Everything starts with an idea. What you see in the world today – businesses, architecture, fashion, movies, technology, books …. literally everything was born into the world because someone had an idea. Turning thought into reality starts with a great idea. We all have ideas. We are wired to make connections and solve problems. Great ideas are the brains way of having fun, of expressing creativity.
Is my mind hungry?
Our brains are uniquely suited to making connections – it is called learning. It’s not just about learning new skills… all information received – what we see, hear, taste, touch, smell and experience forms new connections in our brains. If I ask you “what is a car?” you will think about your car, all your old cars, that time you had an accident, the car dealer who gave great service, what the car sounds like. We’ve connected a million things to cars – and to everything else. Learning these things didn’t require any effort – it was done through experiencing. So… YES… everyone has a hungry mind.
Automatic and Deliberate learning
We are all learning, all the time. Most of what we learn is automatic (through experience, our senses and the meaning we give to things). When we choose to learn something it is deliberate learning. This learning is a little more structured – because we are learning to accomplish a desired outcome (like speaking a foreign language). It feels a little (or a lot) more difficult because we are controlling the outcome of the learning.
Consequences of deliberate learning
You’ve mastered being able to drive a car. You can get from point A to point B safely. But you learned a lot more than that. You learned how to pay attention on the road, to look out for danger, you learned that driving a car gives you a sense of freedom, you learned a preference for the kind of car you enjoy driving. No learning happens in isolation… everything is connected. By having more connections you have more ideas. You enjoy driving so much you decide to design a seat that is more comfortable, or start a transport company.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler
I’ve noticed that a lot of companies have embraced a learning culture. In fact, many companies will pay for you to learn something (some even go as far as paying for things that are NOT work related). The business world is starting to understand that your ability to out-perform the competition depends on making the strongest, most creative connections. It is a thing of beauty!
If you want to have more options, more choices and express more of your potential I would ask you: how much time and effort are you taking to feed your hungry mind?