Existential Psychology

Make Your Learning Experience Playful

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When it feels like labor we’re filled with dread during the lead up and we hate the actual experience as our psychic and physical energy quickly seeps out of us before leaving us unhappily exhausted. If we can find a way to avoid a similar experience in the future we will. When it feels like play we’re filled with anticipation during the lead up and we love the experience as our psychic and physical energy slowly seeps out of us before leaving us happily exhausted. If we can find a way to arrange a similar experience in the future we will.

From our psychological point of view it’s obvious that the reason most people don’t stick with endeavors long enough to gain mastery over them is that they associate the experience of learning with labor rather than with play. No matter how important and desirable the end result of all that effort might be, if the concrete steps to get there are laborious then there’s nothing pulling you forward to keep going and everything compelling you to come up with a plausible rationalization to quit.

As an adult the only thing keeping you from making your learning experience fun is your own psychology, your own conditioning. Obviously learning can be difficult but play can be difficult too. The real difference between play and labor is the attitude. With play things stay light, there’s very little negative judgment, all that energy is pointed towards putting your full effort and attention into what you’re doing in the moment.

Make it fun and you’ll keep coming back to it. Make it labor and you’ll do whatever you can to avoid it. Forget about how teachers, parents, or other important authority figures trained you to learn. Decide that this time you’re going to take charge of your learning endeavor and that the experience can and should be fun. The best way to learn is to remain playful and light, to give everything you have but to do it without any negative judgments.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.