This is the final post in the OWL Series.
Your OWL – Benefits and Practical Applications
In the previous two Thursday posts we explored how you can learn about your OWL. If you caught those posts, you will remember the little introduction recalling a story a teacher once shared with me:
We each have an OWL sat on our shoulder that helps us throughout our lives. Your OWL represents your Optimum Way of Learning. Everyone’s OWL is different. We each need to learn about our own OWL so it can help us along the way.
This story really struck a chord with me and it is something I have kept close to my heart ever since. To me now, my OWL is much more than just an Optimum Way of Learning, it is my Optimum Way of Living. One unlocks the other.
We need to learn how we learn, so we can learn how to live.
We have explored the how, now let’s explore the why…
Goals and Choices
Once you develop an awareness of your personality traits and learning style, you can use the insight to define both goals that you want to strive towards and the way that you want to live your life on a day-to-day basis. You will understand better what you need and what you want.
Your personality traits at a given point in time, call it a checkpoint, are like a barometer for your vitality. Once you are aware of what is going on and start to learn the interconnected relationships that exist, you can start to make different choices to prioritise increasing your vitality effectively.
I specifically frame it as a checkpoint; because we are constantly evolving and growing. Ever changing like the waves on the ocean. Developing awareness is the first step on your journey.
Think of it this way; if you had to bake a cake from scratch without a recipe, it would take some pretty diligent trial and error to work out the right balance of ingredients, oven temperature and cooking time to produce a pretty good cake.
Making the optimal version of you is no different. You need to learn how to weigh the ingredients, adjust the oven temperature and tell the difference between an optimal cake and a suboptimal one. The process will involve sampling a lot of cake!
Living on Purpose
Understanding yourself and being able to measure how you feel by being aware of the behaviours you exhibit is the primary benefit of befriending your OWL, there are others though:
- When you know yourself, you will be able to predict how you will respond to certain situations. This foresight will enable you to develop better emotional control.
- When you know what is coming you can predetermine the choices you will make.
- The process of learning to better understand yourself will help you to better understand others. Understanding others is the key to empathy.
- When you know your predominant learning style, you will be able to select learning opportunities that better suit you.
- This means you will be able to put the same in effort but get more benefit out of learning.
- As mentioned in the Be the Change principle; once you become curious about something you will identify the choices that are available to you; this means you will accept responsibility for your decisions. Making the commitment to get to know and develop your OWL means that you are accepting responsibility for:
- Learning how to learn,
- Succeeding to learn effectively,
- Learning about your personality and behaviours,
- Identifying your own personality growth goals,
- Designing a day-to-day life that enables you to achieve your goals.
Your OWL is the first tool in the introspection toolkit. It will enable you to measure the effectiveness of the other tools. It is no more or less important than the other tools, it just happens to be the first string in your bow!
“A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”
Enjoy, for now.