The Disciplines of Learning

1. Call “timeout.” Have you ever tried to change a tire while the car is still moving? Our impulse may be to just keep going, or to go even faster, in the face of change. How about slowing down? How about stopping the action to take a good look at what’s going on?

2. Decide to learn and make a plan. Sometimes we just have to give in to the fact that we are a beginner. We would prefer not to be, of course, because that means there’s something we don’t know. A decision to learn is recognition that we are a work in progress. A good plan both honors that truth and gets us in motion.

3. Start a new conversation and stay in it. Learning happens in relationship. Who will get into that conversation with you? Who will be your partner in your new learning? Find them and go all in. Going it alone is a relic and a myth.

4. Stop “doing.” John Wooden cautioned us to “never mistake action for achievement.” The world of “doing” is insidious. It is a hiding place and it will bury you. There’s always another email; does it really matter? Is it worth it when it keeps you from what you really want?

5. Go to the edge, the middle is already taken. Imagine that everything you know is in the middle of a peaceful meadow and everything you want to know – the learning you aspire to – is at the windblown cliff edge. When your footing is uncertain and your pulse is quickening you’ll know you’re in the place of learning.

© 2010 David Berry

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