Learning By Failure

by Ben Perreira

There’s something about learning that is inherently painful. It’s possible to learn something by being told or by reading something, but it doesn’t seem to kick in unless it’s completely shocking. New territory must be blazed and old habits must die.

For example, I started to learn how to surf when I was about 11. The only way to learn how to do new maneuvers in surfing is through iteration. Even if one can land a trick the first time, the odds are he will have to fall many more times to achieve ultimate mastery. Eventually one has tried enough times to figure out his boundaries (in my case they seem to be quite well-defined, to my dismay) and can commit that process to memory. 

This idea is probably most true with anything that offers a proper challenge. For those who seek such challenges, the cycle goes:

Fail –> Fail –> Fail –> Master –> Repeat with new challenge