Unlearning might actually matter more, to be successful in life, rather than strictly additive learning.
“To be knowledgeable, learn new things every day; to be wise, unlearn things that you learn with wit and love.”
― Debasish Mridha
Learning is an inherent part of human behaviour. We have grown up learning different things right from childhood like crawling, walking, speaking, listening, driving and socializing etc. We keep learning and grow throughout our life.
There is no doubt that learning is important for success but there is something more important than that. It’s unlearning. Yes, you read it right.
We need to learn the art of unlearning for success in life.
Why to unlearn?
World is changing at the speed of thoughts. What’s holds true today does not to be necessarily hold true tomorrow. In this environment and in this spirit, when uncertainty is certain we need to learn to unlearn.
Alvin Toffler had asserted that “the illiterate of the 21st Century are not those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
What is unlearning?
But what exactly is unlearning?
Is it possible to literally forgetting or erasing the things we have learnt? No, unlearning is not about forgetting the what we have learnt.
Unlearning is an art of letting go of old knowledge, skills, information or habits in order to make a room for new ideas and learning which might be better for success in life.
How to unlearn?
It’s not learning that is the challenge, it’s your ability to unlearn that’s holding many of you back.
Here are 3 tips which will help you in unlearning.
1. Recognize and accept
You have to recognize and accept that the old techniques, knowledge and perception on which you’ve been relying on are no longer effective or relevant.This is most challenging because most of us are sublimely unaware of our mind-set and perceptions. We just employ them and those remains on auto pilot mode.
You need to recognize the changing world is demanding to let go old and learn new knowledge, skills and competencies. In addition to this, it can be difficult to accept that your existing model is getting out-dated. Many of you have built your reputations and careers on the mastery of these old models.
Letting go may seems to you like starting over all again and losing the authority, status, or even your sense of self.
2. Break the Habits
Humans are creatures of habit and once formed, habits are difficult to break. If you go deeper then you will find breaking habits and unlearning are connected.
Reappraising and breaking old habits is part of unlearning. I have always been advocating breaking the bad habits which are not helping us reach the goals that we want. Change habits by decreasing the activities of the old habit and gradually replace them with new habits until the old habits are no longer active and the new habits flourish instead.
3. Continual Learning
Continual learning is important for your growth and success in life. Your life’s learning curve should inherent continual learning which keeps yourself abreast with the change around you; the change in technology, the change in work patterns, the change in perceptions and the change in mind-set.