Things are changing faster than ever these days which means the greatest skill anyone can acquire is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn constantly.
But this presents the world with a psychological conundrum because the masses aren’t big on constant change, and beyond a certain age, it’s very difficult for most people to reinvent themselves.
What usually happens is that people only adapt when they feel pain. This is something I have been speaking about for the longest time, but even I could not have predicted that the greatest driver for the adoption of change would come about as a result of a global pandemic.
Now more than ever, we have no choice but venture into the unknown. Unemployment is soaring around the world, and many industries have been disrupted over night, which means that for many people, the thing they were good at yesterday might not be what they need to keep themselves alive in this new world during and post COVID.
NO ONE GETS A FREE PASS!
In my opinion, the people who excel most during tough times are those that understand how to hack the system of value creation. These people are able to acquire new skills, adapt as quickly as possible, and become comfortable with constant experimentation/iteration.
But again, this is easier said than done. People tend to feel vulnerable and exposed when trying new things, especially when we are under pressure. And learning something new means making lots of mistakes, except we’ve been taught from young that mistakes are bad.
The relationship that most people have with pain also doesn’t help. We don’t always see pain as a precursor for growth, and when we feel something that isn’t comfortable, we don’t always take the time to process those emotions. We are much more prone to sweeping those emotions under the rug, which easily explains why we tend to gravitate toward that which is comfortable and familiar to us.
Lastly, we all tell ourselves made up stories about the world, and those stories guide how we see ourselves and the world. What’s most fascinating is, most of our stories that are so engrained in us aren’t even ours to begin with. We inherited them from loved ones and society in general as young children, and one of the hardest things to do is question whether these stories are even serving us in the first place.
SO WHERE TO FROM HERE?
If we are to thrive in this new world, we have to work on our mental and emotional state/approach before anything else. This will determine if we see the future as filled with opportunities or booby traps.
Just under five years ago, I started Suits & Sneakers because I wanted to show the world how to use informal education. During this time, I have learned so much just by spending an hour each day online learning informally.
Tools like Google, YouTube, Kindle, Audible, podcasts, and all sorts of online learning sites allow you to learn almost anything, about anything, at any time, anywhere in the world, and at virtually no cost. You don’t get a degree at the end like you would when going to a college/university, but you also learn the most fascinating things that you wouldn’t learn at a college/university.
With that said, I want to introduce you to one of my favourite thinkers in the world called Naval Ravikant. I have learned so much from him over the years and I can’t recommend his work enough.
But instead of me talking about him, I’d like to share a great example with you. This first video is around 7min in length and I watch many short clips like this each day. This is the heart of informal education and I’d like to challenge you to watch it. When you consider what economies around the world are experiencing right now, this short video clip is a perfect example of what informal learning is all about
And lastly, if that video got you even a touch interested then I would urge you to take the time and listen to a video that I believe should be studied in schools and universities around the world.
Mark is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Suits & Sneakers and also founder of the Impello incubation hub. Mark loves to travel the world and is hell bent on disrupting education for people of all ages.