Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Learning

I have been learning nearly all of my life. The last few years, I have learned the things that really interest me. That is far from over as there are always questions on my mind. The more I am alone, the more I think, and the more questions arrive. Without these questions, I would have stopped writing in 2014 after my anger had gone. Today, there are nearly 1,100 published blogs.

Learning has a push and pull phase, of which the former is also known as teaching. Teaching brings answers to questions that were not raised by ourselves. The teacher decides on the curriculum (ie, the questions) and the students listen to the teacher’s answers. Some teachers may, however, put future questions on your mind.

At the end of the – usually long – push phase of our learning, we have developed a set of beliefs. These beliefs relate to Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science and the Truth, a.k.a. my concept of the 7 Belief systems. Our beliefs translate in our attitude (mind), behaviour (body), and our values (soul).

Our set of beliefs is usually lasting as beliefs are deeply rooted, like human firmware. Changing your beliefs thus becomes far from easy. In my case, it took a burnout (my blogs). A burnout is a loss of faith in your beliefs which results in lacking willpower to execute your beliefs. Writer Jennifer Senior refers to a burnout as “a crisis of faith” (NY Magazine, 2007).

A “crisis of faith” triggers existential questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who am I? When will this [eg, heartache] be over? How will I survive this? The answers to these existential questions will slowly but gradually result in a new set of beliefs. I think, feel and believe that these answers have always been there but were slumbering inside us.

It takes a lot of time to develop faith in a new set of beliefs. I refer to this period as a (spiritual) Awakening. It’s like putting on a new “coat”. Your old “coat” still looks nice but it doesn’t belong to the new you anymore. Once in a while, your old “coat” will bring back memories. These memories should – and will – reassure you that the new you is an improved version of your old you.

The push phase of my learning was very long, including professional education and mandatory continued professional education (CPE). Essentially, the answers in the push phase are “feeded” to you by bosses, coaches, parents, teachers and so on. The belief in these answers, and the faith in the persons giving them, will result in the willpower to taking these answers to heart – a.k.a. learning.

The answers in the pull phase arrive in a very different way. It feels like connecting to an elusive network of answers. Solitude is my prerequisite for establishing this connection. The answers appear to flow in some kind of void and you need to pull them in for digesting them. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert calls this process “your elusive creative genius” (TED video, TED transcript).

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Quote by Albert Einstein


Learning To Fly (1991) by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Well some say life will beat you down

Break your heart, steal your crown

So I’ve started out for God knows where

I guess I’ll know when I get there

R.I.P. Tom Petty (1950- 2017)

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