Existential Psychology

Make Your Learning Process Fun

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Who ever said that learning wasn’t supposed to be fun? Well, depending on your situation, it was your parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, counselors, priests, and other important authority figures either forcefully or subtly communicating just that. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the vast majority of authority figures actively discourage the having of fun during the learning process.

The least nefarious reason why is that they believed and still do believe that what you were learning was really important for your future and that meant you needed to take it seriously. And from their points of view having fun and taking something seriously were incompatible states. They couldn’t get past their own blockages, their own indoctrination. They entirely missed the psychological fact that taking something seriously doesn’t have to mean being dour or joyless while you’re doing it. What taking something seriously means is throwing the gauntlet down, deciding to actively engage all of your focus and energy upon the object of learning at hand in order to move as far along your continuum of mastery as possible.

And for us, as we’ve written many times before, the chances of sustained focus and energy in a learning subject, not just during one session but over the countless sessions it takes to get really good at anything, go up dramatically precisely when you’re having fun, when you let yourself experience joy around what you’re doing, when you feel light and free in body and mind. Having fun allows you to handle the intensity of what you’re doing better, to work harder and longer, to look forward to the next session, to feel good about yourself and what you’re doing.

Therefore we say that rather than being incompatible, having fun and taking something seriously go together like peanut butter and jelly. Make your learning process fun and you will be sure to learn more faster. Take it seriously in the way most authority figures tell you to take it seriously and you’ll burn out or find excuses to quit, you’ll feel bored, tired, or down on yourself, and the result will be one more endeavor where you don’t go nearly as far as you’d be able to, as you’re inherently capable of going, if you simply relaxed that dour pressure of anonymous authority and instead let yourself have fun with your object of learning.