If you’re interested in one thing, you’re interested in absolutely everything.
I want you to know what Isaac Newton discovered. How to do “work” in the physical sense. I want you to know why caffeine wakes you up and why you get so sleepy if you go without it. How your body uses food to make energy. How to use Excel to track your progress.
You will never know when you’ve learned everything you need to. That point does not exist. Thankfully, too, because now I have something to do for the next 70 years.
View learning as focus-oriented. If I’m interested in the brain, I’m going to start reading about that, but when that gets boring, I’ll pick up the next subject I want to learn. Maybe I’ll come back to the brain in four months. Maybe I’ll move on.
Experience = learning. Learning = experience.
Try new things. It amazes me when I do stuff these days and immediately think of a vivid memory from my childhood. Torque has always made sense to me because I used to climb the big tree in my backyard. I would go as high as I could go, but I had to make sure that, as the branches got smaller, my weight wouldn’t break them off (causing Newton’s gravitational laws to come back into play).
Coming spring 2015
Even the impression teachers can leave on you is amazing. I still remember making ice cream in 8th grade, or chewing that gum with the lights out to see it spark in 5th grade. Or that same 5th grade science teacher singing Barry Manilow, teaching us about music, rhythm, and setting aside the fear of what others think. In science class.
My lesson to you: do everything you can. Learn everything you can. When you wonder about the world, you have found optimal experience.
When it comes to learning, easier is not always better. Here’s a good read on the subject.
I used to talk about this in my classes all the time. It’s easier to retain the information you acquire more difficultly.
Also to add to the conversation is the following research article. If you want to know which study techniques are most useful to hack your learning, read this:
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4–58. doi:10.1177/1529100612453266
Brain Plasticity and Running
Very interesting stuff from BrainHQ. I’ll definitely be going back through this one again. Again, the central message is to teach your brain something new.
The quoted neuroscientist, Dr. Mike Merzenich, is featured in a fantastic chapter of a book called The Brain that Changes Itself (it’s a compelling read; highly recommended). BrainHQ is his baby.
Maybe the gym isn’t the place you should be going.
Yesterday, I convinced my siblings to go to the nearby school with me and play soccer. Then I made them pose awkwardly so I could tell the internet about it.
I wanted to exercise, but I didn’t want traditional gym stuff. I needed something fun and unpredictable.
Stuff like this 2v2 soccer game gets undervalued by the analytical-minded. I’ve fallen into this trap before. But if four unskilled Goykes can go play soccer and get their hearts pumping, maybe that’s a viable substitute to structured training.
It doesn’t matter what skill level you are; it’s still fun, and you still get a workout. So feelings of incompetence are not valid excuses. NOT IN MY HOUSE!
Take my youngest sister, for instance.
Rylie very much dislikes exercise. She’s even told us, “Face it, guys. I’m just not meant to exercise.”
If you want to ride a roller coaster of emotion, listen to your sister tell you that. Gives me shivers just thinking about it.
This was her last night at my Team Training group class (yes, we got her to get up and move around twice in one day).
The fact that she’s capable of that fake smile while doing a plank shows how far she’s come. Someone who has never liked exercise is started to think maybe it could be okay.
My goal for her is NOT perfect exercise technique, but enjoyment of the exercise experience. Does technique play into that? Yes, because I need to manage the pain she feels. This negative emotion combats the positive emotions I want her to have. Otherwise, technique is on the backburner.