Un-learnings! A new way to learn? is there something else in it?

Note: This post is more on provoking thoughts. less answers, more questions :-)

We fall in line of additive learning since we are kids. We learn a lot of things, some through experience and some through others. We start scribbling something on the slate and simultaneously on our minds as well. However, we are taught to clean the slate once we are done, but nobody teaches us to clean the content scribbled on our minds!

if only we get clean slate everytime

In general day to day work and leading a general life, one problem is that we’ve been focused on things that we been trained to do and been using those things from a long time. The problem isn’t learning: it’s unlearning the old.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different things.” Albert Einstein

In every aspect of life or business, we are operating with mental models that have grown outdated or obsolete, from strategy to marketing to organization to leadership. To embrace the new logic of value creation, we have to unlearn the old one.

So, how quickly can you unlearn ? How good are you at unlearning things ? Does quick learning and even quicker un-learnings help you achieve more in your life ?

Unlearning doesn’t refer to forgetting. It is just discarding the not so important things which are of no use to you and replacing them with the new ones. Suppose in a business, a marketing strategy has been used for decades but somehow is not giving results now, shouldn’t it be reviewed and changed. Just because it has been used for many years doesn’t justify it’s current usage.

But to be honest, un-learning can put you in a big time dilemma. I mean, un-learning is sort of pushing yourself in an unknown territory, that too knowingly. Its like learning a new habit when you already have one, but you want to let go of old one and get a better one, get it ;-)

An act of un-learning shall lead you to do things differently. Try out things which you have never tried before. And more so often you might get punished for such acts. Someone might even say “I told you so”, but gotta remember that you choose your own mistakes here, you choose your own way here. That’s the true power of un-learnings.

A friend of the new
Unlearning brings changes, unlearning brings in the new”. And you know what the “new” needs?
The new needs friends!

The grand speech by Mr.Ego, in my all time favourite movie Ratatouille, makes an extra ordinary point. “The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends”.

This leads to last point in this post — If you are in the business of un-learning, discarding the old and creating something new, look around. See if someone else needs your help, be kind to the new, cause you too need a friend. May be all startups around the world should watch this movie :-)