All I remember of seeing it in person for the first time was how awe-inspiring it was.
But Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor, first and foremost. So when Pope Julius requested his work as a painter, Michelangelo initially resisted.
And who among us doesn’t need to do that?
If Michelangelo could overcome his hesitancy to learn something new, so can I. So can you.
The most important thing I learned? How to change the way you talk to yourself.
Here are a few of Andersen’s examples, which align with her “ANEW” framework for learning.
While I’ve posted about these ideas before, the book came out this week, and I was able to delve deeper into specific tactics and actions.
Aspiration. Instead of “I don’t need to learn this,” say “What would my future look like if I did?”
Neutral self-awareness. Rather than “I’m already fine at this,” ask “Am I really? How do I compare with my peers?”
Endless curiosity. Move from “This is boring,” to “I wonder why others find it interesting?”
Willingness to be bad first. Shift from “I’m terrible at this” to “I’m making beginner mistakes but I’ll get better.”
As I read Andersen’s book in a single evening this week (it was hard to put down), I realized how the things I say to myself can either accelerate my learning or stop it in its tracks.
Her suggested questions are things we’d say to a beloved child, a best friend or a valued colleague. Why wouldn’t we encourage ourselves in the same way?
Because the stakes are high in our rapidly changing world. Learning how to learn throughout our lives is the most important thing each of us can do.
Michelangelo said it best in the quote Andersen selected to close her book:
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”