Learning is a simple cycle, but not always an easy one. I began to notice the learning stages and states that I am in, because some parts of the cycles are less fun than others.
Feel shitty because I don’t know so many things. Learn what I don’t know. Be confused about the new information. Digest the information. Level up in knowledge and have a little more clarity.
That’s it. That is the learning cycle.
Here’s the catch. It’s easy to get demotivated and caught up in feeling shitty or feeling confused. When I catch myself feeling that way, I reflect upon what stage of the cycle I am at. It is almost always the confusion stage.
I have a love-hate relationship with being confused. Confusion is a state where out brain neurons are mixed up and trying to figure out what synapses to create and make a connection. I think of a huge bowl of macaroni jumbled in a mess, trying to figure out how to best align themselves to make sense.
Thus, I love the confusion state because I know it is the last stage before clarity. I hate the confusion state for making me feel really dumb and frustrated. When you know that there is a solution to this mess but still figuring a way out, it makes me frustrated.
Instead, I learnt to embrace the state. Either to sleep and let me neurons do the work while I rest, or absorb myself in another activity. I realised that learning something else while the brain is confused helps to provide some clarity after.
Another solution is also to go through the confusion mess and make sense of it. People think I know a lot or am smart, but I am secretly really dumb. In my confusion state, I treat myself like a 5 year old and explain the mess to myself. It helps with creating the structure of making sense of the mess.
When I explain the mess to myself like a child, it helps so much in getting to clarity faster. I guess they are right in saying that if you can explain something easily, you understand the topic well enough.
So be confused, embrace confusion, always seek clarity.