How do we learn?

No matter what we may wish to learn, there is no escaping the need for practice since we all learn by doing. No matter how many books you might read or how many YouTube videos you watch, at some point you have to go out and do what you are attempting to learn.

Picasso is credited with a quote that speaks to this very process (and practice): "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

Regardless of whether you wish to write a book, have an amazing relationship (with someone else or even yourself), or learn martial arts they all share the common theme of learning by doing. As much as some individuals would like to try, and so often attempt, we can't think our way through life.

If we want to learn and grow, we have no choice but to take action — which means that we need to start getting comfortable with making mistakes. The idea of making mistakes (and potentially failing) can feel like an excruciating proposition. Despite this, most of us have been failing (i.e. learning) our way through life ever since we were little.

How many of us learned how to walk without falling down? Not even once?

If you're like me, these thoughts will bring a smile to your face, perhaps even with the added story of "of course, how else does a baby learn to walk". Perhaps there's even the undercurrent of another story, something along the lines of "but that's how babies learn - I'm an adult."

The truth is the process of learning doesn't really change. No matter what it is you wish to explore or experience learning always involves the risk or possibility of failure.

Learning requires humility and the ability to say either "I don't know" or "I don't know how" which is a perfectly honest way to approach something new - or something old in a new way.

In order to learn we must open ourselves up to the possibility of failure, which also opens up the possibility of success.

After all, isn't it the things that you've really had to work at that you value the most anyhow?