Habits. Thoughts. Ideas. Perception. Subconsciously, we “know” things. A set of rules, a culturally accepted behavior, a way of doing things. We’ve learned them all from someone along the way.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday that was speaking to how we define financial security, how we identify with the term “work”, being paid, and putting in the time. It was one of those “aha” moments where I was smacked with something that was so obvious – that my perspective about work, how it is done, what it means at the very core is so deeply rooted in what I saw growing up in my parents’ careers. Work meant constantly being available, it meant doing work that wasn’t always recognized but you showed up regardless and did your damn best even when no one was looking. You had a personal standard that you set and that was the bar. Financials revolved around the paycheck hitting on the same day each week; work was tied to a time clock, a schedule, a boss to dictate what you did during your days – or, you just did your work even without having someone dictate what you did on a daily basis because you knew your job inside and out.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above, but holy shit, that describes me, my work ethic, and my career now to a damn T. And it triggered me to start thinking about other areas in my life that I carry preconditioned notions, without thinking much about them.
We have so many preconceived impressions, ideas and subconscious beliefs about the way things need to be. Not just tied to work and careers, but money, family, raising children.
I’m going to work on unlearning a few things this year. I’m going to start asking why. I want the fundamental reasons of why I am doing what I am doing speak to my reasons, not a predefined subconscious reason, especially in the areas that matter.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m unlearning my drinking habits. I’m also working on unlearning what I believe our evening schedules need to look like, my physical fitness identity as I have previously defined it, and generally just deconstructing the things I do out of rote habit that aren’t serving me any real purpose.
What areas of your life could you benefit from unlearning in?