Published on 08 Dec 2023

Unlearn to Relearn: Resolutions for Thriving in a Disruptive World

As we usher in a new year, it's not just the ticking of the clock that heralds fresh beginnings. The phrase "New year, new me" reverberates with a promise of transformation and self-renewal. Yet, beneath the surface of adopting new habits and resolutions lies a profound truth – personal growth emanates not just from embracing the novel but also from shedding the shackles of outdated knowledge. Imagine a cup that cannot be filled until emptied; similarly, our minds require the space created by unlearning to accommodate the richness of new insights and perspectives.

In a world marked by incessant disruption, the art of self-disruption becomes not just advantageous but indispensable. It involves catching oneself in the act of unlearning and relearning, perpetually anticipating shifts in the external environment. To truly thrive in such an environment, challenge the status quo by delving into the transformative potential of unlearning.

"Unlearning" is an intricate process of relinquishing, distancing from, and reframing mindsets and behaviours that were once effective but now constrain our success. It's crucial to note that unlearning isn't a matter of right or wrong; it's about being open to exploring new ideas and different approaches, accompanied by a deliberate release of preconceived notions. The key to this process lies in keeping an open mind, and receptiveness to the unfamiliar and unexplored.

Adopt The 5 BEs to Unlearning

Why Should You Embrace Unlearning?

Years of conditioning, education, and work experience shape our habitual functioning. Our routines and mindsets become deeply rooted and resistant to change. The question often arises, "Why fix what isn't broken?" where individuals, businesses, and organisations find themselves adhering to practices that once brought success now risk becoming obsolete.

The harsh reality is that older processes need to be updated, and replaced regularly by new and more efficient ones. How do we stay updated and mentally agile enough to transition from old thinking to something new? The answer lies in learning to unlearn.

How to Navigate the Unlearning Journey:

The initial instinct when confronted with the idea of unlearning is often resistance. Acknowledging that something that served well for years may need tweaking or even a complete overhaul is a challenging notion. Engaging in unlearning requires cultivating a mindset that constantly questions existing knowledge to assess its efficacy and identify growth areas. It's not a one-time event but an ongoing journey.

Yes, unlearning is uncomfortable. However, it's a beneficial habit that evolves. With practice, it becomes an individual’s key to focusing efforts on staying current and preparing for the future - making unlearning the ultimate resolution for New Year's.

Want to know more about crafting your ‘unlearning’ and ‘relearning’ journey?

Discover how PaCE@NTU guides individuals and organisations in their unlearning and relearning journey through continuing education and training. The programmes offered encourage professionals to shed outdated skills and perspectives, making room for innovative learning and thriving in disruptive times. As we invite the year 2024, embrace the challenges, embark on this transformative journey, and redefine your narrative in the disruptive tapestry of the modern world.