Thursday, January 1, 2009

Life Really is the Learning Ground

M. Scott Peck said in his 20th Century classic Wisdom from the Road Less Traveled,

“Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life... we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort.”

The whole purpose of life is wrapped up in building a large and true map of reality, and we do this via learning and that is an intentional process that requires a lot of effort.

I have dedicated my life to the processes of facilitation, coaching and advising in areas of my knowledge, skill and experience. The only way I can achieve what I set out to do is to cogently focus on learning.

And when I look at the teaching aspects of my life roles, I find that the saying, ‘The teacher learns twice’ is apt. Constant learning (and a keen openness for it) for those in teaching and training roles is critical.

There are at least three (3) challenges to learning and the development of maps:


We need to unlearn the things we learned incorrectly in the first place. Perhaps we had bad models or were shown bad processes. Perhaps we simply didn’t listen or learn properly. We’re destined to need to unlearn many things, and, all through life it is a necessary thing because no one learns everything perfectly.


We need to relearn the things we learned once, but then never used again, or have neglected since. These are possibly things we might have considered ourselves to be guru’s in once-upon-a-time, but lack of practice has rendered the knowledge, skill or experience worthless or compromised.


Peck mentions also that the world is constantly changing so we have to change our maps (and adapt) as required--this requires character because none of us really wants to relinquish hard-earned knowledge and successful ways of doing things. Change is inevitable.

To be successful in life we must embrace learning, even in situations where we’d rather not expend the effort. Effort equals results.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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