Learning lies in the hard part, not the fun part

It is fun to write computer code – to get something to work at the push of a button. It isn’t as much fun to refactor the code – to edit it so that it is clean and reads clearly. Yet, all coders know that in refactoring one’s code is where learning lies.

As a writer, it is fun to draft your thoughts – to commit them to paper in flowing keystrokes, in step with when they occur in your mind. It isn’t as much fun to edit – to pore over each sentence, obsess over words and to fit them into a pleasing cadence. Yet, all writers know that in editing is where learning lies.

It’s fun to read, but it is difficult to study. To read a non-fiction book on statistics (ala Fooled by Randomness) is way more fun than reading a textbook on statistics. Yet, there is a reason we remember what we learnt in our class 7 textbooks better than the non-fiction book we read last year.

Learning is not about struggling to find what is fun. It is about finding fun in the struggle.

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