March 4, 2019

Below is a lesson from Inc.com on how being outside of your comfort zone helps you learn, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Science Has Just Confirmed That If You’re Not Outside Your Comfort Zone, You’re Not Learning

by Jessica Stillman

Not knowing what’s going to happen next is generally stressful. Uncertainty signals that you’re unsure of your environment, your skills, or both. But uncertainty also signals the brain to kickstart learning, new Yale research published in the journal Neuron has found.

That means crazy, unstable situations might be uncomfortable, but they’re also essential if you want to make the most of your brain.

Stability is a shut off switch for your brain.

If you want to maximize learning you need to make sure you’re doing hard things 70 percent of the time, five-time entrepreneur Auren Hoffman has advised. It’s tough to face the possibility of failure for such a huge chunk of your working life, but this new research confirms Hoffman is on to something. If you’re not at least a little stressed about the outcome of what you’re doing, your brain shuts down learning.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Uncertainty signals the brain to kickstart learning.
  • If you want to maximize learning you need to make sure you’re doing hard things 70% of the time.
  • If you’re not at least a little stressed about the outcome of what you’re doing, your brain shuts down learning.
  • Once you’ve figured out the best way to behave in a given environment learning new techniques or approaches is pointless.
  • Stability kills learning.
  • In many areas of life (personal and professional) we want to continually improve and learn — to do that you need to avoid the easy and comfortable in favor of the unpredictable and probably hard.
  • Brain function and the nature of learning is not “fixed” but adapts according to the stability of the environment. When you enter a more novel and volatile environment, this might enhance the tendency for the brain to absorb more information. (Yale neuroscientist Daeyeol Lee)
  • There are some occasions when a tapering off of learning is fine.
  • Consciously building variety, uncertainty and newness into your life prevents your brain from idling. You can try:
    • Traveling abroad
    • Changing your routine
    • Starting a new project
    • Searching out weird, new ideas
    • Talking to people you disagree with
  • The goal should be to inject unpredictability into your life to keep your brain learning.

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