(Photo credit: https://bit.ly/2kAJebH)
We usually associate learning with courses, school work, degrees and certificates but these are just the outer shells of something far bigger. Learning as a process happens in every aspect of our life, in every day of our lives and without warning or expectation. Learning is often forced upon us without us knowing and transforms us without us expecting it to. Learning is….repeatedly what gets us from one day to the next.
Take a simple thing like going to the supermarket. It may be the same supermarket you have been to for years, but within that supermarket there will always be changes. Perhaps the owner has a new product for sale, perhaps the shop has been rearranged for some reason, or perhaps there is a new process of payment. Whatever it is, it will be different and you the customer has to ‘learn’ how to accommodate the new change or don’t come back. Most of us choose to learn. It just feels easier. If we choose not to learn, the learning volume would be much bigger because then you would not only have to find a new place to shop but you would have to learn a whole new range of rules and regulations that this new shop requires. So what do we do? We reach a decision to stay, we realise why staying is a preferred option, and we realign ourselves so that tomorrow when we walk into the shop we are not surprised by this change.
You may question why reaching comes before realizing, as usually we have to realise something before we reach a conclusion. The reason why reaching should come first is that cognitively we have to put into place in our mind the framework of the new situation, kind of like role playing it out in our head. While we are ‘role playing’ the new situation, we are going over it and deciding if it is right for us. When we see it is right for us, we realise, then take it to the next level by completely realigning ourselves with it.
Another simple analogy is when we are looking for an item of clothing. Very few people just walk into a boutique and buy the first thing they see. Most people like to ‘try it on’ first. So, they see something they like, they take it to the dressing room to see if it fits, and when it does, they look at themselves (not the outfit – themselves) in the mirror and see how it makes them look and feel. If they feel it ‘suits’ them that means it should somehow enhance them. That means it should expand the vision of themselves to themselves. So, they decide to buy it. Once they buy it and take it home, that person will realign themselves with that outfit, meaning that whenever they put it on or even if they don’t put it on, that outfit will have opened up a part of themselves that they like and so perpetuate that feeling into other areas of their life too.
So too is good learning. Every idea needs to be ‘tried on for size’ first (reached), then once it clearly makes you look good and enhances you in some way (realized), you change your world because of it (realigned).