s world … the need to learn something new that requires the unlearning of what we know and have known for ages.
Second realization, YOU MUST SEE IT! In a brief 5 minutes I’m confident it will fascinate, challenge and intrigue! You will find it time well invested as you read on.
Sandlin expressed a key learning ~ ‘Knowledge is not Understanding’. How true that appears to be and something we witness as we coach in the business arena of today. A few examples where this is evidenced include:
- Learning a new app that creates a faster and more efficient way to create a report or activity tracking at the same time it creates a hassle on the front side as we need to let go of what we have known.
- Learning a new form of social media that is the new hot button of communication and yet, is different enough, that what we know gets in the way of what we need to learn to make effective use of it.
- Moving from the use of a basic tool i.e. cell phone to one that is ‘smart’ or from ‘smart’ phone we have to one that is ‘smarter’. Regardless, either often encompass unlearning what we know in order to be open to what we want and need to know.
You get the drift and probably you’ve met it first-hand. And whereas there will always be a few who grasp the needed change in thinking and methodology faster, there are many more of us who seem to go head first into the wall of resistance … the place where the knowledge we have blocks our ability to quickly understand what mastering and adapting to the next innovation requires of us. Here are some of the traits that can help or hinder our success that can serve as the check list as we encounter the next challenge of this nature … even as soon as tomorrow:
- The commitment to the overall process involved in learning and mastering the ‘next thing’. Without consciously making it, we are going create a lot of added frustration. Accepting that we will naturally experience it in the best of circumstances, minimizing it through our commitment to the required learning and unlearning is a true advantage!
- The persistence and determination to plow through the changes in going from what we know to what we need to learn in order to be successful in the relearning required
- The attitude that we hold as related to accepting that we reside in a world defined by the ongoing changes moving down a fast-paced conveyor belt. Resisting such changes only lengthens the learning curve and could even throw us off.
- Finally, truly embracing the reality that today’s knowledge does not equate to understanding of what we need to know moving forward. In fact, it can easily serve to delay our success while creating untold frustration.
Have you ever noticed that young children have the ability to learn a new language in a shorter time than i.e. their parents? Just as Sandlin’s young son took only 2 weeks to learn to ride the backward bicycle whereas his dad took 8
months, it appears that the longer we have known something, the longer it can take us to master a different way … of speaking a new language, riding a bike or learning new methodology. Our success comes faster because we understand that so much of new learning required today demands that we recognize and accept the unlearning that is needed. Enjoy your backward bike ride. Challenging … perhaps … and in the end … very satisfying!!