Compelling Learning

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I loved two of my really hard Bible classes in college.

For one of them I had to read through the whole Old Testament and take notes on each chapter (things like questions I had based on the text, themes I saw developing, etc). By the end of the semester I turned in a 140 page single spaced 8pt font document. It was insane.

The first day of the other class, my professor said, "I'm going to tell you what the final will be so you can start preparing now. You will write down everything you've learned about the book of John. You will basically recreate your course notes in three hours."

I worked my tail off in those classes, and I loved them.

Other courses were far less compelling and I complained about how much work I had to do. But for some reason, I was happy to plow through these courses despite the insane amount of work.

Why?

That's what I'm trying to figure out at the moment for a "next gen" project we're working on. I've jotted down some ideas, but I'd love to hear any insights you've had from situations where you've been happy to learn the material despite the difficulty. Some of the factors that have made me happy to work were:

  • The hard work was just expected (no apology)
  • The content was good
  • I could tell the professors cared about me
  • I could go and chat with my professors if I wanted to
  • I felt like I could make progress

So what about you? Have you had a time when you've had to work really hard but did it happily? What caused that? What made the effort worth it?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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