From the moment we are born, we begin our journey of learning. From learning to move our bodies to sit up straight. From learning to stand on our own to walking. From learning our ABCs to studying difficult subjects. There is always something new to learn. It is a never-ending process.
Great intellectuals, philosophers, and business leaders have all spoken on the importance of learning in our lives.
But the truth is that not everything we learn has to be essential or beneficial. It isn’t just confined to what we learn in school or at college. Many of the experiences we have and the mindsets we form contribute to our learning.
As time passes, we start to emulate certain belief systems and mindsets. We tend to adhere to them without trying to understand whether they are truly helpful.
That is when the concept of unlearning comes into the picture. Unlearning, as the name implies, is a process of rewiring your brain to eliminate any information or beliefs that do not add value to your life.
Of late, I have been contemplating how much of what I have learnt is truly essential for my growth and well-being. There are tons of mindset shifts that have happened over the course of years that have been both good and bad.
I have always felt “in control” of my life when I push myself hard to work on my goals. Like I mentioned in the blog post To Do Or Not To Do, my life is categorised by to-do lists for almost everything. While it did make me feel great and accomplished, it also brought about burnout.
This made me think deeply about the efficacy of my beloved to-do lists. That’s when I took my first step towards unlearning. It took me a lot of re-conditioning to realise that I control my to-do lists and not the other way around. It is still a work in progress. Yet, it’s encouraging to see that I am not whining about not completing everything on my to-do list.
Another thing I would like to unlearn is to learn (yes, unlearning is still learning!) to say no. I won’t go into great detail about this because I intend to write a blog post on it soon. One of the hardest things to accomplish is to say no without feeling guilty. And it’s something I would like to do as well.
Unlearning does not impair our knowledge base in any way. In fact, it paves the path towards relearning and accepting better mindset shifts and beliefs. Growth need not always mean accumulating more ideas and information. We are also improving in our ability to let go of everything that does not benefit us. That, too, is growth.
Unlearning is the new learning. It is here to stay.
Until next time, stay blessed!