Celebrating Success

Actually, with a little forethought, unlearning or learning a new skill happens quite fast. Remembering to do these new things often is the challenge. The habitual old ways sort of sneak back in when you’re not noticing it might matter.

Here’s a simple unlearning technique involving an interesting scientific point about the stress of learning. It seems that it’s common that the learning process creates a certain amount of stress. Taking one minute or so breaks during learning before going back to the activity being learned. This will lessen the stress of being challenged.

Let’s say that you are learning or doing an activity that is unfamiliar until you suddenly hit on something that does work. It’s important to stop at that moment for about a minute.

In fact, taking a break to be delighted about your success helps “lock in” the new experience and mark it as special from all other not-so-successful attempts. You might think about what you did or thought that led up to the successful result or step that just happened. You can do something else while you wait for these moments to go by while you are pausing. You might congratulate yourself, clap about your success, pat yourself on the back as if you’re much younger than you really are. It works to do all this, even though you might feel that “it just happened” by  itself, or by complete accident. Imagine it as having happened “accidentally on purpose”.

Then return to the activity and attempt the new skill again; repeat what you did beforehand that was leading up to the success (if you can remember what that was. Especially if these preceding actions, unrelated thoughts or fleeting mood seemed to have ha little or no bearing on the success of the outcome of the skill. You never really know until you try it a few more times what really helped the success happen.)

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2 thoughts on “Celebrating Success

  1. Hope you take it to heart, try doing it a bit more often and get back to me about how it’s working for you… Because I originally found it’s use to be applicable in learning physical skills such as playing pool and learning to juggle, I’d be curious how it works for people in different situations.

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