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  • Writer's pictureTarun Kumar

Adaptability: Most Sought After 21st Century Skill - Part 2

Unlearning is key to Learning

When we are talking growth, instead of learning, look for signs of “unlearning” “Unlearning” is another important sign of adaptability, Active un-learners seek to challenge what they presume to already know and instead override that data with new information,” Isn’t it? One physical example of unlearning can be found on the ski slopes, When I was trying my hands at skiing during my stint at a high altitude area while serving in the Army. The instructors were teaching us as novices the “inverted V” method of downhill skiing. This required when you’re at the top of a hill, you point your skis toward one another like the tip of a slice of pizza and holding that shape will stop you from sliding down. But as you grow more comfortable, you can’t become a great skier with the same method; you must unlearn it. It’s necessary only to use for a short time until you get comfortable enough to take risks. In life it’s the same, while it’s difficult to unlearn certain skills that have been drilled into our brains, it is possible to unlearn and embrace change, too. A person can also unlearn by taking a new vantage point or shifting to another perspective, layering on additional learnings can also show a person’s adaptability. Playing at the intersection of areas where you’re not an expert can together build a new set of skills as a building block for exploring new dimensions for growth, opportunity & sustainability. This mind set is especially useful for people who are looking for a new employability quotient. If you’re seeking to switch industries, you can embrace unlearning or adjacent learning to find a new position in a different field. By looking at the individual components and pieces of your job — instead of the overall title or position — you can see where your skills might be applied in a different environment. Then, ask yourself, “In which industry is this one skill being underutilized?” and you can move forward, bringing your individual pieces of expertise with you.

Exploratory Mindset

An exploratory mind set can yield clear benefits. As an example, Post hanging my boots I moved to a new neighbourhood, and needed to find a grocery store. I drove out of my house, arbitrarily turned left, and found a store a few blocks away which I began to frequent. A few weeks later, on a hunch I turned right and stumbled into a grocery store not much further away with a better produce section. If I had remained with the old system then surely would’ve missed out on something better which was on offer. How often do you do that in your own life? “The path becomes so much more interesting when you wander.” It’s better to explore and find ways to break habits that you already have, whether that’s trying to watch a movie in a different theatre, different language, cooking a different cuisine, driving an alternate route, or walking an unorthodox path. These seemingly minor changes allow for crucial vantage point shifts and create the ability for unlearning to happen. The environmental realities keep changing hence we must look for signs of exploration – To boldly go where no one has ventured so far. When we allow ourselves to adapt to different situations, life is easier.

A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. By engaging with organizations & startups as stated above I’m improving their adaptability quotient bringing them on a path to success. I am helping them adapt to win.

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change

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