Want to Learn Something? “Do and Understand.”

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a HUGE fan of self-help and any kind of research that delves into the nature of humanity. But my approach could be, at times, described as, ‘all talk and no trousers.’

I’ll get ever so excited at first, daydreaming out a new life (and a new me), only to give in at the first sign of hard work or discomfort. And then of course, I flop into disappointment when nothing changes… because OF COURSE it didn’t, you didn’t take any action to cause it to!

At this point, I’m reminded that Confucius said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

As a teacher, I’ve increasingly found that more and more students learn kinaesthetically; by doing. No matter how fancy-pants your explanation or visuals are, they need to try things out for themselves, to make mistakes, to practice.

As a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I feel this even more acutely. My ‘confused face’ following technique demonstrations is a  running joke in the gym, but my coach knows that this isn’t how I learn – she’ll come and run through techniques with me, so that I can feel and ‘see’ the movement. It’s the only thing that works for me.

We all learn in different ways, but for me personally, if I really want to understand something… I have to do it.

Ready – Set – GO!

Maybe this is a lesson that I can take into self-help and other areas of learning in my life; something to think back to when the prospect of effort all seems like a little too much.

Maybe the next time I’m feeling disappointed, confused or frustrated that I’m not learning/doing enough, I might consider changing the way that I’m choosing to learn.

Maybe I need to start asking myself honestly, if I’ve not simply engaged in ‘Ready – Set – ???’ only later to wonder why I’m still stood at the starting line.

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