Dealing with the uncomfortable feelings of learning, what it feels like to learn something new, is something I spend a lot of time thinking about--for myself and my clients.
As I age, I've noticed that as individuals, organizations, and society, we are less and less tolerant of struggling. Too focused on the end result, we want to leap (emotionally) to the end. This makes us susceptible to embracing eroding goals and likely to indulge in quick fixes rather than stay the course.
For anything worth having, there is going to be a journey involved. As individuals, organizations, and society, we need to decide what we care enough to fail at, really fail at, in order to evolve, and embrace the emotional labor of getting there.
When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There's the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there's a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.
How did we come to think a generation of kids can't handle the basic challenges of growing up?
Lenore Skenazy & Jonathan Haidt via