21. Stop Trying

Helm_EyesLife may have its trials. But learning doesn’t need to.

Think of two students out to learn the same task. One applies himself, pushing as hard as he can in order to achieve his goal. The other makes a game of it, enjoying the process as much as he desires the result. Which gains ultimate success?

The drive to strive is founded on the notion that hard work is essential to achievement. It is rooted in the internal conviction that without struggle, all efforts are somehow invalid or inadequate – that the “student” is somehow inadequate. AND that redemption can only be earned through pushing, striving and struggle.

Paradoxically, all that “trying hard” inhibits the process of learning and hinders the ability to become fluent and fluid in your desired skill.

That’s not to say that effort and time are not required; or that a laissez-faire attitude will pay off. Learning is not a linear progression. It requires patience and, above all, curiosity.

Proficiency can only be achieved through diligence and practice. Yet neither require you to push, strive or struggle.

True learning comes when you abandon “trying” in favor of observing, assessing and experimenting. When you see that an option doesn’t work, get creative and find another approach. Be curious. Make the process enjoyable. In doing so, you will unburden yourself of struggle and open your mind and brain to untold possibilities for learning.

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