Are you a Learner or are you Learned?


We live in a world that is changing rapidly. The old paradigms where the “learned rule of the world” no longer applies in today’s changing society. 

Think about how far we have come in the last 100 years of evolution. Not only have we done the “impossible” by flying through the air, we have also sent robots to other planets and flown ourselves to the moon. We are no longer travelling in horse carriages on land. Cruise  ships are no longer our only means of getting from one continent to another. We communicate almost instantly via the phone and the internet, wherever we may be in the world. 

Bob Proctor gave the perfect example where he talked about seeing the first black and white TV set when he was a young boy at Mr Natman’s Radio. Imagine, travelling back in time and telling those people crowding around the only TV set in town that, sometime, in their lifetime, they’d be able to watch a football game live in Korea whilst they’re in Kentucky, with the TV strapped onto their wrist, receiving signals that are bounced off satellites in space. What kind of response do is you think you’ll receive from those people? 


Whilst the world is changing, this does not mean that what we’ve learnt in the past is completely useless. What it does mean though is that what worked well from 100 years ago may not be as relevant in today’s world. It doesn’t mean that we throw out what we’ve learnt… it merely forces us to move along with the change, to become more aware of what’s going on. Whatever we’ve learnt through the “old system” is still useful: we just need to understand the thinking behind the old system, so that we can make ourselves adaptable to the “new system” of learning. 

The one example that comes to mind relates to what I learnt in my final year in Structural Engineering. We were taught how to specify nodes in the structure to form a 20×20 matrix and to solve that matrix. After that, we were then shown how to solve the same structure using a computer modelling software in just minutes, to get the same answer. Now, why would they make us do it the “hard way” by using the matrix? It’s so that we have an understanding of how to solve it. It’s the thinking behind it that’s important, not the solution that we get at the end. It’s understanding how to know if the answer that we get is correct or not. If it isn’t, we can then use our intuition to guide us to where we think has gone wrong so that we can fix up our mistake. In other words, in addition to applying “yesterday’s principles” we also need to understand how to modify the principles to make them relevant in today’s world. 


Living in a constantly evolving world requires us to be constantly evolving ourselves. We need to change to thrive in today’s world; we can no longer hold on to the past, hoping to survive in the world today. We can no longer take everything at face value and believe it to be real anymore. Take the example of a photo online. We now need to properly discern if an usual  photo is real of if it’s been photoshopped. Who would have even heard about photoshop 50 years back? But think about this: if you are one of the few remaining people who have never even heard of photoshop and its capabilities, would the idea of “photoshop” even enter your mind? Of course not! That is why we need to change with the time. We need to continually learn and develop ourselves with the changing time. We need to start to use our internal GPS ie our intuition to guide us to tell us if what we’re doing is on the right track. However, because we’ve been told to shut off our intuition since we were young, we need to start exercising and build on our mental faculty once again. 

Hard and fast rules of the past are now being challenged and demolished. As we grow as a collective, as we become more aware as a group, we begin to realise the need to embrace change our lives. We need to let go of the fixed thinking of competition, individuality, scarcity and security via external validation. We need to stop looking from the viewpoint where boundaries stop us from going beyond where we think we can go. The Wright brothers were 2 bicycle mechanics who defied their boundaries, and took to the air, to give us the aviation industry that we have today. 


We need to start using the mental faculties that we are all born with to thrive in our current environment: the mental gifts of imagination, reasoning, memory, perception, will and intuition. To live well in today’s world, we need to begin looking at co-operation rather than conflict, to help others as we would ourselves. There’s a reason why we’ve been told to “love thy neighbour”: it’s to teach us to look beyond the separation, and to realise that we are all one and the same. That hurting another hurts us just as much. 


Change is inevitable. Humans are constantly expanding themselves, growing in experience as they do so. To thrive (not just survive) in a changing world, we need to let go of that which no longer serve us. We need to be open and willing to change. We have no choice but to increase our awareness and go with the flow, knowing that whatever we need will be provided to us at the right time. Science is now proving what spiritual teachings have taught us to be true all along. We are now at an exciting time where science and spirituality come together, giving us a better understanding of who we are, and our innate potential of who we can be. 


If you want to thrive, not just survive, in today’s rapidly changing world, you need to embrace change as a part of your life. Resisting change can only result in frustration, in constant aggravation that stops us from being who we truly are. Dr Eric Pearl said, “Fear is the absence of love just as darkness is the absence of light.” Bob Proctor describes fear as a foreign vibration in the subconscious mind. When you understand what fear really is, fear is no more. 


Let’s face it: there’s an increasing number of us who no longer hold a “9-5 job.” As the world becomes a “smaller place” we now have businesses that operate internationally with clients and suppliers from all over the world. The old thinking that one needs to “graduate, then get a 9-5 job and then retire” no longer applies in this fast-paced world. Those who resist the change are those who, as Hoffer mentioned, “will find themselves beautifully equipped with a world that no longer exists.”

Don’t let frustration grind you down. There’s always a better way to live. Be a learner, not a learned. We are all here for an adventure, which requires an inquisitive mind and a knowingness that we will get what we expect out of life. We are here to learn and we never stop until the day we leave this world. You only have one chance in this lifetime. Don’t spend it “tiptoeing through life, hoping to make it safely to death,” and realising on your deathbed that you haven’t done what you have come here to do. 

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