Thoughts on Having an Open Mind

“Oh, I don’t need to learn this. It doesn’t fit into my game plan.” or “I already know this, I don’t need to practice it.” are examples of what got me thinking about this next topic: Being Open-Minded. 

I think I’ve been very fortunate to have had teachers, friends and peers who have modeled open minded behavior throughout my learning. I think it is also because I have been surrounded by this positive behavior that it comes as a shock to me when I see people uttering statements such as the above.

It takes humility for a person to admit they don’t know something; many of us don’t want to risk looking stupid in the face of our colleagues, partners or friends whose opinions we value. Above humility, it also takes a lot of effort for us to be open-minded. In the gym, the work place or even in the company of friends, being open minded is an invaluable attribute. Continue reading

Siyathakatha by Dominowe is blowing my mind.

Firstly, I’d like to say that I’m in no way a musical aficionado, but I do know how music makes me feel. I’m a big fan of listening to an album from start to finish (and I actually rank my favorite musicians in relation to my favorite albums of theirs, not just single songs.); following a building motif or story  threaded together by the artists’ performance across an entire album. Siyathaktha does this for me in a big way. I stumbled across Dominowe’s debut album earlier this year and it’s become a go-to for helping me to  channel a state of flow. These are some of my thoughts on the album as a whole.

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Dominowe’s solo debut album Siyathakatha looms heavy with a sound that is distinctly South African and powerful in it’s measure and pace.

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Listening: Your greatest tool for learning

 

This week I have been thinking a lot about how we learn. Often we leave school or formal education thinking that we already know everything we will need to get by. The reality of things is so far from this. My greatest experiences of learning have mainly occurred in the years since I left formal education.

More specifically, most of my learning experiences have involved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; through that lens I have learnt more about myself, others and the nature of the world. I am mainly a kinesthetic learner: meaning I learn in a tactile way, by doing and physically working on something rather than listening. I can work out details, understand techniques and grasp concepts far quicker by doing them or have them done to me. I have tried to extend my ability to learn in other ways, as it is sometimes not enough just to rely on the one dimension of learning to carry me through (especially if mastery of the art is the goal). I have focused on developing my ability to Listen. Continue reading