The Learning Game

As we grow, we learn. The two usually go hand-in-hand. When you’re a child and you touch something hot, you remember that the object you touched burnt you. When you’re small and you do something wrong and you’re reprimanded, you learn that what you’ve done is wrong. And then there are plenty of things that you learn on your own about life, people, situations – when to say things, when not to say things – etc. You learn that saying mean things about your friends will always get back to them and watching as you hurt someones feelings is a terrible feeling in your core. At least for me it was, and if not for you, you’re pretty twisted.

But, you can’t teach a new dog old tricks, can you?

I’ve grown more in these past five years than I’ve grown in my whole life. Not to say that I wasn’t learning, but I definitely feel that the learning game kicked in for me and I began to realize a lot more of the potential of listening to the world around you. I feel, for some, that once they’ve become stuck in their ways of doing and knowing, they continue to act and maintain that relationship with themselves for the rest of their lives. Their adaptation process is beyond lacking – and they don’t see the world around them. A friend recently said that 95% of the time a single person is focused on themselves, and not on others. And of course there is no statistical data to back up that 95% besides the camaraderie of friendly conversations, but it got me thinking – and I definitely think there is a lot of truth behind that number. And I definitely think that our society has evolved into a very egocentric society that hinges on the betterment of the individual self without regard for the people in their lives and surroundings.

Then there are the people like me – the remaining 5% that function in a way that I function – in the giving realm. At least I’d like to think this about myself. Are there times that I am selfish? You’re damned right! Are there times that I will go way out of my way to help someone? Absolutely.  And now my learning game has begun. And I should specify, the learning game, while blanketed, is like a web. A learning web that once mastered and one skill set is closed, the web then branches off to different areas for the individual to master. I’ve hit a new part of my web – the giving part of my web. The part of the web that represents a lot of who I am – the person willing to do things for people to make things easier, because being busy is what I like. The part of the web that I need to learn that it’s absolutely okay to say “no” in a situation and not feel like I’ve got to take it all on by myself. It’s the area that I’m lacking the most confidence in, too. I don’t like telling people ‘no’. I don’t have the strength to stand up in certain situations and say ‘I’m really sorry, but I can’t do this for you’ and feel like the situation won’t topple over on itself like some scene from Inception. Instead, my response is that I just put it on my shoulders – like another cement rock into the already loaded down backpack – and happily keep marching.

But what happens when you’ve reached the maximum limit?

You break.

So here’s my new web in my learning game that I must master – the part of my web that says that it’s absolutely okay to not be the person to go out of their way in every possible scenario. And that I’m not a bad person if I say ‘no’ to people, or situations, or scenarios. There’s a big difference between a person who won’t take any BS (and we all know that person is me) and a person who will always do things to help her friends (also me).  Earlier I said that it’s like you’re in a relationship with yourself – and I absolutely feel this way. I am in a relationship with myself, and I want me to be awesome. Who doesn’t, right? Love the one you’re with! And love yourself, too – and want to push yourself to become a better person and change the habits about yourself that you don’t love and be the person that you love!

So this is my new learning game, and I’ve got a challenge to beat it. Think about your life – think about what you’re learning – because if you’re not learning anything every single day of your life, you may as well be dead.

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