We don’t like feeling terrible at something, and so most of us avoid doing things that make us feel that way. Yet, if we’re looking to optimize the health and function of the brain, that’s precisely the kinds of feeling we should be seeking out.
Feelings of frustration during the learning process arise when we’re optimizing for mastery. The worse we are, the worse we feel.
Research indicates that new learning, and the structural alterations in the brain that support it, restores the brain to a more youthful state, improves cognitive function, and protects against disease and degradation.
If we’re optimizing for cognitive function and brain health, the things we’re terrible at are precisely the things we should be learning. The worse we are, the greater the opportunity for growth.
- Approaching Life with Beginners Mind, by Leo Babauta