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#8.2 The first three years (part 2)

The mind is like a parachute; In order for it to function properly is must first be open.

Kids have more fun because they have something to learn.

When you're a kid the possibilities are endless. Its that point in time when your mind isn't fully developed and is therefore unaware of its limitations. It's distracted, because its so enthralled in the moment of excitement that comes from something undiscovered.

As time wears on and you get old, smarter and a shift takes place. You then begin to form habits, patterns of behavior or put in place systems to get you through the routine of life you've created.

Your world gets smaller and smaller, and a bubble forms around you. Slowly over time the bubble shrinks making your world smaller and smaller until you can no longer leave the bubble as you are stuck in it, it has become your world now and leaving the safety of your bubble becomes a daunting prospect.

Change becomes too difficult and the routine way in which you live your life becomes the only constant, killing the child in you that once used to dream of the infinite possibilities the world could offer you.

Everyone can remember a time when they were young when they got excited about something new. Whether it be your first bike or a trip to Dreamworld it doesn't matter, they all have a fond place in our memories. Those times were exciting because they were new, something you’d never tried before and therefore its possibilities were endless.

One of my, somewhat silly, examples of my youth was when I got a cricket ball, put it in a sock, attached it to a string and tied it to a tree in our backyard. I would then proceed to hit the ball on a string with my cricket bat pretending to be a cricketer. I enjoyed this rather solitary activity so much that I’d literally spend hours a day hitting the ball, dreaming of the day I would get to play for Australia.

I don’t think I could spend five minutes doing the same today, and that I feel, is a sad thing. The dreamer in me would seem to be lost.

I’m not sure when the need of wanting to learn drifted away or if it morphed into something else as I grew older, but I wasn’t as excited by new things as I was back when I was a kid. Perhaps it happened in school, a place where you’re not given choice in what you learn and are consequently force-fed what others decide is important, thus resulting in inadvertent withdrawal from it. Or, perhaps, it comes when the dreamer in you is quashed in favour of calculus and stringent testing regimes of your ability to recall seemingly irrelevant facts.

Or perhaps too the monotony of life wears you down, inevitably beating it out of you slowly.

People, as adults, generally find themselves in a job or industry, becoming experts as time passes, perhaps. Over a period of time in their chosen specialty people turn to them for advice. So, as an authority, they feel they no longer need to learn as they have become experts, elders or knowledgeable. They know enough to do what they have to do in the life they’ve settled into. This is where you stop learning as a child would, become pigeon-holed into a specialty and parts of the brain begin to shut down as they are no longer required. You end up doing the same thing, day in, day out until your time runs out.

Scientists have found that the brain, in effect, is a muscle just like others in the body. And like any healthy muscle it has to be exercised in order to function to its potential … I think at some point I was arrogant enough to think I knew everything I needed to know and parts of my brain began to shut down as a result, blinding me from its potential brilliance.

Sitting here today I think I’ve gone completely the other way and have to remind myself everyday to keep seeking, to keep learning and to always ask questions. After all the things that I’ve learnt in the past eight years since the crash though, I can honestly say, despite everything I’ve crammed into my head, that I know nothing.

Thankfully the crash instilled in me a thirst for knowledge, an awakening of sorts. For some unknown reason I wanted to learn and it made me as excited as if I were a child once again.

When you’re always knowing your never curious. When you’re not curious you can’t learn, you can’t change … all you can be is the knowing that you have.

The importance of what others say.

An important function for anyone looking to succeed is to remember that which you have to do, whether that be as a father remembering to take the kids to soccer practice or as a businessman to finish his report on time, we all have things to do and rely on a memory to assist us in executing whichever task we have.

But the memory is not a perfect machine, it forgets things, so one must resort to alternative measures to remember.

In my case this morphed into quotes on the wall … a visual reminder of inspiration that I wanted, needed, to move forward in my life.

If you had of seen my room on the sunny coast at the time (or even now) you’d know that it was dotted with numerous post it notes, paper, pages of quotes … whatever. I covered my private space with what I deemed as inspiration for life.

I developed a thirst for what other people thought of life, of inspiration and was using them as a guide to drive my life in similar fashion. Nobody can walk the path of life without getting some help along the way and I embraced this practice as a way to remember, to feel that emotion I felt when I first read that quote and not forget what it made me want to do.

I learnt how to listen.

Do not underestimate the power of words, they carry more ability to convey thought and more ability to inflect change than you could ever imagine. Learn to listen, for without the ability to listen we lose the ability to learn.

Recognising the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily. -Bruce Lee-

... continues on to part 3.
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