There is no learning without discomfort

“The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable"

I love this video: it’s so simple, but so on point. Growing, learning… they are inherently uncomfortable processes. To learn something new, you always have to face the fact that there is something out there that you can not yet do. Or something that you have been doing wrong, or know nothing about. It can be painful, it can hurt your ego. I know it hurts mine; all the time. No one really likes to admit their shortcomings, small as they may be.
But the beauty of struggling through that process is that afterwards, you get to reap the rewards. Suddenly, you have learned a new method or acquired new skills, and you are somehow faster, smarter, better than you were before. You realise it has been worth it.
Everyone has felt this happiness at some point in their lives.

The trouble with learning

Trouble is, we don’t always recognize the opportunity – or need – for learning at that moment when we are uncomfortable. And there is often no one to make you see it and push through. So we find the quickest way to feel better; blame our problems on something else, ignore it, seek distraction. And we fail to grow.
So ask yourself: when you’re working, what makes you feel uncomfortable? Are there problems that you ignore, because you don’t know how to handle them yet? Do you feel that it’s better to just live with them, because they can’t be solved? Then remind yourself of the lobster, and remind yourself of that time you were so proud of yourself for learning something new. And start learning.

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Comments (2)

Lucy W. Mwaura

The lobster analogy is a real eye opener and challenging too.


Thanks for the compliment, Lucy! Glad that you liked the video. Good luck with your learning challenges :)

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