On Learning and Implementation
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. (Abraham Joshua Heschel)
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“There’s a quote I love by Eben Pagan:
Learning is behavior change.
I take this to be a fundamental principle of Learning.”
“What does this mean in practical terms?”
“Let’s take Abraham Heschel’s beautiful quote as an example.
You may read it, feel greatly inspired by it in the moment, and then totally forget about it. This is the fate of most quotes we read.
To learn it is to be transformed by it.
For that to happen, it takes active engagement. This means stripping it to its essence by extracting the principle(s), and formulating a plan of action by asking yourself:
How can I implement this?
How can I make this actionable?
How will this change my behavior?“
“How would you implement this?”
“The principle here is that of radical-amazement, looking at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.
As a guideline, we might express it as:
Take NOTHING for granted.
To move towards implementation, we need to make it actionable and specific.
One way to make it actionable is by turning it into a question:
What am I taking for granted?
Unlike the guideline, which is passive, the question primes your mind to actively scan the environment around you.
To make it more specific, you might connect it with a specific activity:
Whenever I Center myself, I will ask myself ‘What am I taking for granted?’“
“That looks like an algorithm [<link; medium length].”
“It is. An algorithm of the form:
WHENEVER x, THINK y
– WHENEVER x, ask question q
Once an algorithm is formulated, the next step is turning it into a habit.
One thing to note here is that the practice is more nuanced. It’s not just noticing what you’re taking for granted, but also how. Slowing down to soak in how amazing everything is by engaging your Curiosity and connecting with the Child Within.”