Awareness is the Starting Point of New Learning
I recently learned the importance of Awareness to learning new things. Add a touch of emotional context or personal experience and the learning accelerates. How do I know this to be true. Because of an experience I have had during the month of April.
First, prior to this year, South Africa was just a spot on the world map to me. I had never experienced anything regarding the country and particularly it’s history. And, I am certain that their were TV shows about South Africa and it’s history as well as magazine articles focused on it’s current and past history. But, with no personal involvement it did not register with me.
Second, this month I made a trip to Cape Town, South Africa for the Global Speakers Summit. This was the starting point for awaking my world as to what South Africa was all about – and importance of Nelsen Mandela to the world. My experiences in Cape Town were outstanding.This led to a new understanding of the importance of South Africa and the influence of one man – Nelsen Mandela. A true leader of men, who dealt with more adversity that anyone – yet, survived the ordeal to emerge as a great leader of people.
Third, since going to Cape Town my awareness of South Africa has increased dramatically. And, due to this factor, I am aware of the numerous articles about South Africa, the current election status, the election of a new leader, and a history channel biography on Nelsen Mandela. The cable show detailed the life history of Nelsen Mandela and filled in the blanks that were missing after my trip to Cape Town.
Finally, why would this be important to YOU. Good question with a good answer. There are four key learning points from this story:
- Awareness – is the starting point of new learning. You suddenly become sensitive to new information and experiences you have encountered. Personalized knowledge also leads to the internalization of information which creates new wisdom in your thoughts and actions.
- Adversity – is something that the great leaders learn to deal with during their earlier years. How to overcome the external issues and conditions by remaining true to your internal values and principles. Mandela experienced more adversity than anyone, yet, remained true to his principles of fair play and equal rights. He envisioned a true democracy for South Africa where all people (white and black) were equal and no one had absolute power over others.
- Leadership – is a trait that is earned using personal strength rather than a position or title. True leadership is about having principles that are based upon doing the right things all the time. This focus on the higher good for the country, organization or group is more important than personal gain.
- Learning – is the pathway to new wisdom. Thinking or reflective thought is the key to future growth for an individual or leader. New knowledge leads to an expansion of ideas, thoughts, and most importantly – understanding. Life is a continuous learning process. Take time to study, read and discuss new ideas or information.
Use your life experiences to expand your world view and understanding of your role in life. Great leaders have experienced great adversity at some point in their life and have learned from the experience. Taking complete responsibility for their thoughts and actions, true leaders remain humble and focused upon the greater good of the whole. If more leaders had this trait, we would be a better world.
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