True learning

“True learning (as opposed to education) is a voluntary experience that requires tension and discomfort (the persistent feeling of incompetence as we get better at a skill).” Seth Godin, The Practice

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, preparation and authentic learning go hand-in-hand. The whole idea of learning has turned upside down since the advent of new media — videos, audios, and the whole enchilada. Irrespective of the medium, authentic learning requires one to be actively involved.

So, it’s not enough to listen to your audiobooks and podcasts passively. Nor is speed-reading a book considered adequate. You’ve got to absorb, engage, and share what you’re learning to clarify the principles and how best you can apply them in your lives.

Seth’s pioneering a new way to do workshops — 100% cohort-based and online. His workshops don’t have many videos or audios or even pictures. What separates his version from the rest of the educators in the community — they all jump in and participate because that’s the best way to learn and develop yourself.

When you’re exposed to a community that’s constantly engaging and encouraging you to participate, you don’t have an option but to share your thoughts, insights, and opinions. They may be right or wrong, but the idea is to evaluate yourself by sharing it with others and seeing if there’s any merit to what you’re thinking. If not, you discard it and move on to others. If it is, you develop it further into an assertion and then a compelling argument for why people should care about what you think.

Getting to that level isn’t easy. It requires one to constantly go out of the comfort zone to share thoughts while navigating through the tension to make a point or refine it into an assertion. That’s a lot of work. But someone who’s gone through that process is a whole lot smarter and better than that random dude who’s heard over 500 hours of the podcast over the past couple of years.

If you disagree, test me on it!

P.S. See what I did there?

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