Learning is not only about rational analyze, it’s about generous repetition

There is no point trying to use your focused rational side of the brain for hours when starting to learn a new skill.

When you are learning – for instance – serve at tennis, you will first be shown a technique by the teacher.

You will observe it carefully, while it is broken down bit by bit. You will try to rationally understand the movement : the way you need to create the balance, throw the ball, and hit it at the right angle.

Then, it will be your turn. You will intensify your focus and contract the muscles in order to recreate the gesture.

At first you will fail miserably. You will be very tense. Your muscles won’t respond to your command. You will not “feel” the movement. It will be feeling awkward.

But the more you’ll try to fix it, and rationally analyze the movement, the more tense you’ll be and the harder you’ll struggle.

The key to actually getting is done is not to expect to make it perfectly within the first 10 attempts.

Once you have tried to understand the movement and hit the ball for a few times, you’ll want to relax, and let your other side of the brain take over.

You will focus on relaxing, breathing, and repeating. Repeating endlessly without any expectations of success. And after a few dozens of hits, you’ll “feel” the movement coming.

That’s one of the ways used when learning kung fu. The teacher does not necessarily explain much. You just emulate and repeat without necessarily understanding. And one day, you have internalized the movement and you are able to repeat it without having had to understand how it happened.

Perfect movement will not be achieved from focusing hard on making 10 attempts. It will be achieved by patiently and generously hitting the ball thousands of times without expectations to make it perfect.

And when you get this, you just enjoy the process and let the nature do its work. That is frustrating at first for high achievers, but it is extremely relieving.

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