Learning and unlearning
May 7th, 2012
To learn something new and explore the world around us is important for everyone. There is so much new to face everyday and learning itself is a life long task. Learning is one of the assets of adapting. So is unlearning.
Every time you learn something new, it takes the place of something you already knew from before (or at least it casts a shadow on it). Therefore it's as important to unlearn as it is to learn new things. It frees up space for things to come. Unlearning (or untethering) is the skill to let go of the things you're not truly passionate about, but for some reason try desperately to hang onto.
Here is a little story from my own life about untethering. About a year ago I wanted to start taking great photos, I've always liked photography and I was influenced from a lot of people around me that had advanced cameras at the time. 'No problem, I can do that', I thought. I bought a DSLR camera and started trying it out. Everything was fine. A couple of months went on and gradually my camera more often stayed at home while I went out. It started to collect dust. Initially I thought it was just because I didn't have the right accessories so I started fantasizing about new lenses that surely would boost my productivity. Luckily, I never bought any new accessories.
It was never about if I had the right lenses or not. It was about my motivation. About my passion for it. I was trying to force myself to learn something I didn't truly wanted to. It was like an awakening and I realized it before spending more time (and money) on something that, for me, would have been totally useless in the long run. I untethered, sold my camera and freed up some space. I put my attention back on the things I'm passionate about.
Everyday the world will ask me to learn a lot of new things, and that's okay. But everyday it's up to me to say no to all the things I don't want to know. It's also okay to not know everything. If there is something I really want to learn, I need to throw myself in there full-hearted with a laser sharp focus and embrace it. If I find a true passion for it, good for me! Otherwise I need to untether as soon as possible to once again free up time and space for things to come.