Let’s load the dice!
The American writer Robert Greene argued in his book ‘Mastery’ that Modern Technology was encouraging us to make quicker and increasingly less well-informed decisons, rather than helping us to focus on developing a deeper understanding & greater awareness.
An Apprenticeship to develop lasting skills will get us furthest in the long run, Greene suggested— & I’ve already taken a look at the role and our relationship with Modern Technology, in another recent piece ‘What’s All the Fuss About Generation X, Y & Z — Or, is That Z’.
Henry Ford though observed nearly 100 years ago that it was part of the human condition to “Rush too much with nervous hands and worried minds”.
We were in Ford’s view impatient for results & someday he believed we would know enough about intelligence and the realm of the spirit to create a deeper and more considered understanding of things — Whether he was anticipating Modern Technology we can only conjecture, but one of the key questions for me is, ‘What serves the human condition, rather than enslaves it?’
And at least part of the answer I’d suggest is Continual Learning!
Peter Senge writes in his book, ‘The 5th Discipline’ that Organisations learn only through individuals who learn, &, whilst individual learning won’t by itself guarantee organisational learning, it’s a Zero Sum game really, isn’t it? — Without Individual Learning No Organisational Learning can take place! Ipso Facto. QED.
People are the ‘active force’ within an organisation & if they are encouraged and supported to continually learn then from their quest for Continual Learning comes the spirit of the Learning Organisation.
Senge suggests that the individual discipline of personal growth & learning should be called ‘Personal Mastery’ (PM), &, people with high levels of PM are continually expanding their ability to create the results in life that they truly seek.
Their learning supports their Condition, or Spirit if you’d prefer, &, Personal Mastery goes beyond competence and skill.
In fact, Senge argues that it is driven by 2 fundamental needs — 1stly, by the need to continually clarify what is important to us.
For example, have you ever thought that you are spending too much time coping with problems and forgetting what you are trying to achieve in the first place? Yes?
The consequence of this behaviour then is, as Senge suggests, that we only have a dim, or ill conceived view of what’s really important to us.
Whilst the 2nd need that Senge identifies, is to be able to see current reality more clearly.
For example, think of people you have known who have been stuck in counterproductive relationships, but keep pretending that everything is all right.
Or, think of the times in the work place where you have heard people saying something like, “Well, we’re on course, relative to our plans” — As the French might say, Mai Oui, Mai Non?
To get to where you want to go it is vital to know where you are now and achieving this understanding is at the forefront of The Mudd Partnership’s work with developing High Performing Individuals, Teams & Organisations.
Returning though to Robert Greene and his notion of an Apprenticeship, he uses the example of the Romantic poet John Keats, to make his case.
John Keats undertook his own Apprenticeship to become a great Poet — By 1stly reading as many of the Classical Greats as he could find to teach himself about Poetry, &, then 2ndly, setting himself the task of writing a poem — But not just any old poem!
Oh No, he wrote ‘Endymion’ — A poem of some 4000 lines & written in under 7 months — And this is what Greene calls,’Resistance Practise’ i.e. Taking the hardest option to make you, “Tougher than your Competitors”!
I’d rather like to think though that this is actually the discipline of Personal Mastery in practice.
Individual learning serving the human condition and creating resilient & Anti-Fragile Individuals and Organisations.
And It might also be something that Daniel Coyle would call, “Deep Learning”, defined as being the hard stuff that happens at the edges and leads to real personal growth.
Why don’t you give it a try?
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change and transformation, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness in the workplace and in every place. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd