“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all
our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place
for the first time.” T.S. Eliot
The journeys we create help
people to see the place they left with completely different eyes when they
return, opening up new possibilities.
There is solid research giving evidence
on why it’s important to be able to completely switch off from the typical
‘always on’ lifestyle so many experience these days. This lifestyle is
affecting our ability to learn, and ultimately our ability to perform.
Researchers at the University of California have found evidence that if the
brain is constantly stimulated, it prevents us from going over experiences and
turning them into permanent, long-term memories.
In addition, a study at the
University of Michigan has shown that people learn better after going for a
walk in nature than if they go for a walk in an urban environment. It seems
that processing the barrage of information experienced in most towns and cities
leaves people fatigued. Being contactable by mobile phone, text messages, email
and having such quick access to information via the web is affecting our performance.
If you’re reaching for the Blackberry first thing in the morning, checking
email just before bed, running from meeting to meeting during the day whilst
picking up voicemails and texts, and catching up with email whenever you can,
it’s likely this is affecting your ability to perform. And surprisingly, if you
multi-task while exercising (for example listen to music or podcasts),
scientists now think you may be taxing your brain too.
Lastly (and this is particularly important),
journeys in inspirational settings naturally create strong associations that
are linked with the learning. You’ve probably experienced this yourself: think
back to a time when you were in a place that inspires you. You can most likely
remember what you were doing, what the weather was like, if you were with other
people, and so on. The place becomes an anchor for the learning, and you only
have to think of the place for the learning to come flooding back. Truly
‘sticky’ learning is a central theme to what we do at Leading Beyond, and
helps make it easy and enjoyable to apply the learning as it’s taken back to
the workplace (and life in general!)