Learning gives you potential, but knowing what to unlearn gives you the power to grow.
– Fahim Lashkaria –
Learn and Unlearn are two sides of the same coin. Once we are born, we have done this unknowingly. We unlearn old things and that is why we grow.
Children are really great at unlearning things. As we grow into an adult and get more and more knowledge we tend to forget to unlearn. We start developing rigidness. Thus, we become stagnant and our growth stops.
You might have seen people having always trying to prove their point of view and believe what they know and do is right. They have the mentality that they know it all and they are the most learned.
They are controlled by myths and misconceptions that do not allow them to open eyes to reality.
Basically, unlearn means to upgrade yourself. In simple terms, what you know is one side of the situation, there is another side to it also. Unlearning makes us literate, educated, and wise.
If you know things from one perspective and believe that it is right, you will not be willing to learn it from a different perspective.
Let me tell you the story about a cup of tea. This story explains how much it is necessary to unlearn to learn new things.
Story – The Monk and The Cup of Tea
There was a so-called learned man who was believed to have all the answers. He was known to be the Jack of all trades. This had developed pride in him and made him arrogant.
He met an old man one day and started talking about his knowledge and achievements. The old man was wise and asked the learned man what had he learned anything from the monks.
He was thinking that there was still someone else from whom he had to learn. The learned man asked the wise old man where he could find the monk. He replied pointing at the top of the hill.
The learned man decided to go the monk right away and after a long journey, he reaches to the monk.
After a small wait, his turn came. The learned man introduced himself and spoke about his achievements.
The monk asked him the reason for his visit. Upon this, the learned man replied that he had come to learn something new from him.
Monk was able to know that the learned man was proud and arrogant. So the monk takes him inside and tells him to discuss things over a cup of tea.
Monk started pouring tea into the cup slowly. The cup gets filled tea spills on to the saucer. But the monk didn’t stop there.
The monk kept on pouring. The tea runs through the table and spoils the learned man’s clothes.
The learned man loses his patience, “Stop pouring, don’t you see it is already full and you are wasting the tea?
The monk smiled and replied:
“Sir, your mind is already full. You can’t learn anything new. Being proud and arrogant you can’t see and learn things from a different perspective. You believe that whatever you know is right.”
The only thing the learned didn’t know was how to unlearn things. Similarly, when we are in such situations where someone tries to tell us something, we tend to behave as the learned man.
We don’t try to see the perception of others and push hard to prove our opinions. We develop a pattern of thinking that what we believe or have done is the only way and don’t even bother to hear them.
Usually, when you know we are right there are the least chances of learning. You start thinking that if you are right so why to learn something wrong.
Instead, being ready to accept that you might be wrong keeps the doors open for you to improve, correct and expand the knowledge about it.
If you need any help or would like to talk about changing your life, feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to assist you.