What is Non-Linear Learning: The More Natural Way To Learn?
To truly understand non-linear learning we first have to talk a little bit about linear learning.
For the most part we are all familiar with linear learning. It is the kind of learning we have done in school, where you study something, you learn it, and then you apply it. And this is a very effective way to learn a lot of things. For example, medicine. If I was looking for a doctor, or a surgeon, I would definitely want someone who has studied, learned , and then applied their education. I would certainly NOT be looking for a surgeon who was looking to have a breakthrough (at least not during my surgery!)
So, there are many areas of life where linear learning works well and is the preferred method of learning. However, it is not the most effective way to learn everything. For instance, how do I stay in passionate love with my spouse after 20 years; or how come, no matter what company I work for or which manager I work with I still find myself at the same plateau, or the same income level; Or maybe it is about your health — you start out well intended, but something happens and you cannot quite see what it is, you lose weight and then put it back on; Or maybe it about your relationships, you are dating and no matter how many different people you go out with you find yourself in the same basic situation.
If any of that sounds familiar, then you have also probably tried some linear learning to attempt to change it. You have read books, followed all the right rules, or tried to dominate yourself into submission. Yet, you still cannot really get out of the rut you are in.
Areas of Life Where Non-Linear Learning Is More Effective
These are areas of life where non-linear learning would be more effective. These are areas of life where you cannot really see what is shaping the results you are getting. You know there is something there, but you cannot quite see it. It is like trying to see the back of your own eyes, we all have blind spots in some areas of our life.
What Is Non-Linear Learning?
So what is non-linear learning? Non-linear learning is when an all of a sudden phenomenon occurs. Some would call it an aha moment, or a light bulb goes off…a sudden shift in perspective that allows you to take new actions and opens up new points of view for you.
We have all learned this way, learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to play an instrument, or learning to type, learning to swim. These are all learning in a non-linear way. The best example I have found is learning to ride a bike, mostly because for the most part we are all old enough to remember it.
When you learn to ride a bike, you get on the bike and you pedal and then you fall. You do it again, pedal and fall, pedal and fall, pedal and fall. And then at some point, you pedal and pedal and then you pedal and pedal and pedal and you are riding the bike! Right there, there is a moment when you go from trying to ride a bike to being a bike rider! It is just a moment when everything shifts.
There Are a Few Important Things to Note About Non-Linear Learning.
First, it never goes away. Once you learn something in a non linear way it is yours forever… literally. You might not ride a bike for 25 years, but if you got it out of the garage and dusted it off, you would be able to ride it. And you know that! Same with learning to swim. Once you know how to swim, you might not swim for years, but you don’t wonder if you still can… you absolutely know you know how to swim.
#2. No one can explain it to you. You could read books by Lance Armstrong about riding a bike, but it would not get you any closer to being a bike rider. Non- linear learning is something you have to do for yourself.
#3. It is natural. We have all done it and it is not even hard.
However, for the most part we don’t know how to focus that kind of learning on areas of life that are important to us.
Why Masterminds Don’t Work
Masterminds can be great for general support, and can put a structure together that has some accountability. What they don’t tend to provide is anything beyond what you can already see. Having a group of people who recognize when you are bullshitting yourself or doing more of the same, instead of causing a breakthrough you need and want. A mastermind is a tool for rapid growth, but will not necessarily provide that breakthrough from a plateau, or have you become the leader you envision yourself to be — a coach with deep roots in non-linear education is essential to that kind of growth.
For more reading on Causing Breakthroughs read: Dealing With Frustration and Despair
I started my first Creative Business when I was a single mom with four tiny children. That was 25 years ago and I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to give back. I am so grateful for all the support did get while I was getting started, but more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance. I want you to know that I get how hard, confusing, and challenging it can be to be alone and have real questions with no one to ask.
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