Learning is Hard!

December 21, 2017

A few thoughts on the process of learning something new. Pondering the difficulites and subtelties involved in the act of learing that we all experiance on a regular basis.

Learning is HARD!  There is no simple short cut away around it.  It can become easier with a great teacher, but never the less, the actually connecting of those circuits in your brain is tough work.  Muscle memory, memorizing new information, learning a new skill, or even just upgrading an old one.  It’s all tough.

As an aside before getting into it,  I’m going to try get through this whole video without saying “you gotta” because no one wants to hear that.  This is not advice for what you should do, just some observations about what (we all) already do.

As you can see I am wearing glasses, but what you cant’ see is that I just spent the last hour and a half of my life with the wonderful people at Infinity Eye Care repeatedly jamming my own finer into my eye.

I tried this morning to put in and take out contact lenses, and it was a fail…. well at least a “not success yet” experience.  I have never willingly poked my own eye, and learning how to do just that: Thus far has been incredibly: Demanding, Exhausting, frustrating, and just plain difficult.

As I was attempting to suction a foreign object into one of a limited number of wholes in my body (which I generally do my absolute best to guard and protect) I was thinking more than the normal person about the process of learning a new thing.

Learning anything, how to read, how to play the guitar, how to stitch up a gunshot wound, is difficult.  Most of us are not naturally good at all things on the fist try.  Period, were just not.  Most of us have a bit of a learning curve on most things.

So, refections upon the exercise of learning while poking my self repeatedly:

A1: its hard.  Its hard for all of us, know that.  Internalize that, normalize that for yourself, and be patient with others as they are learning around you.

B2: Learning is seldom Fun!  That A HA moment when it clicks can be rewarding, but the LOOONG amount of work it takes to achieve that light bulb is not “pleasant”

My old wrestling coach use to tell us to embrace and enjoy the the “thrill of the drill” Because that thing we are attempting to learn takes (not exaggerating) hundreds of repetitions to finally get it without any effort.

C3: Learning takes incredible endurance.  It boggles my mind that humans have been able to learn anything at all EVER.  You gotta.. No!  …We all need to keep coming back to our challenge hour after hour, and day after day, and even year after year.

AND when we are in the middle of said learning, It is important that we press on during that training session as long as possible.  Instead of punching out after just 10 minutes of trying.

Contacts won’t be easy/ a mindless part of my morning routine for a while.

But I sincerely look forward to the day when it is!  And Lastly: Staying positive is HUGE.  It is so easy to fail (repeatedly) then get down on yourself.  Keep at it.  It seems like it’s just as much work to keep a positive attitude in the process as it is to simply do thing thing.  It took more work for me to stay positive than it did working the contact.  I hope I see you again soon, and I hope when we meet, I am not wearing these glasses.

peace.

Jake Tracy is a counselor, and young life leader living in the fine town of Petoskey, Michigan. Looking to make the world a better place, one teenager at a time.

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