Reflections from a learning journal – a light hearted look back to 2008


Back in 2008 when undertaking my second undergraduate systems thinking in practice course we were encouraged to start a learning journal. Back then, I had no idea how powerful it would be. I begrudgingly completed it, moaning and groaning all the way, I might add. I thought it would never be of any use. I recently re-read my first entries from 22/01/2008. I had just had a period in hospital, did not have my own home and was very much down on my luck. If you are interested, here are some of my very first entries into that journal, at the start of my systems thinking journey:

My purpose for doing courses in systems thinking in practice:

  • To develop the necessary skills to really make a difference;
  • I don’t believe in “plodding” and falling into patterns of behaviour that have always been;
  • I like to explore more possibilities, move outside of norms and strive for something better;
  • I want to develop further understanding. This is not about just pleasing my work superiors, but striving for the best for all stakeholders

My expectations:

  • I expect that I will enjoy getting totally engrossed in the work and the associated project and that my learning will be immense.

Benefits I expect:

  • I am hoping it will propel me into a more interesting and demanding job that allows me to work with a number of different and interesting stakeholders

What appeals to me:

  • I don’t like being forced into thinking that there is only one viewpoint. Being able to show how all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle come together is very appealing;
  • Being able to bring together all of those perspectives and represent them in a structured overall view of the situation

My emotional state as I approach the course:

  • Very excited about it but apprehensive due to the turmoil in my personal life;
  • I’m not comfortable in my current work space as I am cramped and don’t have a home or any space of my own. I am doing a lot of my work from a cheap hotel room. I hope this situation improves very soon.

My ability to succeed:

  • Good, if I can get access to a good project to do;
  • I don’t just want to do the course – I want to use the learn the skills and use them to the best of my ability;
  • I want a distinction and will be aiming for this. 

    A message from today, in June 2017 – yes, the course fulfilled its purpose and met my expectations. I believe I got the benefits I expected. Moral of the story…….to all systems practitioners – no matter what situation you are in, keep going, it’s worth it………..oh, and journaling is very powerful!



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