The tension that forces learning

Today was long. Another one in a long week. On a day like today, I get to the dishes in the evening with a few questions – “Do I have anything to share? Did I learn anything new? Did I get reminded of something that is worth writing about?”

The truth, of course, is most days are like today. There’s that tension that surrounds finding something worthy to write about. The tension that flows from having made a daily commitment.

On some days, the result of that tension is something deeply insightful. On others, it is relatively mundane.

But, regardless, that tension forces learning because it pushes me to focus on the process and think deeply about what I might be learning.

It is why creating great learning experiences requires us to create tension. The tension created by an activity to be done in limited time, by a twist that surprises, by a framework that pushes everyone to revisit how they operate, by a fact that challenges a long-held assumption, or by an unexpected moment of vulnerability from someone in the room.

No tension, no learning.