Learn through virtuous moments

“We learn some of the most important lessons in our lives in very short moments.”

We know that.  When you want to learn something new, and put the hammer down, trying to force learning, it rarely works.  As fatigue sets in, our I’ll do this 10 times, turns into 20, then 30, and before long, effective task execution is out the window.  All we’ve hammered home is the wrong way, or worse, injured ourselves, emotionally, physically or otherwise.

Once I was very curious about how to be a good musician.  I was an adult, learning the fiddle, or violin if you’d rather.  Searching for the way, I often came across nuggets of wisdom.  One is the idea of the virtuous moment, developing specific skills via regular practice of exercises, each different, and each of short duration; e.g., minutes vs. hours.

The spacing of virtuous moments is critical.  Brain science is revealing this.  A recent Globe & Mail article, How the spacing effect can affect studying, highlighted studies that show people are more likely to remember words, e.g., in a list or visual, when they are spaced apart from other words, instead of when they are positioned beside one another. Our attention works in bursts. Virtuous moments.

And, when we add up our virtuous moments, when we repeat each moment, with regularity and spacing, day-in, day-out, success is just around the corner.  It might be 30 days, as in learning the basics of new habit, or 10,000 hours, the journey to being a master craftsman.

So, as you nurture positive habits, in yourself and others, remember that a little can go a long way.  Do it, whatever it is, keep it short, then take some space,a breath. and go on to the next activity.  Repeat. That’s the cycle.

Good luck.

And for you? What do your virtuous moments look like?

Photo credit: AZRainman on Flickr

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