WOW! What a week. I’ve been on an intensive course where I was being trained as a Trainer so that I may certify other coaches to use mBraining Integration Techniques in their work. This week was like an epic learning loop. And I loved every moment of the experience.
And this is no surprise. Why? Because those of us who are driven by our curiosity to pursue our ever-changing varied interests (who I call ‘Hummingbirds’) inherently LOVE learning.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘curiosity’ = A strong desire to know or learn something.
The learning I was within last week was experiential with a huge amount of science underpinning it. It was quite formal as I was certified at the end of the training. And I’ve been thinking about that … I’m thrilled by having studied for 2 degrees as well as 9 professional qualifications (so far) … however, this is only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to learning.
As Hummingbirds we are learning every day … each time we pursue our curiosity, whether by asking someone a question, turning to google, attending a conference or speaking event, popping along to the pub to meet new people, reading a magazine or book, watching a documentary or informative YouTube clip. Or when we have an idea which we shape into a hypothesis which we then experiment to prove or disprove. All of this is learning. And we’re really good at it! This is one of our underlying strengths. And we’re fast too … at a lot of things we want to learn.
There are two challenges as Hummingbirds that we face with learning:
a) When we find the learning of something is slower than we are used to. The biggest example for me was when I was learning to drive. I clearly remember a friend saying to me ‘now you know how the rest of us feel most of the time’. And my response was ‘I don’t like it!’ I discovered that the combination of micro/macro, kinasthetic/intellectual learning was a challenge. Suddenly I had to do something over and over and over again to become ‘competent’. And I had to face a very practical block. I was learning to drive a manual car. And I kept getting stuck on the whole starting the car moving piece … a very memorable day as I bunny-hopped around the car park. And my response to that was to stop trying to learn. Until next time it seemed like a good idea. I first tried when I was 15 years old. Second when I was at University. And finally I got my licence when I was 25! Because I needed to so that I could get a job. And now I love driving. It is often one of my happy places to be.
b) When we keep leaping from one learning to another without doing anything with it. We learn for the sake of learning, to appease our curiosity. We never share our learnings with others. We never create anything with what we have learnt. We never find the intersections between the different learning we have and collaborate with others to create something new. We just keep learning. And we end up finding that unfulfilling in the end. And we wonder what is wrong with us because we’re never in a place where we do something substantive with all our knowledge and skills.
I have recently learnt that neuroscience shows that learning sparks the same biological and chemical reactions within our bodies as sex or other pleasurable sensations. When we are learning we are releasing dopamines and endorphins. No wonder we love learning.
However, the power we have in our speed of learning and our range of learning is in how we consider the implications of what we have learnt and how it may be applied in ways that make a difference in the world. It is about pausing on the intake of new information and taking ourselves into a hovering position that allows us to see the patterns of our rich environment of experiences, knowledge and skills. To allow our curiosity to be about how we bring what we know and can do into something new, something constructive, something valuable. And create innovative solutions to problems. Another inherent skill of Hummingbirds!
This is what I am doing … my ‘recent’ interest in mBraining grew from a seed planted when I was being trained as a leader whilst a girl in the Girl Guide movement, into fascination with different personality types, into social psychology and onto neurolinguistic programming. This recent training adds to that pool of knowledge. And now I am looking at how I weave all of this together into something beautiful that specifically resonates with other Hummingbirds for their own personal growth journeys.
And I’m curious … when you take a moment to pause and hover above all your experiences, skills and knowledge – all your learnings … what intersections are there? What innovative creative ideas come to you for solving a community problem or introducing a new art into the world? Please share.