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Here’s how a hardheaded rationalist might go about adapting a rigid lifestyle into a more flexible (and possibly more creative) one: Rationalists, wearing square hats, Think, in square rooms, cooking at the floor, Looking at the ceiling. They confine themselves To right-angle triangles. F they tried rhomboids, 127 Cones, waving lines, ellipses? As for example, the ellipse of the half moon? Rationalists would wear sombreros.

?Wallace Stevens (1916) Courage to Grow and Change You can view growth and change with apprehension, or you can choose to face e both courageously.Annie Dullard (1999) describes the remarkable courage of a person in a tribal mount main village in New Guiana where no contacts with the modern world had been made. It happened in the 1 9305 when a British officer had flown his small plane into the tribal territory, landing above three thousand ND feet on a hacked-open space.

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When the officer was preparing to take Off, one villager cut vines and it De himself to a wing of the plane, explaining that “no matter what happened to him, he had to see where it came from. Less dramatically, Douglas McGregor (1960) research in organizational management documented the significant relationship between titivation and change. He found that workers, when treated consistently, will accept basic behavioral assumptions and continue to be defined by them?rather than seeking change?in order to have a stable, predictable environment.

In other words, if change is to be meaningful, it must be sought intentionally; it must be owned. It requires courage.When change is openly engaged, growth Having the courage to adapt and change is half the inevitably results?allowing boundaries to be broken battle and a new sense of freedom to be experienced. Consider the fish when an experimental glass barrier that divided their tank is moved: They are free to move beyond accustomed boundaries to explore areas they could formerly o only see but not experience. Consider the butterfly breaking free from its confining cocoon. Consider the potential for learning that lies in untapped areas in the human b rain.Learning invites you to be courageous, to tap into these resources, to explore beyond comfort able boundaries. Such exploration can be spontaneous?and often is?because learning opportunity sees present themselves unexpectedly.

But it’s also necessary to examine what motivates you to learn and analyze ways to develop our motivational resources fully. That’s where reflection is useful. Reflection allows you to clarify not only what you’ve learned but also what motivated you to begin a particular learning g process. Reflection enables you to burrow into the source of your intentions.

When you understand what motivates you to seek change and growth, you can begin to develop a planned approach. WHY ARE REFLECTION AND PLANNING IMPORTANT? Perhaps you remember this bizarre conversation in Lewis Carol’s satirical SST ROR Alice in Wonderland (1 865): 128 “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought go from here? ” asked Alice. That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “l don’t much care where?” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “?so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat. This is a pretty wise cat! It communicates Lewis Carol’s view that just getting “somewhere” isn’t enough; it is so much better to have a clear idea of where you want (intend) to go. There fore, because learning is often the vehicle that gets you from one point to another in your life journey, I it’s wise to take a reflective look at your life journey from time to time.

Many psychologists have identified the importance of this introspective activity y in their research, lending credibility to the process.Simply by viewing your life chi ornithological a ND identifying significant learning experiences in each stage, you can gain important insights about Chaw Eng and personal growth that has occurred and what you need to know to remain in charge of your life. The SE insights can give you confidence as you think about the learning challenge associated with your nee Ext life-stage goal. Similarly, these insights can alert you to potential pitfall to avoid and weaknesses to be overcome as you try to maintain balance in your life “A good map frees you from hugging the shore. ?Anonymous LIFE STAGES Learning as Linear All of us tend to think of life stages in a linear way: with infancy, childhood, ad eloquence, and adulthood arranged into a chronological structure. Through research in the last half of the e twentieth century, Erik Erickson (1950) developed perhaps the best-known psychosocial study of life’ s sequential stages. He identified eight distinct stages, each shaped by a different conflict (crisis) that requires a solution before the next stage can be fully encountered. Each crisis brings a person’s inner instinct TTS into conflict with external social demands.

Learning, resulting in personality development, is required of r the crisis at each stage to be resolved. 129 Figure 5. 1 Erickson stages of psychological development Stage Basic Conflict Important Events Outcome Infancy (birth to 18 months) Trust vs.. Mistrust Feeding Children develop a sense of trust when caregivers provide reliability, care, and affection.

A lack of this will lead to mistrust. Early Childhood (2 to 3 years) Autonomy vs.. Shame and Doubt Toilet Training Children need to develop a sense of personal control ever physical skills and a sense of independence.Success leads to feelings of autonomy, failure results in feelings of shame and doubt. Preschool (3 to Initiative vs.. 5 years) Guilt Exploration Children need to begin asserting control and power over the environment.

Success in this stage leads to a sense of purpose. Children who try to exert too much power experience disapproval, resulting in a sense of guilt. School Age (6 to 1 1 years) Industry vs.. Inferiority School Children need to cope with new social and academic demands.

Success leads to a sense of competence, while failure results in feelings of inferiority.Adolescence (12 to 18 years Identity vs.. Role Social Confusion Relationships Teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of self. Young Adulthood (19 to 40 years) Intimacy vs.. Isolation Young adults need to form intimate, loving relationships with other people.

Success leads to strong relationships, while failure results in loneliness and isolation. Middle Adulthood (40 to 65 years) *Generatively vs..Stagnation Work and Parenthood Adults need to create or nurture things that will outlast hem, often by having children or creating a positive change that benefits other people. Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world. Maturity (65 to Ego Integrity vs..

Reflection on Life death) Despair Older adults need to look back on life and feel a sense of fulfillment. Success at this stage leads to feelings of wisdom, while failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair.What Do You Think? Where do you place yourself in Erickson structure? At which stage? Do Erickson descriptions of your current stage match concerns that you AR experiencing? 130 Learning as Cyclical Sometimes cyclical learning is referred to as a “seasonal” pattern. Ifs a patter n that emphasizes the contain al nature of the learning process, a process that has identifiable phase s (Figure 5. 2), each contributing uniquely to the outcome, just as the calendar year is made com let by the individual contributions of each season.Figure 5.

2 Phase one and phase two of the learning process When learning is seen as a cyclical pattern, it can be understood as a renewing g and transformation process. These are two of the greatest contributions that learning can make I most Stages of Our lives. Just as our lives are renewed by the recurring seasons in nature, they are constant lye being renewed by cycles (seasons) of learning. As we move through a particular cycle of learning and a achieve our goal, we feel renewed and ready to continue.Interestingly, should we fail to achieve our go al at the end off particular experiential cycle, most often it is the opportunity to “learn again” that renews us, challenging us to keep on trying, inviting us (from within ourselves) to still go for it and gain the satisfy action we seek.

Figure 5. 3 illustrates the process. Figure 5. 3 Transformational Change When you face a significant issue in your life, such as considering a totally nee w career or adopting a value system required by a new relationship, you are entering a learning cycle with complex challenges.Although the learning resulting from a significant experience of this kind may be renews Eng, its outcome is likely to be 131 more far-reaching than that. Because of the depth of its outcomes, this type o f learning experience is called transformational. It produces a new level of meaning in your life. Inevitably, the transformational learning cycle moves through the stages of re confining a significant robber, confronting it intensely, finding a solution, and integrating a new pee respective and a new set of assumptions into your life pattern.

This process requires a great deal of reflect Zion and is often painful and stressful.Transformation, though desirable, rarely comes easily. It separates Ii fee into distinct “before” and “after” realities. Some years ago, Jack Muzzier (1991 ) conducted research on adults engaged I n transformational change and Identified seven phases typically occurring in the challenging Lear Experiencing a disorienting dilemma Eng process: Self-examination Critical assessment of assumptions Recognizing that others have gone through a similar process Exploring a process Formulating a plan of action Reintegration Have you experienced transformational learning? Which of the phases identified by Muzzier do you consider most difficult? M cost Painful? Do you expect completion Of your university degree to be a transformation I learning experience? CONSIDERING CORE VALUES Since Plat’s time, at least, individuals have been conscious of the importance of personal values. In his teachings, Plato observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living. ” Today , we define a personal value s a quality or principle that a person inwardly considers desirable and meanly engulf.

Values are developed through life experiences and often become clearly identified in crisis situation s where they have to be “owned” or acted upon. When you are not facing a crisis, its important to find occasions to reflect on your values and list the particular personal attributes that identify who you are and describe your priorities. From this list, you can develop a set of core (or primary) personal values. Begin identifying your core values by analyzing what you “inwardly consider d ascribable and meaningful” in the areas of your life:

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