I am taking an 8-week Mindfulness Course. After the first class, I already had an “Ah-ha!” moment. A fellow course-goer asked, “I am reading 2 books right now on Buddhism and Mindfulness. Should I stop reading those and only focus on this course?” The question was sparked by the teacher’s suggestion of learning through experience and encouraged us to fully engage for the 8 weeks. The teacher’s answer was simple: “I will leave that up to you to decide, but I challenge you to learn in ways you are not used to.” She went on to explain that as a former surgeon she learns through books, lectures, notes and highlights and research.
Instantly my brain started working. I too am a learner by reading and lectures. I will scour the internet, You Tube and books trying to find and capture every single possible facet of a topic I want to learn. I become an “expert” and learning it, but I fail in execution. I can tell you about a topic of interest that I want to apply, but the actual application is where I fall short.
With the information overload of the 21st century, we can think of an idea and find THOUSANDS of articles, blog posts, videos, quotes, eBooks and online courses on any and every topic. I’ve jumped across many over the last year since discovering Alejandra.tv. From that, a whole new level of “research” took over. My notes are meticulous, I have charts, lists, and favorite videos on You Tube to watch again and again for review or inspiration.
When the teacher of the Mindfulness class challenged us to not only examine how we learn things such as mindfulness, but to actually challenge it and attempt a different way. My natural resistance is to be expected: I am a constant student. But I am ready to challenge myself in a new way: learning to learn in another way.
I will not:
- Search the internet on alternate ways to learn
- Read books on how people learn
- Watch videos on methods of learning
- Honor my intuition
- Learn through experience
- Learn through commitment
- Learn by listening and watching others (not via the web)
I will still read blogs and watch videos but not for the purpose of research.
I feel like I am about to jump out of an airplane. Doing things the exact opposite way you’ve always done them is scary. But I am ready. I challenge you to do the same, however it is and whatever it is that you research or explore ideas. If you are a person who has to do it only and hate lectures, I suggest finding a video online on a topic of interest. Off I go – and off you go.