One of our favourite childhood memories are of the fun we’ve had while discovering the new. It was a joy as our knowledge expanded and we got a chance to learn more. Isn’t it ironical that as we’ve grown older, we’ve shut doors to learning from life?
This thought struck me like a lightning bolt when I was speaking at a recent session hosted by a reputed International School in Mumbai. Enthusiastic students were waiting to lap up every word. In an hours session, I had packed in tons of fun. Yet the kids were eager for more. Days after the session, I am soaking in the joy as I continue to receive congratulatory messages. A student wrote back saying how his firm handshake impressed people. While another spoke about how she confidently asked her father to wear a belt with looped pants.
Interestingly, I’ve addressed adults like the above students father in similar sessions, but they’ve rarely taken back so much learning, compared to children. A client had once famously told me that even if his team retains of what is share, he’d call that workshop a success.
So what is it that draws a line and blocks learning for adults who were once curious kids? Is it arrogance, or unwillingness to listen to a peer? Is it stubbornness which says this is how I am ? Or is it just science where we believe our grey cells are dying, and we cannot get any better?
There may be a million excuses that stop people from learning, but life and science says otherwise (recent research says that exercising grey cells can keep them active). So here are my top 3 ways to make a fresh start and bring more learning into our lives:
Let arrogance not block your way. Open up to learning – embrace the only way to really grow in life. If you still can’t shake off the ego, give learning as a gift to your ego, a chance to become an even better version of you.
Stay hungry to learn from anything and everything. Ask questions and question the answers. Be curious. Treat everything in life as new and keep the freshness alive.
Stay childlike and be in touch with your innocence. Do things you may consider silly. Like walk back from office in the rain or dance unexpectedly. Spend more time with kids as you may indeed have more to learn from them, than they from you.
Alvin Toffler once said The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Which side you want to be on, is your choice. Make it wisely.
Learnt something new lately or have a way of learning that works for you? Tell me all about it.