John’s back with another gem of an article.
His words will not resonate with everyone, but for those who are similar to him, they will be more than helpful.
They may be groundbreaking and allow you to realize more about why you do what you do than you could have figured out on your own.
Either way, it’s a quick, informative and entertaining read where John will explain the Learning Process as it works for him and many of you.
(DISCLAIMER: MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT WELL-ORGANIZED. BUCKLE UP)
In our current time, one gains a higher-than-usual opportunity to reflect on learning.
What is learning?
How does one learn?
What does one learn?
Why does one learn?
(Yes, that sequence is by intention).
A deliciously complex process to say the least. I find myself more specifically reflecting on my own learning process in its relation towards powerlifting.
What works optimally?
What is absolute horseshit?
At first glance, “learning” can be a daunting topic to discuss.
Where to start?
What aspects to identify as the axis points?
Furthermore, how does the individual drive this process WITHOUT simply replicating another (e.g sheeple). The self-realization of one’s learning process can be immensely elusive. I would be inclined to say that developing and recognizing one’s learning process is a rare skill; one that allows the creation of a unique identity but utilizes similar components from surrounding environments. Furthermore, this “skill” of knowing one’s learning process is likely layered; netted between multiple concepts and experiences. Add in one’s downfalls/flaws, strengths, and underlying principles and you have yourself a lifelong journey that is confusing, frustrating, and rewarding.
No fucking bullshit YouTube video can supplant that.
That being said, let us dive into my own journey of recognizing my learning process.
I am the negative Nancy in this regard (for those out there that do not know, Negative Nancy is the even uglier sister of Karen). My gaze always (damn near always) starts here. I operate with zero-confidence, I think non-stop, I have gross amounts of self-dissatisfaction (the most you will get out of me is a nod, a thumbs up/down, or dead silence), and I am absolutely maniacal in set-up. Oh, I forgot to mention I am brutally self-critical. To say I am hard on myself would be an upgrade from my perception. If you asked me to smile, I am 100% going to give you the “Stone Cold Steve Austin” salute (that is the middle finger by the way).
Whether it is hockey, academics, or powerlifting, the learning process in each is a precarious balance between over-planning, reckless abandonment, and “meeting the bell” every day. It is absolute struggle between the “okay” and disastrously disappointing.
At the center, my analytical perspective typically drives the discussion. It drives the learning process, the comprehension, and the non-stop process of improvement. In other words, the shit eats my insides up. The endgame of all this self-torture is worthwhile quality.
Keyword is “worthwhile”.
Nothing extraordinary; I am not here to win awards, validate myself with “world records, or interact with a large entourage of people. All of this. Day in and Day out. No matter my attitude.
Put it simply: development THROUGH repetition.
This unceasing forward direction through repetition is one point of my learning process; learning through repetition. This is the “how I learn”.
Strengths; Focus and Solitude.
Focus and Solitude. Easy and simple. These are the granite foundations for me and there is no compromising it. I do not rely on a “house of cards” group or some bullshit apparel company. On average, I am quite capable of going through an entire day without speaking but a few sentences. That is the benefit of growing up with no brothers or sisters.
You simply are on your own for your life.
Now, compound that by several decades. These strengths directly contrast with the cliché saying of “surround yourself with like-minded individuals”. In my opinion, I have little belief in that there are people who “have my mind”.
Thus, I do not waste time doing so. That is fairly obvious. As a result, I end up moving throughout my days on my own at my own pace. This is no different in regards to powerlifting training. Surely this changes when coaching/working with individuals but that interaction is 100% directed by that person reaching out. In other words, I help people that help themselves. This is especially true in today’s world of people who solely rely on information that subverts to their own opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Yet, to build focus and solitude as strengths, perhaps virtues, it obviously requires isolation or some removal from the general, bullshit norm.
When was the last time you trained away from your group AND was able to produce the same quality and effort?
I make it a point not to simply think outside of the box but to put myself OUTSIDE the box. Do not worry. I am not going to spew the cliché “uncomfortable zone, growth shit”. Yet, focus is more than simply singular attention to one moment, one aspect of the now. It also means the ability to extract valuable information from the white noise that bombards us on a daily basis.
Ideally, this ability is paired with a strong “vetting” system; a system that is open to ideas BUT vigorously analyzes those ideas. A system that is BOTH flexible and rigid.
Personally, I think self-isolation/solitude is the “optimal” method for building this system, which is why I pair these two traits together. Now, take this type of individual and drop them into the common powerlifting “groups” of today and I bet those groups would be a bit shocked with them ESPECIALLY if that said person is an obvious and adamant introvert (cough cough) that simply operates in a quiet manner. Plainly speaking, my focus and solitude attributes allow me to extract, select, vet, and build on the “what”; the “what” of what am I learning (This just as well includes what I should NOT be learning).
This is the last but deepest part of my learning process. Just like the majority of my personality traits, this is rarely spoken of but ALWAYS in play. The why serves as a central axis point for all facets of my psyche. It includes my conscious state and my more dangerous subconscious state. That subconscious portion is what pulls me towards ideas and particular individuals. It also pours into my loyalty.
Yet, the question is simple.
Why do you learn?
For me, the answer is truly simple.
Learning allows me to create whilst reinforcing my own grounded self-value. Keyword there is GROUNDED. Furthermore, it gives my mind something to generally care about because I will automatically focus on improving that information. If I go even further down into the “Why”, my interests are at the core.
Why learn something that has zero interest? That interest(s), perhaps simple curiosity, is what gets me into doing things. Throw in 2-3 decades of doing things on your own and you reach where I am at today. I learn optimally alone because I have succeeded in doing so. I learn to operate and function independently because groups, on average, do not interest me. If something does not hit me on any of these levels, my nomadic mind tells me take what is important, give quality in return, and move on. No bitching. No moaning. Just move on. This directly explains why I have lived and worked in 4 states within 10 years. I pack up my shit and go. One car. One way. That said, there is absolutely no malice or ill will in this process. I keep to the ways of general courtesy as much as I can but I do not let it stop me from moving on to the next step. It does not change my ever-present goal of providing quality (in my unique manner), both individually and within a team setting. Location CAN be important but I have yet to get to that because my focus and high priority goals are not affected location. Not too unlike a pit-stop on a long road trip.
In the end, my learning process revolves around two tenets in absolute: time and repetition.
To continuously and constructively use my downfalls, I will need time and repetition. To sharpen my focus and reinforce my solitude, I will need time and repetition. To refine and re-define my “why”, I will need time and repetition.
That is my learning process. Time and repetition.
Laying out a book that includes more mental examination AND powerlifting stuff. I often find there is a disconnect between these two aspects. Does anyone truly research and examine the individual (e.g. the coach) and the system they implement?
John is a former in house TPS Method coach who is now working for us remotely from the backwoods somewhere.
He is a competitive powerlifter with best lifts of:
1224 total at 82.5 kg.
He’s also wicked smart with an in M.S biology
Concentration: Microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, phylogenetics.
Try the TPSMethod.com for free.