“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got” My Granny*
The premise of so much Change is about taking in new stuff.
Learn new ways.
Absorb new things.
My question is where do we put it all?
If I rammed as much into a wardrobe as I do into my brain or my days, at some point the door would burst open….
But I don’t…I clear out the wardrobe whenever I reach the point of opening the door, looking in at the carnage or chaos therein and thinking “enough!”
Then it is Tunes On as I bag up old crap and or unfashionable items; the ill-chosen worn-once item, the jumper that didn’t wash well. I force myself to face up to the fact that the shoes which look good are simply agony to wear…. And that I am, perhaps, too old to now be wearing that item – even ironically.
Then the disposal – the landfill (I feel guilty); the “I’m pretending to be a boutique” charity shop (I feel a little better); The friends (Huh? You want this? Really?) A box on the street (I am not responsible for whom-so-ever has the same awful taste as me but hasn’t yet learned it, so they re-home)
Do we do this with learning? Bag up the old narratives, the unfashionable opinions? The ill-chosen leadership models? The Certificate in Blah that didn’t wash well? What have I been wearing that is painful? What am I, frankly, old enough and wise enough to let go?
Because it strikes me that unlearning is as vital, if not sometimes more so, than learning.
To cull, distill, to cut away the guff….the old thinking, the comfortingly awful is a profound part of creating an environment where new thinking and new ideas are possible.
And as I look at some of the habits and ideas that have been lurking at the back of my mental wardrobe, I invite myself to bag ‘em up and dispose of them responsibly….make room for something else, perhaps.
Some of disposing is painful. Some of it can be a joy. Some is just achingly sad. Some of it is straightforward – a moment of “oh. That simply doesn’t fit me anymore”.
I’m beginning to understand the importance of unlearning.