🤯Unknown Unknowns #54 - Learner's Mind
3 min read

🤯Unknown Unknowns #54 - Learner's Mind

My friend Laila was inspired by my photos of galaktoboureko and made this fantastic video.

I watched Top Gun: Maverick and was blown away.  I had pretty high expectations and it easily exceeded them.  I'm now going to ruin it (no spoilers) and make a lesson out of this great movie.  

A learner's mind is approaching a subject from naivete, not making any assumptions and not judging or criticizing.  Just taking the information that's coming in and applying it.  Each character in the movie struggles with their own preconceived notions.  They fail when they're judgmental and succeed when they have an open mind.



While the whole essay is interesting, the part that grabs me is when she talks about bodypainting.  When she first got into bodypainting, the whole process was illegible.  She's now in the top tier, but the champion's process is illegible to her.  He is a "magician".

10x improvement requires different thought process, being a magician requires thinking out of the box.  Seeing other people do this (even in unrelated fields) may help you accomplish this.

The way to extraordinary growth and changes often involves a fundamental ontological or ‘lens’ shift in how you see the world. Magicians are wearing not just better, but fundamentally differently shaped lenses to the rest of us. And regardless of your skills and experience, it is likely that you are a magician to someone else. (emphasis me)
You can’t keep your gaze tightly fixed on the outcome you want because it will lock your mind onto the strategies you currently have for meeting them, which by definition probably don’t work (otherwise you would have succeeded already and you wouldn’t need to use the strategy).

=> Article Here


Derek Sivers argues against the idea that you can't travel with young children.  What's really interesting is that he goes beyond this.  It's not only possible, but it makes the experience better for him.  Traveling with his son puts him in a learner's mind.

Before him, I was often in a hurry, trying to get somewhere else. Babies help you stop and pay attention. When you travel, this is what you need. Less rushing to a destination. More stopping to appreciate everything in between.
Instead of categorizing something — like “tree” — and overlooking it, you can experience it through their eyes to see the wonderful complexity of what’s actually there. No names. No labels.

=> Article Here


I want to share another video from Laila.  There's two points that I really like from this video.

The first is that she used a learner's mind to approach retirement.  Too often, we don't know why we're attempting a goal, so the success criteria changes as we approach the finish line.  The attempt to reach the goal becomes the reason.  We become married to the attempt.

By having a learners mind, you can see why you're doing something, and understand when it's no longer necessary to continue doing it.

1. Saving
2. Reducing her burn rate
3. Finding work that feels like play

Laila figured out that she didn't need to continue to work.  It allowed her to step out of the "worker" identity.

A learner's mind allows you to operate without preconceived notions.  What do you want to do?  What would it take for that to happen?

The second point is when Laila quotes Naval Ravikant in the video.  He says retirement is "when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow.  When today is complete in and of itself, you're retired."
It brings to mind a quote attributed to Confucius, "A man has two lives, the second begins when he realizes he only has one."

To me, that moment is the same.  Your life is to live as completely as possible, every day.  When you realize this, it's as if your entire life to that point has been a prologue.

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

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Leaving you in peace,