I recently attended an intense four days of learning – and I must say, it was some of the most focused (and fun) instruction that I’ve ever experienced!
The setting was the majestic rocky mountains, and the topic was snow skiing.
The instructors were the best of the best. The lead instructor was an orthopedic surgeon whose main focus was to teach us the correct biomechanics required for great skiing.
Our group would meet for a couple of hours of classroom instruction, and then hit the slopes to apply what we’d learned. Then we’d repeat the classroom/skiing cycle in the afternoon.
The class had skiers of all levels, and we broke into different groups based on our abilities. Everyone was focused on getting to the next level, no matter their current capabilities.
On the first day, one of the instructors said something that still hangs in my consciousness. She said, “To learn something new, we must un-learn, or let go of some of our current thinking.”
As our time of learning and skiing progressed, it became evident that those who most readily shed their preconceived notions of skiing were the ones who improved the most!
The concept of un-learning to learn something new has a wider application than skiing. What got us to where we are now, most likely won’t take us where we want to go. That goes for sports, relationships, business, and life.
We must release what we know, to learn what we don’t.
What if I held tightly to all of the relationship “knowledge” that I brought into my marriage 28 years ago? I’ll admit, it’s kind of scary to consider the consequences, had I had refused to learn and mature in my quest to love Karen and grow our relationship.
Also, as I reflect on various business experiences through the years, I can see how much I learned from each company, each deal, each relationship. Curiously, most of my learning and growth happened during the most difficult periods.
The key to learning
Perhaps the key to our tomorrows is found in letting go of what we learned yesterday.
Maybe the step to the next level can only be taken when we shake off the weight of our current assumptions.
I believe that we can tap this “ski-slope wisdom” to develop any area of life.
What do you need to “un-learn” today?