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Why Learning To Unlearn Is So Important

Automatic behaviors

Habitual behaviors usually occur in chains of activities: an initial stimulus sets them off, and then a sequence of events occurs. Habit chains are set off by triggers, which are stimulus events that bring the habits to mind and reinforce their execution.

Once a trigger sets a habit chain in motion, it is difficult to stop it: You either don't notice it is happening or it plays with your mind so you don't care. 

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Why Learning To Unlearn Is So Important

Why Learning To Unlearn Is So Important

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/08/02/why-learning-to-unlearn-is-so-important/

forbes.com

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Key Ideas

Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

Living in the 21st century

Living in our time requires different skills, one of the most important of which is unlearning activities, skills and formerly productive (or wise) activities such that new learning can take place.

Automatic behaviors

Habitual behaviors usually occur in chains of activities: an initial stimulus sets them off, and then a sequence of events occurs. Habit chains are set off by triggers, which are stimulus events that bring the habits to mind and reinforce their execution.

Once a trigger sets a habit chain in motion, it is difficult to stop it: You either don't notice it is happening or it plays with your mind so you don't care. 

The shortcut to unlearning

'Flood' the old action with the newly desired action or habit.

Rather than focusing on the unlearning part, simply design the new action you would like to take its place. With this approach of flooding your old routine with newly designed actions, the process of new learning overwhelms and makes extinct the old actions you wanted to unlearn.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Mark Twain

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain
The most useful learning
Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.

The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.

Types of Unlearning
  • Straightforward refutation of the old idea. This complete refutation is atypical. More likely the new knowledge doesn’t contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way.
  • The new knowledge revises a simpler picture by filling it with more complex details. This is similar to adding new knowledge, although because the older, simpler view of the issue has been overwritten with more detail, there is some unlearning going on.

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Vulnerability and confirmation bias
Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability challenges your confirmation bias.

It is uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or open up about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their cr...

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone makes you feel vulnerable, but that feeling works in your favor because it improves your performance and boosts your growth. A  constant state of comfort equals steady performance.

Too much anxiety, however, will make you too stressed to be productive. 

Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

In most cases, once you do something scary, you realize it’s not as bad as you thought—it was just the anticipation that frightened you more than anything.

Setting a goal can help you get past that anticipation and feel in control of your vulnerability.

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Building habits

Our habits have the power to enable us, most of the time, to live a more organized life. However, we might find it quite challenging when it comes to establishing new habits, as they require...

Set measurable targets as habits

When trying to build new habits, be specific by thinking about ways to measure the evolution of your action: set clear targets that can help you, when the deadline previously decided on approaches, to evaluate your progress.

The pros and cons of building new habits

When picking up a new habit, think it well through: take into account the possible inconveniences as well as the most attractive advantages. 

Remember that sometimes it might get harder to keep to the habit, but eventually, you are doing it for a good cause that is related directly to yourself.

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