NLP Accelerated Learning: Using your Imagination for Learning

Rintu BasuAccelerated LearningLeave a Comment

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This article is about using role models and how your imagination is more important than how you imagine your reality.

If that sentence sounds a little strange then some of this article is going to be a bit of a mind twist. So before we move on this is all about the frames we put on our perception and how that helps or hinders the way that we learn. If you want some amazing processes for learning to learn then feel free to:

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Second World War Hero

baderIf you don’t know who Douglas Bader is, then google him when you have a moment. He is a fascinating character. Here is a potted history. He was a pilot, but a few years before the Second World War he was in a flying accident and lost both his legs.

He retrained and got his wings back but was, against his wishes medically retired.

At the outbreak of the war, he managed to convince the Royal Air Force to take him back on as a fighter pilot. You will have to look up his exact stats but he distinguished himself well as a fighter pilot.

He was shot down over France in the early 40’s. Bader made so many escape attempts that on several occasions the Germans took away his artificial legs and eventually sent him to Colditz their prisoner of war camp for problem prisoners. He spent the rest of the war trying to escape from Colditz and making life as difficult as he could for the Germans.

His life is immortalised in the film and the book Reach for the Sky. Both are absolutely worth reading and as best as I can tell really catch the flavour of the man. Here is a picture of me meeting the man when I was sixteen or seventeen years old.

An Ideal Role Model?

Can you tell that I was not very happy?

Here is the thing. In an era where repeats on TV were thought a bad thing and video recorders had not yet become household object I had seen Reach for the Sky so many times I could repeat most of it word for word. This was, for me, the living embodiment of the greatest type of hero…and better still he was real.

I idolised Douglas Bader. But not the real Bader. I hadn’t realised that my only impressions of him came only from the fictionalised version of him from the film. He was invited to an award ceremony at my local Air Training Corps. I’ve forgotten what I was winning a prize for but I do remember being so excited about meeting the man that I didn’t sleep for days before the event.

So what went wrong?

The man I met wasn’t even close to my expectation. There is no need to go through how I saw the real Douglas Bader. Anyone with a reasonable mind is going to recognise that a romanticised character made for a film that has been through the perceptual filters of a young naïve inexperienced mind is a massive expectation for a real person to live up to.

The disappointment that I felt was absolutely crushing at the time. But looking back I am so glad that it happened. There is the obvious learning point about real and fictionalised people that I suppose we all learn while growing up. But there is a deeper significance to what I learned the day I met the real Douglas Bader that did not occur to me until years later.

Imagination is More Powerful than Reality

The reality is all our reality is just an imaginary construct in our heads. Knowing that means we can use this to really pull together some powerful models to change how we learn. In the next article we will discover how we can use an imaginary role model to dramatically increase our learning ability. In the meantime if you want to make sure you get updates on all of the articles and videos about learning to learn then:

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