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How do we learn something new?

It's stepping into a shop and listening and trying and opening your ... nostrils.

Travel not only opens your wallet, it opens your mind.

I really just liked the colorful dried flowers in the bin out front. The next thing I knew, the shop owner was brewing some witch’s concoction and having us fall back from the power of smelling salts.

How are we introduced to what's new? How do we learn?

Potions and lotions and … opening up those nasal passages. Whoa is that stuff legal!?

I’ve been a little stuffed up the past few days so when the shop owner had me take a whiff of his white crystals in a jar, I jumped back from the power of the aroma. It even made my eyes water.

He said it was eucalyptus where we said it was like Vicks Vapo Rub. He knew Vicks, of course, and said that this was the natural ingredient buried in Vicks.

“They use a pound of cumin here to cure your headache whereas back home all we do is pop a few paracetomol and we’re set.” — overheard from British tourist while waiting in line at the Mejellan Gardens in Marrakech

He then sparked up the Bunsen burner and added some water and a broken-fingernail sized sliver of the white crystal rock and when it came to a boil, he didn’t need to get it within an arm’s length and my throat opened and I felt it rush down through my lungs. Whoa.

Dear Reader, I’m not here to spark a debate about the battle between natural remedies and western medicine. I’m more interested in firing up a debate about how we learn, how we become open to new things, how we allow in new knowledge.

We know what we know and that’s it — fixed mindset.

We know what we know and we can grow it — growth mindset.

Is it possible to move from the Fixed to the Growth Mindset? You’re pretty sure that you’re a closed case, a full canister of knowledge that can’t fit anything else in. Could it be that there’s more? Could it be that you might change your mind or opinion or perspective?

What about the other way around? Happily plodding along learning and growing and at some point maybe just stop, put on the lid and say enough! Maybe you want to keep it as is and just not bother learning anymore or maybe you like what you know and you and want to keep up the status quo.

It’s probably back to Simple, But Not Easy. To open your mind or close your mind. It’s up to you and a conscious decision. You can make it happen either way.

Whether it’s the natural remedy man in the side alley of Marrakesh, Morocco, a new online course looking at marketing in a different way or listening to your friend’s political perspective even though you know you won’t be moved. Is it just listening? Not talking, but hearing? Maybe unlocking the closed lid and prying it a little bit, it might be rusty and allowing it to be open?

It’s as hard or as easy as you’d like to make it. It’s up to you which way you’d like to take it. Where are you and where do you want to go?

P.S. Later on, we put an even tinier sliver into a cup of tea and drank it and it warmed our insides and probably took a layer of paint (or something else toxic) from our intestines.

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