By Leo Babauta

In this webinar, I talked about some of the most difficult parts of the learning process, and why (and how) we should embrace them:

I. Intro: My Learning Story:
* failed attempts at language and coding
* failed attempts at learning chess
* success at chess, and the lessons I’ve learned

II. Difficulty
* in chess, all the books have a bunch of notation in them, so I didn’t want to study those books – too hard, too intimidating
* they all have diagrams, which you’re supposed to study for at least a few minutes, but I wanted to glance at them and see the solution
* but working through the notation is good for your visualization and understanding
* focusing on the diagrams is the best training there is
* the harder it is (within your grasp), the better – as long as it does cause you to quit – harder learning is more meaningful, more durable
* teaches you meta-skills like concentration, ability to get past difficulties
* embrace it: find the hard stuff, concentrate, push yourself past the comfortable place, actually practice the hard skills, force yourself to test yourself and really evaluate
* see where you don’t want to do the hard work, and work on that

III. Uncertainty
* uncertainty about your path
* learning materials
* whether you can do it
* fitness of the pursuit
* these uncertainties are all amazing things to deal with

IV. Failure
* losses in games are discouraging
* turns out they’re the best lessons; you don’t learn much from wining
* playing harder players is scary – but you don’t learn much from playing easy players
* failure can be emotionally difficult, but it’s the best area for learning;
* you also need some kind of corrective feedback so that you can improve – you need to evaluate honestly, find weaknesses, then focus on improving those
* it can’t be all failure — you need little successes to help you

Watch the webinar recording below, or download the video.