Learning well hurts

It should hurt.

The pain of synapses firing and creating new connections.

But just because it hurts doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun. Without fun, truly learning something becomes very difficult.

The entire schooling system isn’t concerned with fun. They want you to memorise what’s on the test and get the best grades.

That’s not learning. That’s education in pursuit of accreditation and “proof” you know how to do something.

Starting in infant school, we learn to dislike learning. Because learning, in school, is training to fit into a compliant world of 40 hour weeks and doing what we’re told.

Which is why many of us never learn to love learning.

When we try, and it hurts (because it will), we throw in the towel before any real learning can take place.

We submit ourselves back into a world of comfort, binging the latest Netflix show or turning on the Xbox.

In running, that pain barrier is referred to as the wall. When you hit the wall every part of you wants to stop, but if you can fight it soon the pain will die.

It’s the same with learning something hard.

Once you get used to the pain, the pain is your friend. It’s a sign that you’re progressing. And when you finally get to the other side the sense of achievement, and dare I say happiness, is far greater than the simple pleasures of Netflix.

The next time learning hurts, fight the urge to stop.

Who knows how far you can go.