Learning by confronting with hard places

Learning is all about the hard places. You don’t learn when everything is easy, cozy and obvious. You learn only when constantly trying to break into those hard to understand, clumsy and unfriendly parts. Only when you make these parts friends of you, when you see it as something crystal clear, you make a step forward.

When I read something in my everyday mode, I gloss over unfamiliar words and complicated paragraphs. What grabs my attention is what I can understand. But during learning, you have to do the opposite: gloss over the familiar, and focus on the obscure.

To do it, you need to slow down. No need to hurry. It is not important how fast you will be, it is important how deep you will understand.

Several techniques can help. Read the hard part several times. Close the book, put it down, close your eyes and imagine what you have read. Retrieve it from your memory without peeking into the book. Write it down on paper. Tell about it to someone, or at last to yourself. Chunk it and concentrate on small parts. Sing about it (why not?).

And most of all have courage. It is easy to think: “I will never grasp it, I will never be good at it. I am losing my time, It is too difficult for me”. Easy. Take a deep breath

Ernest Hemingway wrote in “Moveable Fest” that when he could not get going with his story, he would stand and look through window thinking:

“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence.”

I am trying to do the same “Do not worry. You have always worked things out before and you will work it now. All you have to do to break through this paragraph. Do it”.