Discomfort and Learning

For those of you who are raising or have raised children, you know what a tremendous educational gift you receive by being able to experience young life as a close observer and supporter.   Teaching offers a similar gift.

One of the many profound things we got to share as our first child grew was his transformation from relatively still blanket-bound being into into a walking, running experiencer.  Our son’s desire to have freedom of movement was very strong.  He struggled to find ways to liberate himself from the surface he happened to be on.  His frustration was intense.  He tried everything he could to win his freedom, and his persistence paid off early. His grandpa got him a roll-around walker when he was about 8 months old, his favorite thing in life.  It gave him the experience of mobility and further increased his already-burning desire for complete freedom of movement.

He tried and tried.  His experiments included pain, but pain didn’t matter to him.  At nine months, he climbed out of his crib in the middle of the night and fell onto a hardwood floor. We rushed in, fearful, but what we found was the widest smile sitting up you could imagine. Similarly, as he mastered getting up and moving, he didn’t waste time on walking when he could RUN.  He fell a lot, and hard.  And usually he was laughing and smiling after taking the fall.

Our son’s transformation to freedom of mobility is a powerful illustration of the process of learning. There must be a desire to change your universe of possibilities.  You experience discomfort and frustration.  Teachers appear.  Experiments are attempted and there are failures and more frustration and discomfort.  Finally there is a breakthrough and the world is changed forever.

I have been advised that “all learning comes from discomfort”… a corollary that learning, in the sense of mastering something, requires doing.  Reflecting on my life showed me the truth of that.  If this makes sense, then the next step is to see that discomfort can be a great indicator of a learning in progress.   Frustration can also be used as a directional signal for ways to assist and progress that learning.

If you are uncomfortable and frustrated with an aspect of your business, you can always choose to design the learning that is needed.  Strategic Venture Consulting’s Conversation-Driven Business(TM) framework can help you reach your a-hah breakthrough moments sooner.


Strategic Venture Consulting’s Conversation Driven Business(TM) practice can help you transform discomfort and frustration into breakthroughs and mastery.

(c) 2013 Strategic Venture Consulting / Robert Kimball all rights reserved.

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