The Agony and the Ecstasy of…Learning New Stuff

Je's Theory of Cognition
Je’s Theory of Cognition

Neuroscientists say when we learn new stuff, we physically grow new neural connections in our brain; little branches plow through the gray matter seeking a hookup. Is that why learning new stuff is painful?

And does thinking really hard burn calories? I can’t find a good answer for that question, but it was the reason my friends said I stayed leanish though I seemed to eat like a horse and never darkened the door of a fitness center.

I guess I could ask some scientists. They are supposed to think really hard, but they all are an average of seven pounds heavier now, right after the holidays. They will soon get back into their thinking routine (if not their jeans.)

I’ve spent the past two days learning new software and my neurons are inflamed. I just want to do the thing, not learn new stuff. That’s like when I wanted to build a corral, but didn’t want to learn how to use a post hole digger or a circular saw.

For two days I’ve run into terrible snags. Whole paragraphs of profanity paraded through my mind, offering to express my frustration, but I managed to not say any of it out loud. Finally, it came down to the terrifying fact that I would have to go into a program and change its code!

I know you Geeks out there are saying. “So what?” but to me it was as intimidating as shoeing a horse might be to you. I only mention that because I have shoed horses. So after two days of agony, learning new stuff by screwing up and fixing it (do we really learn any other way?) I did change the code and now it’s working just lover-ly! Ecstasy!

I have a theory for you to consider: If it can be done by a human being, you can do it. I know, I know, some human beings are better at some things than others. But I maintain, if it can be done by a human being, you can do it.

You can do it. Yes, you can. 🙂


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