Wednesday, February 15, 2012

141. The Learning Spiral

Learning is not a linear process in my world. I wish it looked like the chart below. But, for me, this is not exactly right.

(Photo Credit:

The above is allll logical and makes sense and everything. And maybe it works for some people this way...but for me...My learning curve is a spiral staircase.

(Photo Credit: Andrew Hazelden)

As I take action in my life to learn a new blogging...or...eating healthy...or...working on a new monologue...or lessons I'm learning in being more patient or... listening more...or being more focused on being present with people in the now...(These are all things I'd like to be better skilled at)...I've realized that I set myself up for a lot of self-loathing if I expect myself to be able to follow the learning curve rather than the learning spiral.

Thinking of it as a spiral makes me feel good about learning!

What's the difference? You ask?

Well, I see it this way...As I climb up the spiral staircase...I can feel GOOD because I am...
A. Moving forward toward my goal
B. Moving upward (improving) toward my goal
C. I am constantly coming back around to the same lessons that I have learned before...only THIS TIME...I am learning them at a higher level (because I've been doing A & B all along)

If I use the learning curve as the model in my mind...I get frustrated because I feel like once I've learned a lesson or accomplished a part of my process...that I SHOULD then be able to "check it off the list" and be "done with it" and I'll never ever revert back to needing to learn that lesson again. So when I (inevitably) have to remind myself of lessons I've "already learned" in the past...I end up feeling bad about"Oh, I should have known better"...or..."DUH...That was stupid. What's wrong with me?")

I have realized over the years that there's no reason to try to change the way I learn. That's just the WAY I LEARN and that's OKAY. Beating myself up about it does not help me learn any better. It just makes me feel bad. And I like to feel good about learning. So I will allow myself to love my learning spiral!

I am constantly learning and re-learning the same lessons in life over and over again...and just when I think I've "MASTERED" something...I discover how I can improve it. This is both wonderful (because it means learning is a life-long process and I'll never get bored) and it's also frustrating (because I sometimes think..."Why-can't-I-f*%<ing-LEARN-this-thing-already-and-get-it-over-with" my mind).

So to be more SELF-LOVING in my learning process. I have officially adopted the spiral staircase as my learning model.

For example, I was re-learning a lesson this morning...I woke up and I was thinking about imagination...and how important it is to have a strong vision for what I want my life to be...but imagination is equally as important as action...because without action, then all of my imaginings will only just be dreams...but there's another component that's suuuuuper important for me...and that is motivation...because when I'm really motivated to do something for a really strong/true/right/powerful/fun reason...then you best believe I'm going to find ways to make it happen...because I will throw all of my time, smarts, and love into it.

Imagination + Motivation + Action = Moving Up The Learning Spiral in the Direction of My Dreams

For me...the step that I MISS most often (in the above equation) the action step. I feel like I've got a strong imaginative vision of what I'd like to become...and I've got a TON of motivation to want to do it...but then...I get distracted by things...or I over-exert myself and get tired...and I realize that I'm not taking the ACTION necessary to really make my dreams a reality.

“Your story (that you tell yourself in your head) is the person you really want to be. That’s how you’d like to view yourself. Your actions, of course, are you! You can’t define anyone but by their actions. You can BE great. But unless you DO great, no one will know that. Think about that today…Let’s make our actions follow our story.” – Adam Gilbert, MyBodyTutor

And back to the LEARNING SPIRAL and how that relates to my issues with taking action...this is not a new concept to me...I blogged about it last November. CLICK HERE TO READ THAT POST.

So I'm still deepening that learning...Reminding myself to take action is going to be a constant life-long learning spiral for me. True story...So I might as well love it...and love myself through the process.

I'm not a linear learner...I'm a SPIRAL LEARNER. And somehow...knowing that and being able to label it...makes me feel good about it. Because I know I'm learning in the right way...the right way for me, that is.

So I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself constantly on this blog...That's just because I'm walking up my post by blog post...Learning and re-learning the lessons that the universe has to teach me. 

I'm no expert. But I'm learning...and getting better!

Thanks for walking with me. It's fun sharing the journey with you!


"Expertise requires routine consistency, if only to elevate the level of growth in a short period of time. Schedule practice consistently...freeing you up from worrying over other things." - Marc Johansen, BeHyped

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