Are you uncomfortable? Why not?
Isn't it amazing how crazy life can be?
Last week, Adam Grant published his newest book. In the past, we have discussed another of his books, Think Again, which focused on the importance of our ability to rethink and unlearn the things that we believe to be true. Grant is a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in organizational psychology. Needless to say, he is a very good author, and a pretty smart dude.
His most recent book is entitled Hidden Potential and focuses on using science to achieve greater things in life. I just started reading it, but I am really enjoying it so far.
In the first chapter of the book, Grant discusses the need to challenge ourselves. The need to step out of our comfort zone. In talking about the phenomenon of preferred learning styles, Grant states that we tend to prefer a certain way to learn. Some of us prefer to read. Some prefer to listen. Some prefer to watch. We have been told that this distinction is innate in all of us. Teachers have been told this for the past 50 years. Grant disagrees, he goes on to say that while we may have a preferred way to learn, it is not often the best way for us to learn. Grant states "The way you like to learn is what makes you most comfortable, but it isn't necessarily how you learn best."
Grant discussed one research study where students were given 20 minutes to "go through" a science article. Half of the students read the article and the other half listened to the article. At the end of the 20 minutes, the listeners claimed to "enjoy" the article more. However, after 2 days the students were all quizzed on the information contained within the article. Which group do you think retained more information? The readers did. So the way that you might prefer to learn, may not be the most effective way for you to truly gain and retain knowledge.
This passage of the book reminded me of a recent conversation with a patient about exercise. This patient spent the vast majority of her time exercising by practicing yoga. She is what I would call "super bendy." (That is a very highly technical medical term by the way.) Now was she super bendy because of all the yoga, or did she choose yoga as her exercise of choice because she was already super bendy, making yoga "easier" for her? Often the exercise that we need to do is the exercise that we enjoy the least... I guess I need to start bench pressing again... YUCK!
We, as humans, will almost always choose the path of least resistance. So, when presented with the opportunity, choose discomfort!
It will make you a better, more well-rounded person!
(If you recall, Michael Easter, discussed this at length in The Comfort Crisis, a book that contained quite a few examples that we looked at earlier this year.)
Movement is my medicine,