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  • Writer's pictureEmiliana Samangun

7 Lies of Learning, part I

You’re being lied to. Constantly. Sometimes by yourself. We are all subject to an endless stream of misinformation about our constraints to our capabilities, and we receive this information so often that most of us have no other choice than to believe it. The problem is that these messages directly oppose your quest to become limitless. These limited ideas entertained (LIEs) in our minds can stall us or steer us in a direction we don’t want. So, let’s bring seven to light, examine them for what they are, and replace them with something better. (Kwik: 118).

Lie no. 1: Intelligence is Fixed

Before we start with ‘the lie no.1’ let me give you a sort of my background, so as I grew up in a developing country, especially in eastern Indonesia, where parents or the old generation still have the old mindset. for example, as an eastern woman who moved 1000 miles away at the age of 18 to study in university, when finished my Bachelor in 2019, my mom asked me to go back to my hometown and find a job there then get married, have kids because my parents are the only parents in the whole family who did not have grandchildren yet. Then I told my mom about my future plans, I can’t go back to my hometown, I want to make money here in Bandung (a city where I live currently) or Jakarta, then I’ll continue to study for a masters degree abroad.

For some people, it might seem like 'pretty normal’ plans. But not for my mom, studying abroad is just for people who are categorized as middle class, and it’s impossible to my mom thoughts. It’s not just about the finances that she can think of but also about me. I told her about the full scholarship to study abroad and she was in denial of every word I said to her. She thinks that my future plans sound like a daydream and I might not be able to execute them!

These beliefs are incredibly subtle. Few of us consciously think about our restrictions or the restrictions we believe others have. But it leaks out in places that deeply affect our happiness—in our work, in our home life, and with our children. If we believe that it’s not possible to improve, then in reality it won’t be possible to improve. It’s extremely difficult to accomplish something when you don’t believe it can be done in the first place. (Kwik:119). Maybe some people might have doubt in us like my mom has doubt in me, maybe she thinks I’m not smart enough or not good enough. But I think I can make it happen, as long as I can work hard on it, even though it feels heavy when someone you trust the most has doubt on you, but it doesn’t matter because Here’s the truth: It’s not how smart you are; it’s how you are smart. There are multiple types of intelligence. Like so many things, intelligence is a combination of attitudes and actions and is dependent on context. New belief: Intelligence is fluid (kwik: 120).

Lie no. 2: We Only use 10% of Our Brains

We’ve all heard this myth. Some of us heard it for the first time in a classroom, some of us heard it from a friend. Some of us heard it through the media—may be a documentary, a TV show, or a movie. This myth is usually used in the context of highlighting longed-for possibilities: If only we could access the rest of our brains, what could we accomplish? The story has been traced to a number of different sources, but as so often happens in the shaping of public opinion, it’s likely built on by successive events (kwik:121).

In the 2014 movie, Lucy claimed we use 10 per cent at any given time. In 2017, an episode of Black Mirror, a show known for its research and well-thought-through use of facts and statistics, touted the myth, saying, “even on a good day, we only use 40 per cent of our brain capacity.” All of these storylines were focused on the idea of unlocking our greatest, albeit hidden, potential. Needless to say, this myth is pervasive, and yet it’s not true. To sum up, this myth just isn’t true. In an interview with Scientific American, neurologist Barry Gordon from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore said that the idea is “so wrong it is almost

Laughable” (kwik:122).

Here’s the truth: What I want you to take from this is that you have all the power of your brain available to you now. The utopia that each of these movies and TV shows depicts is already possible for you. While we use all of our brains, some people use their brains better than others. Just as most people use 100 per cent of their body, there are some bodies that are faster, stronger, more flexible, and more energized than others. The key is to learn how to use your brain as efficiently and effectively as you possibly can— and by the end of this book, you’ll have the tools to do so. New belief: I am learning to use my whole brain in the best way possible. (kwik:123).

Lie no. 3: Mistakes are Failures

What pops up in your mind when I say the word “Einstein”, Yes! We all know this genius, his discoveries have made it possible for some of our most important modern-day technology. Later on in his career, Einstein made simple mathematical mistakes that appeared in some of his most important work. His numerous mistakes include seven major gaffes on each version of his theory of relativity, mistakes in clock synchronization related to his experiments, and many mistakes in the math and physics calculations used to determine the viscosity of liquids. Is Einstein considered a failure because of his mistakes? Hardly. Most importantly he didn’t let his mistakes stop him. He kept experimenting and making contributions to his field. He is famously quoted as having said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” What’s more, no one remembers him for his mistakes—we only remember him for his Contributions (kwik:124).

So, why do we fear mistakes so much? It could be ingrained—like school children, we were judged on our mistakes, and the number of them on any given test determined whether we passed or failed. If we were called on in class and said the wrong answer, most of us were usually too embarrassed to raise our hands again. Unfortunately, mistakes are not often used as a tool for learning; they are used as a way of measuring one’s capabilities. Make too many mistakes and you fail your test or your class. We need to change that. Too many of us don’t come close to our capacities because we are too afraid of making a mistake. Instead of looking at mistakes as proof of failure, take them as proof that you are trying (kwik:124)

Here’s the truth: Mistakes don’t mean failure. Mistakes are a sign that you are trying something new. You might think you have to be perfect, but life is not about comparing yourself to anyone else; it’s about measuring yourself compared to who you were yesterday. When you learn from your mistakes, they have the power to turn you into something better than you were before. Also, remember that you are not your mistakes. Making a mistake doesn’t mean anything about you as a person. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that you’re inherently worthless, but you make mistakes; mistakes don’t make you. Place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones to rise to the next level. It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we deal with them that defines us. New belief: There is no such thing as failure. Only failure to learn (kwik:125).

To be continued...


Hope you enjoy reading this blog and take an initiative to practice those thoughts! “Remember, Practice Makes Progress - Jim Kwik.” Also here is a gift for you if you want to become Limitless, that's free access to it.

Have a great Friyay lovely readers ;)


Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the blog post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the organisation, blog owner and/or management. The blog owner and management take no responsibility for the material's authenticity and/or accuracy.

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