The learning process, regardless of the subject matter, has the same potential to find sticking points. Whether it is intellectual problem solving or physical development plateaus. These have only one way to finally develop further – the acceptance of being stuck. Getting stuck should be viewed as a chance to develop your problem solving skills further and refocus your commitment to your goals & keep going.

Since I have the fortune of having many very smart students and peers in my circle, I get to find compatible material that illustrates the learning process that martial artists go through. For that matter, everyone goes through in every topic and subject they ever find interesting.

Thank you, Master Susan Shirk, for finding this article and sharing it. The quoted portion below may sound familiar to my students.

Andrew Wiles: what does it feel like to do maths?

“Now what you have to handle when you start doing mathematics as an older child or as an adult is accepting this state of being stuck. People don’t get used to that. Some people find this very stressful. Even people who are very good at mathematics sometimes find this hard to get used to and they feel that’s where they’re failing. But it isn’t: it’s part of the process and you have to accept [and] learn to enjoy that process. Yes, you don’t understand [something at the moment] but you have faith that over time you will understand — you have to go through this.”

One of my favorite TED Talks can open the thought process for using these failings and subsequent stress to your advantage. I’ve posted it before but here’s the link again – How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal

The next time that you get stuck on something, don’t let it be the end. Use it as a time to study further, talk to others working on the same material or take a breath and relax. The key point to all success is to keep learning/training. At every new step, it will be like starting over and the material will be more difficult. This is why the rank of 1st Dan black Belt is called Chodan (Korean)/Shodan (Japanese), which means “First Step”. It is the beginning, not the end, and you’ve practiced it for years with each colored belt rank you’ve earned.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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One thought to “Sometimes it is hard!”

  • Bill Hedrick

    I always remember what President Kennedy said about going to the Moon within the decade, “We are going to do this, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

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