Looking More Closely at How and Why We Believe as We DoReply
Among the more interesting questions in the author's self-assessment for “Dimostrazione” or experiential learning are:
- Do I seek out new experiences every day, or pursue different perspectives and fresh insights?
- Have I changed a deeply-held belief due to practical experience?
- Would my closest friends say that I am willing to acknowledge my mistakes?
- Do I ever practice cynicism and call it independent thinking? — Now, that's an interesting one! …And unfortunately, I would have to admit, "Guilty, as charged!"
I. Examining Impactful Experiences:
This exercise involves reflecting on the most influential experiences of our lives, what we learned, how we apply them, how any conclusions we have drawn from them may color our attitudes or perceptions… and whether there are any that we might now reconsider?
II. The Sources of Our Beliefs:
Here, we are invited to write down beliefs we hold in at least three areas such as human nature, ethics, spirituality, or politics. We are asked what the source of those beliefs were: media, books, other people, or our own direct experience? Whether there are beliefs that we hold for which we have no experiential verification, or if there are any we might be able to test now through experience?
III. Three Points of View:
Just as Leonardo tried to look at everything he sought to understand or draw from three perspectives, this exercise asks us to take the statement of belief (above) that generated the strongest emotion and try to examine it from various other angles outlined by the author.
IV: Learning from Mistakes and Adversity:
Here, we are encouraged to reflect on what we learned about making mistakes in our childhoods, what we learned from our biggest mistakes, which mistakes we repeat, and the role that the fear of making mistakes may continue to play in our daily lives at work and at home.
In an especially useful twenty-minute stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, we are asked, “What would I do differently if I had no fear of making mistakes?”
V. Learn from Role Models and “Anti-Role” Models:
We can learn a tremendous amount from paying attention to others demonstrating what not to do. Also, some of our anti-role models may be our positive role models for us in other ways. This exercise invites us to look at what we have learned from our positive and less positive role models.
VI. Practice Internal Anti-commercial Martial Arts:
We are asked to consider the impact that some commercials may have had on our worldviews.
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