The most effective mindset for training

It is hard to overestimate the role of psychological aspects in learning and productivity. While these aspects might be transparent and hard to deal with, they define the ultimate success or failure of the entire process. Each kind of training may need a different mindset. Usually, the most effective combination is passionate anticipation before the training, almost robotic focus on efficiency and accuracy during the training and curious creative research after the training.

This article is important, so it is short. I will not even put an image to make you notice it.

Passionate anticipation

Usually, we are passionate about our training before the training starts. This is an indicator of intrinsic motivation. Ideally, we should love our training and enjoy it. Like we enjoy playing a video game.

The part of passion should not be overhyped. It can be more like eating a cake than changing the world. We are doing something that feels good, so we are passionate about it.  Some performance anxiety is possible, but not really welcome. If you fail this time, you can try another day. Some occasional embarrassment is also normal. Do not take yourself too seriously.

If you really do not want to start and search for excuses, it is a bad sign. Basically, this means that you do not enjoy training and need extrinsic motivation. Try to understand why.

Quite often if the coaching is too intense we will tend to resist it. A good coach knows instinctively when to press on and when to let go. Maybe you are simply pushing yourself too hard.

Focus on efficiency and accuracy

During the training, we should be focused on each task we do. Multitasking and thinking about other things can reduce the efficiency of the training and cause accidents. Research is not dangerous, but you may learn an urban legend instead of a scientific fact.

Do not double-check your every step and do not question your success. You should be focused on the activity you do, not on the overall progress. If you have interesting questions and ideas, simply record them for future research.

Try to evaluate each step you make. Is it absolutely necessary, efficient, and accurate? Some steps are redundant and can be removed or replaced. Train some actions in slow motion to understand that you do not introduce unnecessary limitations.

If some steps worked better than others, always try to understand why. Do not take any step as given. If a coach cannot explain something, maybe you need a better coach.

 Curious creative research

The training does not stop when we are resting from the hands-on activities. It is reasonable to have a lot of questions and always to look for new information.

This step of curious research is usually unplanned. We may have a burning question from the training session, or we may have an instant wish to read something. Typically as we engage in an activity questions surface, and we write them down for future analysis. Parallel to our writing it down, some unconscious processing happens. These processes can race and boost our natural curiosity.

As much as our curiosity is helpful, we should not neglect our analytical tendencies. What are the trends in our progress? Could it be that we hit a plateau? If so, how can we overcome it? Which steps of our activity can be improved and how?

The analysis and curiosity both spark creative research. We search online, in our social circles, trying things hands-on and otherwise.

Do not forget the grit

We are not supposed to “power through” problematic experiences. Usually, if there is tension, it is an indicator of some deeper issue. If we feel uncomfortable with some aspect, we might well be able to find an alternative we love. Analysis and creativity may solve issues, while “powering through” may make bad habits firmly embedded in our routine.

Yet we need to practice several times per week, every week, often for a couple of hours. And do that for years: when we recover from sickness, and when we return from travels, and when we make no visible progress for weeks.

This does not have to be grit. It can be passion or curiosity, love of beauty, or some other strength. Each person can find his own path and shape his destiny. Just focus on growth.

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