The learning process may not be the unidimensional upward sloping graph you think it is. In fact, it may not be linear at all. There’s plenty of practical evidence to prove that unlearning is an important part of learning. The ideal success cycle probably includes a cyclical process comprising learning, unlearning what you’ve learnt and relearning it. This means that, as important as it is to develop new skills and understand more things, it is equally important to learn to let go of your learnings when the need arises. Plus, it involves going a step further in adapting to the situation with quickness and eagerness in learning newly. Here’s why learn, unlearn and relearn is the cycle you need to follow to be successful.

The world has endless possibilities

The world is a multifaceted place without fixed solutions to problems. Learning and adhering to only that leads to stagnation – it makes you fixed in your way of thinking. It hinders you from exploring novel possibilities, which might just me more efficient and better than previous ones. Basically, it makes you narrow-minded.

Things change at a very fast pace

The world is in a state of constant flux. Today, things are changing every minute, where they used to change every decade previously. Technology has played a huge role in this regard. Constantly, new things are happening – new developments in all fields, new ways of doing things, new paths and ideas to explore. And if you don’t unlearn what you’ve previously learnt, how will you take in new things and adapt to a new world?

Learn, Unlearn And Relearn | Cycle You Need To Follow To Be Successful
Learn, Unlearn And Relearn | Cycle You Need To Follow To Be Successful (Image 1)

Too much experience makes you egoistic and complacent

The thing about learning is that it comes with experience. When you experience something, the outcome is that you learn something new. But this learning can make you egoistic. You may start thinking that this is the ‘only’ right knowledge or the only true ‘fact’. But the reality is that you’re being complacent and you’re no longer open to new and improved knowledge.

The spirit of learning shouldn’t fade with time

The purpose of life, aside from ambition and success, is to be an eternal student of life. And when you refuse to unlearn and relearn, you forget to be a student. You stop taking in and accepting new things, you refuse to change yourself in response to the universe’s teachings. And all of this makes you like a stagnant puddle of mucky water, rather than a perennial stream.

There are multiple perspectives to the same thing

Learning without unlearning and relearning teaches people that there is only one right way to go about things and only one correct fact. But that is rarely true. In fact, there may not be any objective truths or facts at all – it depends on viewpoint and perspective. Thus, unlearning allows you to make space for new perspectives. This not only makes you a more open-minded person but also helps in communication and relationships with people.

Learn, Unlearn And Relearn | Cycle You Need To Follow To Be Successful
Learn, Unlearn And Relearn | Cycle You Need To Follow To Be Successful (Image 2)

Unlearning is a critical part of learning

Even biology makes space for unlearning. Neuroplasticity, which refers to the ability of the brain to transform, add, and subtract neural connections within the brain, is testament to this. The very existence of this biological phenomenon means that the human brain was created to delete and restore information. Thus, unlearning is not the opposite of learning, but a very crucial part of it.

This cycle builds critical and analytical skills which are very valuable

Finally, the learn-unlearn-relearn cycle has important practical benefits for the brain. It not only makes you a better learner of life, but also improves critical analytical skills. Repeated experiences of this cycle instill a growth mindset, which allows you to be self-critical. It allows you to know when to stop clinging to old beliefs and past knowledge and when to embrace new knowledge. It gives you the analytical skills to adjust and adapt to a new, changed world.

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