Is that really learning?
In college, I had the fortunate opportunity to have several, several teachers that didn't allow memorization to be tested. Concepts were expected to be understood. They couldn't be memorized. It took several failed attempts to memorize super large quantities of data to change the pattern of my study process. Concepts were understood, learned.
Is that really learning?
I had several opportunities to play sports in different settings. From baseball and soccer, to football, rugby and bobsled. Skills were taught. Techniques were practiced. Practice until you can do them well. Looking back, I realized I practiced till I could do a skill, without really an understanding of the why.
Is that really learning?
Taking a poll of my younger self. I would have stated, I don't like school, I don't like reading, I don't enjoy "Learning." I just want the end result. Give me the answers.
Present day, one of my favorite things in life is reading, I'm not really in a Joy state if I'm not learning things, if I'm not pursuing something.
Pursuit. Pursuing is an emotional thing. Your whole being is involved. It implies passion and thought and commitment. My present self would go back and tell my younger self, you do love learning. You just don't get what that means. Learning is finding the secrets to the subject your interested in. The answers to an emotional question.
My first emotional question was how do I play football in college. As a 119lb freshman in High School, the answer was get bigger and faster. So I learned about training. I showed up and trained. I asked questions. I observed other athletes training. I wrote every coach I could think of and asked how to train. I experimented with training. I devoured a lifestyle of training. This bled into not only lifting weights and running, but I learned about other methods of training. I remember writing Istvan Jvorak and learning and using his Complexes and not understanding how all of a sudden by lifting lighter and faster I put 4 more reps on my 225lb bench and 3 inches on my vertical in 12 weeks. I read up on nutrition and supplements. I read about hormones. I learned about wave cycling. But, I didn't know I was learning. I was just pursuing an answer to a question. I never said to myself. I'm going to study new rep schemes tonight. I'm going to study some biochemistry tomorrow. It just happened.
My view point at this point in time is that a thing can't be learned if it doesn't come from an emotional question. The answer will be superficial at best without. You may know the answer, but only when the question is exactly what you studied. Life very rarely gives the story book question.
I knew how to rehab a tendon a year and half ago. After my own achllies tendon tore a year ago, I pursued the answer to how to sprint again. Now I KNOW how to rehab a tendon. The intricacies of reps/timing/nutrition. Tendon research. Tendon researchers.
In 2013, my daughter was one. I realized I couldn't squat deep anymore. My mobility had deteriorated. My emotional question was how do I regain my mobility. Again, deep dived into mobility training and theories. Functional Range Conditioning kept popping up. Dr Andreo Spina, created a system. An amazing process of principles. I regained my hip mobility. More importantly I learned about mobility training.
I don't think you necessarily have to have your own tendon failure to learn about tendons. But, I do think there must be an emotional connection to your question. Perhaps it's a friend, family member or patient that drives you into the pursuit.
A person picks up a bow and arrow and shoots it at a target. They miss. They keep practicing. They get better. They start to love archery. They ask the emotional question, How do I get better. They learn about wind. They learn some physics and geometry. They start making their own arrows. They study the history of the bow. They practice breath control. They test equipment. They learn the bow and arrow.
Ask an Emotional Question.
Practically speaking we live an an amazing time for available information. One of my favorite ways to spearhead an emotional question is search out a a concept or person with books/podcasts and articles and listen and read everything that person has done for several days/weeks. Then if my pursuit is still calling me, you dive into the research papers and textbooks and see how to apply it.
But again, those deep dives are coming from an emotional question. Right now, I have two questions that I'm asking. One. How do we create Biological Durability.
"Avoid inactivity of your organism as you would avoid severe illness and cultivate the endurance function as a pathway to biological durability." Ernst van Aaken.
Two. What do we know post cancer? Valter Longo keeps coming up.
These are all my theories and thoughts, and maybe I'm the only one that learns this way. It would be great if I could just pick up a topic and own it thoroughly, but I'm not wired that way. I don't think I'm alone. I do think that we can cheat the system though. By simply asking better questions, finding that emotional connection, we can learn better.