We’re all guilty of dabbling at something rather than playing full out, there are times when we get wholly involved and others when we’re sitting on the bench or watching from a distance. Without full commitment going through the motions is an easy reality – how can you up your game, how often do you get totally immersed?
The average class length is 45 minutes in duration, be that at school or in a gym. Then you either have a break and move onto the next one or stop and take a shower. All completed in less than an hour. Now consider this when you are trying as an adult to learn something new or improve on a particular skill. For example, learning a new language or yoga, doing one class a week for 12 weeks (3 months). Of course there will be those two or three occasions where it’s just not possible to get there, which is life, it happens, meaning that after 3 months you will have done approximately 10 lots of 45 mins of French or yoga = 7.5 hours of learning.
During this period you will have learned some foundation skills and may have even tried some bits at home when it’s been on your mind and then you get caught up in the normal world again and everything goes out of the window. The reinforced element here is the weekly class, it keeps you focused and taking on new techniques and skills, without that it could be months between inputs and the original learning may be lost.
When we learned to walk or drive a car we did it as often as possible all of the time, with almost a singular focus and the progress once we mastered the basics was rapid and fit to last a lifetime. I appreciate that walking and driving are life skills that could be said to be more important than learning new skills as highlighted – the real question that it all comes down to is how much do you want or need something, what is the purpose of the learning?
Consider these stages of commitment to change:
Adhoc or dabbling at something
Every now and again you have a go, playing golf once a year when the invite comes through but that’s it, no willingness to improve or do things differently to change the standard of play, in fact you don’t really enjoy it that much so you’re happy where you are.
You enjoy an activity or event but it’s just something you do now and again, if you make a wooden stool every year in your shed that will be more than enough, to help the process you might even buy a couple of books or watch some YouTube clips. It’s never going to be a profession or something really important to you, just a part time hobby for you personally.
This is something you enjoy and would like to improve at and have a combination of fun and or success as a result of the action, be that a holiday in France where you can speak with the locals or complete a headstand in the lotus position without passing out. It means something to you and you want to get better at it, not to the point of it taking over your life but enough to get you out of bed at the weekends to do it regularly and develop.
Retreat or Total Immersion
Go and live in the country to learn the language, go on a retreat where 12 workshops of twice the length of a standard class are taking place throughout the retreat. Here your learning, comprehension and take away development fast tracks beyond all other methods available. There can be a real transformation in a relatively short amount of time that can surprise both you and your peers.
The thing about total immersion is the level of commitment to the process, the learning and the impact that it will have on you. It creates an effect of institutionalisation where the change is not tentative, it’s committed to and becomes a new standard operating procedure, a new approach, a new norm. Of course, total immersion if completed in a relatively short period of time still needs ongoing reinforcement, there is no magic pill and revisiting the learning, having accountability partners and further goals will keep you on the course.
Time for the honesty part which only you can answer here. What are you saying you are committed to but are really only playing at as if it were a hobby? Now contrast this with what you could really do with some form of total immersion that would have a massive, positive and financially huge impact on you and your life. Real commitment creates real change, it’s time to create the space in your diary so you can take on some total immersion development! The control is in your hands!