The Momentum of Disruption

Feb 2, 2018

Amid heavy snow, chilly weather, rain, and sunshine, 2.6 million people in 32 countries took to the streets in support of the Women’s March. It came on the tail of 2017 when there were over 8,400 marches in the US alone. About three-quarters of those protests aimed at changing policies or issues.

Last year’s marches generated momentum that birthed a culture of change. The biggest march in US history was the 2017 Women’s March. It generated momentum for the MeToo movement, which urged millions of sexual harassment and assault survivors to speak up publicly. MeToo’s momentum kicked off the TimesUp campaign. In less than a month, TimesUp raised more than $16.7 million to pay the legal fees for victims of sexual harassment and assault. The TimesUp campaign became the most successful crowd-sourced fundraiser ever.

These movements shook things up in a way we hadn’t anticipated. For a while, it seemed we settled into what was the social-political norm. Regardless of which side of the opinion aisle you stood, as a society, we comfortably went on with our lives.

But 2017’s movements disrupted patterns of thinking and behavior for industry, society and culture while galvanizing a once silent group politically. But the reasons for these movements are not new. One could argue that this group could have spoken up en masse years ago.

So, why now?

Big change often happens when the disruption to the norm is too big to be ignored. It’s the same thing with our lives.

It’s the heart attack that gets us to the gym; it’s being the bridesmaid for the tenth time that makes us date; it’s losing our job that makes us re-evaluate career goals; it’s losing a family member to make you realize the value of life. When there’s enough emotion —be it the outrage, need or worry—we are more apt to consciously disrupt the norm of our internal thought patterns.

We at Productive Learning believe conscious disruption is powerful. When left alone you’re blinded to the breadth of beliefs governing you, especially when everything is going according to what we habitually expect. Unchecked, these beliefs shield you from fear but can leave you basking in mediocrity.

What if you shake things up for the sake of self-growth rather than waiting for life to shock you out of complacency? Consider it your #PersonalMovement. Look at your rituals. How dedicated are you to them…to your patterns of thinking? And which ones are you dedicated to…that need to be disrupted?

Suppose your conscious goal is to write a book. But unconsciously you fear what people think of you, your writing and what will they say if you can’t finish the book? What if every publisher rejects you? Or worse, what if you get published and poorly reviewed online?

These “what ifs” are coming from an unconscious pattern of thinking that protect us from pain, criticism, failure, rejection, fear… It controls the dreams we desperately want to achieve. It’s the reason why you believe you can’t write a book or lose weight or open a business or find a partner. But when we shake things up—when we become conscious disruptors of our habitual thinking patterns—we begin building a life of extraordinary living!

There may be great reasons you didn’t do it before. Maybe you didn’t know how you needed to understand yourself better and to mature. But, like the Women’s March, you have something you didn’t have before: a unique infrastructure.

One of the driving forces for modern day political movements is the onset of digital and social media. This is an infrastructure unique to the Information Age. The Women’s March, #MeToo, TimesUp and other movements used digital media for branding, spreading their message, creating action and disrupting our complacency.

Productive Learning is your unique infrastructure that creates the environment you need to move through your #ConsciousDisruptions. We guide you to examine what’s behind your reasons, your thought patterns, the stuff that consistently holds you back, without berating yourself. Through the support of the Productive Learning community, you will have a village to fall back on, a place to catch your breath and develop that thinking necessary to own your personal movement.

Disrupting your thought patterns will leave you uncomfortable but you will approach career, money, relationships, yourself with a renewed lens on today’s reality. We train you to shift your unconscious beliefs in a way that makes them supportive of your conscious goals.

In a piece published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers examined several studies revealing that the handling of thoughts can lead to an influence of emotion and that can lead to success with performance. Much of it entails disrupting thought patterns.

The question then is: why not now? The wide influence of 2017’s movements depended on the readiness of its followers to disrupt the norm and the right infrastructure that carried its message. Its supporters were ready for the change. You too have to be ready for disruption or your unconscious will reject it.

Whether our goals are protecting civil rights, growing the economy, finding a partner or working a fulfilling job, we don’t need for things to go wrong before we disrupt our complacency. In fact, conscious disruptors are some of the biggest innovators on the planet.

As 2018 rolls out, we at Productive Learning invite you to disturb the comforts of your life, disturb the safety, disturb your normal thinking. Step into the unknown and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Subscribing to Gandhi’s adage of, “be the change you want to see in the world” takes self-disruption, self-nudging, self-rocking out of the comfort zone and into conscious goal setting. With enough reckoning you can call ‘time’s up’ on living a mediocre life.