“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler
Learning is easy. Unlearning is hard.
Unlearning requires you to drop your ego and biases. It forces you to challenge your beliefs.
We live in the age of information. So you must learn to unlearn to cope with the ever-expanding knowledge base.
Here are 18 things to unlearn about life.
1. You Must Stay Happy
There’s nothing wrong with you if you feel angry, sad, jealous, anxious or any other negative emotion. All emotions are natural.
Emotions don’t define you. It’s what you do with them and how you cope with them that defines your maturity.
Happiness is just a state of mind which results from your actions and events in your life. Stop chasing happiness as the goal. Let it come and go. Find peace.
2. You Must Think Rationally At All Times
We like to think that we make rational decisions. But we make irrational decisions all the time.
Stop judging people or yourself for making irrational choices. Not only it’s okay to make irrational decisions, sometimes it’s even better to make one.
Decision-making is not all about gathering the data, evaluating everything, and making the perfect decision. It’s much complex than that.
Combine reason with intuition to make decisions in your life. Every decision won’t be perfect. But at least you won’t regret because you took the time to think and listen to your intuition. If you don’t do that, you will keep wondering what might have happened if you did things differently.
Reasoning is good but it should not interfere with your intuition. Animals don’t have a reasoning system. They only have intuition since birth. There’s an internal intelligence they don’t ignore. Somehow, they figure out what to avoid and where to go to find food and mates.
3. People’s Expectation Of You Is Your Responsibility
Do your best to be kind, loving and understanding. That’s it.
What other people do after that is not your concern. It is out of your control so don’t bother trying to impress people.
If you try to fit in with a group of people, you will not feel confident and comfortable.
Open up and be yourself. You will find the right people to spend time with.
4. Being Alone Is Same As Being Lonely
Spending time alone is one of the best things you can do for your life and your wellbeing. It will give you time and the environment to plan and reflect on your life.
Don’t miss the solo meetings with yourself. Examine your life. Set intentions. Take massive actions.
5. Work Is More Important Than Yourself
Self-care is the starting point of giving a first-class service.
Part of having a strong work ethic is to take care of yourself. Because if you don’t, your work will suffer.
The misconception people have is that you must sacrifice your sleep, exercise and rest to display that you’re dedicated to your work.
You come first. Then comes your work.
6. Your Traits Are Fixed
Your skills and personality can grow as much as you want.
Don’t limit yourself by making excuses that you don’t have a talent or the required personality to reach your goals.
Once you decide what you want and who you want to become, your skills and personality will follow. Embrace your nature but never let it stop you from reaching your higher potential.
7. Your Life Is Average
You’re not special and you’re also not average.
Average life is a choice. You need zero talent to become good. All you need are skills, which can be developed if you choose to.
Identify the things you want to improve. And then practice, practice, practice.
In life, you rise above mediocrity by strengthening your skills or overcoming your weaknesses.
The path to greatness is not easy. That’s why it’s not average.
8. Eating Fast Food Is Normal
If it were normal, we wouldn’t have an epidemic of diseases and health conditions.
People are obese and malnourished at the same time.
Young generation especially needs to unlearn this behavior as they see people eating fast food since childhood. They learn what they see. They think it’s normal.
Sadly, it’s not.
9. Money Is The Solution
Most people think money is the answer to all the suffering they have in life. Only if they had enough money, they will be successful and happy.
Money is not god. It won’t solve all your problems. More money will only bring chaos to your life if you don’t learn how to manage it.
Most people stay stuck in a rat race. As they get a paycheck, their desires rise. As they get what they desire, they no longer value it because the grass is always greener on the other side. They crave whatever else they don’t have yet. They wait for another paycheck to repeat the same process again.
Learn to be poor and happy first. Only then you will realize that money can only amplify your happiness if you use it on the things that truly matter to you.
Money is a tool, not the source of happiness.
10. Success Is The Finishing Line
The pursuit of success never ends. There are no destinations, only milestones.
You climb one mountain only to find out there is another one you haven’t even started climbing.
There’s no “happily ever after”. There are only beautiful journeys.
You don’t “sacrifice” your days to spend better days in the future. You live one season of your life to experience another one. And by the way, all seasons are beautiful.
11. Failures, Mistakes Or Being Wrong Is A Shame
Ever since you went to school, it conditioned you to believe that failures and mistakes are negative.
Here’s how it works in reality. You make mistakes. You fail terribly. You gather the lessons. You get up. You repeat until success.
Become a scientist in your field and experiment like crazy. Experiments will tell you what to do and what not to do.
12. Discomfort Is Awful
Discomfort makes you grow. It changes your character.
Every time you get out of your safety zone, your courage builds up. You have no option but to cope with the change. You learn to adapt. You become stronger.
Discomfort is the shortest path to personal transformations. It’s not a punishment. It’s a gift that can change your life for the better.
13. Obstacles Ruin Your Life
With each obstacle comes a chance to upgrade your skills and craft your story.
The more obstacles you overcome, the better your story becomes. The better your story, the more you cherish the reward.
Obstacles also provide you the opportunity to train your mind and skills.
Straight roads do not make skillful drivers — Paulo Coelho
Be grateful for the obstacles you have. When you will make it to the other end, your skills and level of satisfaction will be much greater than those who had it the easy way.
If failures are the shortest path to success, obstacles are the shortest path to fulfillment after success.
14. Being Busy Is A Badge Of Honor
If you’re busy, you’re trapped in the boundaries you set for yourself.
Break free. Prioritize. Let go.
You don’t have to do everything in one day. You must definitely protect your time but don’t schedule every hour of your day. Let life flow sometimes.
15. It’s Too Late Or Too Early
It’s never too late or too early to start.
Whether it’s your health, career, relationship, skill, or a passion project. Don’t wait. Give yourself permission to start even if the first steps are small.
There is no “right” time to start something.
16. Take Every Advice You’re Given
No one has it all figured it out. Everyone’s situations and experiences are different.
It’s not that people give wrong advice. It could just be not suitable for you.
Every person has different priorities, values, beliefs and desires in life.
Success is not the same for everyone. Nobody is wrong. But not everyone is right for you.
Only take advice from someone you are willing to trade places with. — Unknown
17. Education Ends After College
Real education STARTS after college as you enter the real life.
Gone are the times when you could stop learning after college. The world is changing at a fast pace. You must adapt and become a lifelong learner.
The best part about lifelong learning is that it’s self-directed. You can choose the things you want to learn. You can set your own schedule.
You can learn from books, courses, people or your own life experiences. Every day is an opportunity to learn.
All you need is curiosity.
18. You Know It All
You don’t. I don’t. Nobody knows it all.
So stop acting like an expert. Become a beginner. Listen more than you speak.
Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to unlearn. It also never hurts to relearn what you already knew since we forget what we had learned.
Learn continuously and humbly.
“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” — Bruce Lee