Desirable difficulties: Who knew?

Desirable difficulties . . .

Coined by Robert Bjork to describe the paradoxical idea that more is retained when the environment for learning is made more difficult.  

Through experimentation Bjork found that impediments to learning can actually engender deeper understanding.

So it is in life!

This may explain why my college years worked out after all (oh the drinking and ingesting and inhaling and entanglements I endured for the sake of knowledge).

Let me give you a desirable difficulty in my own life.

I’ll go small today . . . in my example . . . though I could go big (cancer, financial disruption, stuff like that), today you want small and I want to give you small . . . .

Sometimes small is the sensible way to go, like listening to an indie singer-songwriter instead of something operatic.

My small example:

I was on the road for a year and a half and had great difficulty fitting in exercise in the behemothly long days. Because my desire overcame the extreme constraints I was able to figure out an incredible method for short burst yoga workouts that continues to serve me to this day.

You can read about it here if you want:

What I learned about fitness on the road

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