The Greatest Obstacle to Learning Is..........
I once heard it said that the greatest obstacle to learning is knowing.
Years ago, when I heard this for the first time, it was a revelation. "You can't learn what you already know". Hmmm. How profound, I thought. And, apropos.
My relationship with certain family members and my experience at work were things I wanted to feel differently about. And, had been for some time.
I wanted my relationship with certain family members to feel more satisfying. And, I wanted to feel more fulfilled with work. But, I didn't think I had anything to learn in order to improve either of these circumstances. I had concluded they were the way they were. And, that they would stay that way. I believed these circumstances and I were just stuck with each other.
To feel more satisfaction at work I believed that the people I worked with, and the people I worked for, had to change. The people I worked with needed to interact with me and each other differently. They needed to be more focused and responsible. And, show more integrity. And, I needed the owners to show more respect for and receptivity to the employees and their issues. But, I believed it was a lost cause. After all, in spite of my efforts, nothing changed.
And, with those family members, to feel the kind of satisfaction I was looking for they needed to change as well. But, here, too, I had come to the conclusion that they were not going to act or communicate any differently. I had already made every effort possible. And, I couldn't make them.
THOUGH I DID BELIEVE THERE was wisdom in that "OBSTACLES TO LEARNING' IDEA, I just couldn't YET see how IT RELATED TO ME. OR WHAT I COULD POSSIBLY LEARN TO DO DIFFERENTLY
I 'knew' what needed to change IN MY LIFE. What I didn't know was THAT it was me. What I didn't know was that as long as I 'knew' what needed to change, there WOULD BE nothing I could learn to make MY CIRCUMSTANCES better.
What I 'KNEW' needed to change for me to experience more of what I wanted was the PEOPLE and CIRCUMSTANCES of my life.
So, I recognized I WOULD HAVE TO LEARN what I didn't know.
I needed to see how I assessed AND INVESTED IN POSITIONS. And, how invested I was in being right.
And, I was very invested in being right!
THE POSSIBILITY that I was somehow PERPETUATING MY circumstances became a real consideration. AND THAT, MAYBE, MY INVESTMENT IN being right WAS KEEPING ME stuck with what I believed I had. Blindness OF my own involvement.
I SAW, TOO, I WOULD NOT ONLY NEED TO BRING MORE CONSCIOUSNESS TO my circumstances. I also needed to acknowledge my EXPERIENCE of BEING IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES. MY FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS. I had to bring MUCH more clarity and specificity to my predicament.
I needed to learn to see what I PRETENDED TO know... ABOUT WHERE I WANTED THINGS TO BE AND TO WHERE THINGS WERE AT THE TIME. THE DISPARITY. THE CIRCUMSTANCES but also THE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS I HAD REGARDING both…..
For instance, I knew I wanted my brother to respond differently to me. But, WHAT SPECIFICALLY WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE? To be less judgmental and more supportive. TO SEE HIM express interest in and receptivity to my opinions and feelings. AND WHAT WOULD THAT FEEL LIKE? I would feel LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE.
I ALSO NEEDED TO SEE more clearly WHERE THINGS WERE AT. Again, including MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS, WITH THE SAME SPECIFICITY.
I realized that my path required as precise a starting point as a destination. And, the more SPECIFIC I COULD BE WITH BOTH the more success was possible.
Me 'KNOWING' THE WAY THINGS ARE AND spouting off reasons WHY is something I'VE grown accustomed to.
The effort I made, AND CONTINUE TO MAKE, to bring more detail TO MY CIRCUMSTANCES AND FEELINGS ABOUT THEM IS difficult. ESPECIALLY Getting in touch with THE dissatisfaction, hurt, disappointment. That IS not easy. But, then again, how can ANY OF US get WHAT we want without knowing EXACTLY WHAT WE'VE GOT.
What circumstances have you BEEN PUTTING UP WITH OR TRYING TO CHANGE? WHAT CONCLUSIONS OR DECISIONS HAVE YOU MADE ABOUT THEM? How would you like them to be different? How invested are you in being right?
I USED TO KNOW I had my shit together. Then I realized that was all I had together.