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The Art Of The Unlearn

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Written: Dec. 3rd, 2020 Approx Reading Time: 4 mins

Be a life-long learner.

It's one of the pieces of advice I've been given the most.

Recently, in actively pushing myself to learn more I've been thinking about how much I've had to unlearn.

Sounds ironic that to learn you have to unlearn. Break it down and it makes a lot of sense.

In my opinion, I've come to learn (lol) that unlearning is one of the most important parts of learning. Especially when it comes to seeking the truth.

Unlearning can be uncomfortable. It can be confusing. It can be tiring.

On the plus side: you get what you put into it. Spend energy unlearning in your learning process and you end up closer to the truth via more informed conclusions.

Unlearning is an art.

I've been wondering why I'm not often told: be a life-long (un)learner.

Now that I break it down it's probably because the way our school system was designed.

We go to school to "learn" but we do a lot of regurgitation of the data points we were given so we get the right answer โ€”> keep our marks up. (Disclaimer: I'm not hating on school. I know I'm privileged to have access to education and a free one. I just think that the system has flaws and is outdated.)

We're not often taught to challenge the information we're given and the art of the unlearn.

And so going through school, growing up, and all the other experiences we have shape us to have the opinions, beliefs, and thoughts that we do.

We become conditioned a certain way and as a result think a certain way.

The past two+ years have been a big test in unlearning for me.

It started when I joined the problem-solving training program I'm in. I usually refer to it as TKS.

In the program, I was challenged to learn about emerging technologies, train mindsets (e.g. bias-towards action), get out of my comfort zone, and more.

In order to do so, I've had to experience the discomfort of challenging what I know. Unlearning many things to learn what would help me the most.

For example, I was such a perfectionist. I still am quite perfectionistic at times but I'm actively working on it. Coming into the program I had this huge fear of failure and wanted everything I did to be as perfect as it can be. I was used to school and other experiences where if you mess up you get a bad grade (which I did not want to happen).

The result: never progressing and releasing anything.

What I learned is that I could've grown way faster if I released things as soon as possible (keeping quality in mind still). Knowing that it's not going to be perfect and that's part of the process. I can make mistakes faster, learn from those, iterate, and improve my skills faster from not being scared to fail.

A model I that really helped me after internalizing it (that I learned in the program) was:

Done > Perfect + Correct > Done

The moral of this mini-story is that unlearning is such an important thing.

You have to unlearn (which will feel uncomfortable) and consider many perspectives/data points to get closer to the truth.

This has really been sinking in for me lately as I've joined a project in understanding female biology.

My current unlearn focus + what led me to this thought rabbit-hole today:

Female biology! YAY

Yesterday, a box came in the mail. Side note: was so so so pumped about this - I love mail and what the box will enable. ๐Ÿ’Œ๐Ÿ˜

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(The box โ€” thank you Izzy <3)

This box is magical. ๐Ÿ”ฎ

โœจIt will help a few girls and I who are testing it out unlock the power of our biology. โœจ

Essentially, we will be tracking various metrics to understand our biological rhythms.

This can enable us to become more self-aware of the 28-day cycle in the female body and how it affects our day-to-day. We can use this information to optimize our life in flow with this cycle.

Metrics I'll be tracking include:

  • The luteinizing hormone
  • Mood + productivity levels
  • Cervical fluid
  • Workout quality

The box has a bunch of tools to help simplify the tracking process.

It's all one big experiment and we'll be iterating a lot as we go. To me that's what makes it so exciting! I love experimenting, learning (& unlearning ๐Ÿ˜‰), and making/building.

One of my favourite parts of the box was a book on getting in tune with our cycle.

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Unlearning tool: Books! (= more data points/perspective)

In the FLO is superpowering me!

I had no idea that the world was designed following the male hormonal cycle with 24 hours.

This was a major: woahhh moment for me. An unlearning I'd say.

I then learned that the female cycle is 28-days and in this cycle, our hormones are going on their journey through four different phases. Our energy levels, nutrition needs, and many other areas differ throughout the phases.

What this means is there's certain days we're better at doing different things: days we're good at being social, days we should be doing yoga over kickboxing...

I'm interested in learning more about the science behind all of this through diving deeper into this project. ๐Ÿ”

The Daily Rundown

A very usual day for my priorities right now: chemistry coursework, working on my website, diving into piezoelectricity, and then a cool box arrived.

Good List

  • In the FLO book is helping me get back into reading. +1 super interesting +1 empowering
  • I'm liking chemistry

Gratitude

  • My senses (the ability to see, feel, hear...)

Time is going by fast. Day three went poof. Here's to female biology! ๐ŸŒท

Your friendly neighborhood: learning to unlearn

- Astro Girl ๐Ÿ’œ

Written by @astro_adara in December 2020.