January 6, 2008

The point is this: most people do not study very effectively. They study to feel they are trying. They study to feel better about themselves. They do not always study to succeed in their chosen field. They spend hours staring blankly at sheets of paper and nodding about what they understand. Students should spend more time trying to solve problems or answer questions, usually under simulated exam conditions and with a clock ticking. Tick, tick, tick… That’s the way to go, and yes, the whole point is it hurts.

– Tyler Cowen, from Discover Your Inner Economist

Very true. That’s definitely the difference between the student who ‘tries hard’ and the ‘natural.’ The natural doesn’t mind slogging it through the ‘real’ stuff. In fact, s/he might actually enjoy it.

Though I know I personally could stand to learn a few more lessons from this idea, namely trying to fail more often (because it is in the failures that successes eventually arise). But no one likes failing. Unless you retrain them.

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