And in this post I want to reflect on that with you, and I was prompted to do so as I watched this inspiring and challenging short documentary film on the future of learning. It goes for about 20 minutes, but if you have a thirst for intentional learning (which is one of the 9 inescapable truths for a properous life… so I hope you do) it is well worth the investment of your time.
One of the key messages was from Professor Stephen Heppell who said “Learning prepares you to cope with the surprises of life… education prepares you to cope with certainty… but there is no certainty in life.”
He also talked about the need to analyse our learning… what a fascinating challenge – not just to participate in learning, but to analyse our learning.
My first degree was in the psychology of adult learning, and ever since the eighties I’ve been fascinated by the different approaches that people have to learning, and more importantly, their beliefs about what learning actually is.
Knowing ‘stuff’ is not learning
Knowing ‘stuff’ is knowledge and information, but it doesn’t mean you’ve learned anything by knowing it… other than knowing it. Attending a conference or lecture or reading a book isn’t learning. It is an activity that is delivering information… and while that’s important, it’s not learning.
The learning happens with the way we analyse (and optimally act on) the information. Learning happens when we intentionally ask questions about how this relates to us in our world and the questions we intentionally ask about how we can apply this in our world, and the questions we ask to help us go beyond our limits of paradigmatic or thought boundaries that can block us from potential lessons.
When I completed my major thesis for my Masters Degree in Professional Ethics, we were taught to analyse our research by asking “and… what can we add to this, what is missing?” And “but… what don’t you agree with this, what seems to be in dispute?”
While I’m a fairly opinionated person, one of the lessons I am continually learning for myself (so… I haven’t learned it to a level of mastery yet, but am learning it more and more), is to ensure my opinions are mindful, thought through, have validation and can be backed up with something other than “that’s just my opinion”.
Knowledge and information is pretty much available now to anyone with an internet connection. That’s exciting!
Wisdom wants you to find it but you do have to put an effort in!
While wisdom wants you to find it, it will not reveal itself to you without some effort on your part. It takes a thirst for intentional learning – which, as I mentioned at the start of this post, is the 8th inescapable truth in the Intentionomics Blueprint.
The strategy to analyse our learning can start with a simple exercise of asking “What am I learning here?” or “What have I learned today (or this week)?” and “What can I intentionally take action on from this learning to help me live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life?” and “What else am I really learning here”… and to continue the analysis of what you’re learning with these types of questions.
There is a strong movement happening right now where many of us are beginning to intentionally analyse our well being, of our level of living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. What excites me is in so doing, when we also start analysing our learning, not just what we know, but to go beyond information and analyse what we’re intentionally and mindfully learning, we will take ourselves, our relationships, our achievements, our wisdom, our communities, our nations and our world to a new level of profound and intentional living.