Stress Causes Gain?

What is your automatic Association and reaction when you read – “No-Pain”?
Right, “No-Gain!” We are not talking about pumping-iron, yet it applies to
cognitive learning. Most of us invent reasons not to do the repetitious practice,
(home work) it takes to create personal Mastery of new skills

The first step in the cure of excuse making is Awareness. Why?
Homo sapiens like you and me live in a perpetual state of denial
about potential failure and rejection. We know what is required, but refuse to do it.

We know practice, drill, and rehearsal are necessity to ace new skills and knowledge. Don’t we all make a ton of excuses to avoid the routine and tedious scut work of repetition and self-testing? Me too.

Did you know each memory recall (practice) strengthens the Synaptic connections
(links) in your brain? They lead to a new neural network for long-term memory of your new skills and knowledge. Repetition really is the Mother of learning.

New Research

The result of stress in new learning produces Happiness and Satisfaction. Can you hear the phrase – no pain, no gain coming? Professor Ryan Howell at San Francisco
State University, headed the research on enduring temporary stress to gain long-term Mastery (expertise) of skills and information.

He found that it is the rule and not the exception to terminate, cease-and-desist
the work required to lock-in new knowledge.

To overcome the stress and desire to quit because it is h-a-r-d and annoying,
we must make a conscious decision (choose) to accept the pain to obtain the cognitive gain.

What is the opposite of freely choosing (volition)? You must, have, and ought to
do the required repetition and practice. The result is personal autonomy (self-direction) together with Happiness and Satisfaction.

Avoiding Stress in Learning

Team learning and the Buddy System make learning a social event and takes the
bite out of the repetitious element. Dr. Howell names three areas of personal growth: Autonomy (we choose), New Competence – Mastery, and Connectedness
to Others (society).

Teams of 2-3 for students or executives make a game of learning. There is a
sense of competition that goads us to success, and a need to impress others, or
at least not embarrass ourselves by looking stupid and lazy.

a) It is only human to desire Cognitive Mastery in this Knowledge Economy.
b) Further it is natural to want Autonomy (self-control) in our lives.
c) Teamwork is an evolutionarily hardwired and satisfying experience.

All of the aforementioned leads us to Purpose and Meaning in our lives. If you
want more happiness and pleasure in your life, we must choose to endure temporary
stress. Remember the pumping iron expression – No Pain, No Gain.

Google: Journal of Happiness Studies 10.30.09, Ryan Howell.

Synonyms For Making An Excuse

Define: reason, explain < L to put outside

1. defense mechanism
2. alibi
3. cop-out
4. cover-up
5. justification
6. rationalization
7. stall
8. subterfuge
9. disguise
10. pretext
11. vindicate
12. whitewash
13. indulgence
14. mea culpa
15. evasion
16. condone
17. exonerate


It is not a crime to want to avoid the hard work of learning a new skill or master
new knowledge. The sin in the Knowledge Economy is making excuses to avoid
personal growth and improved productivity. Implement the feedback loop of
learning, and you improve the structure and function of your entire brain.

The next promotion in our economy often goes to the cognitively fittest. Choose to
to do what your peers ignore, and you have a competitive advantage.

Would you have a competitive advantage over your peers by having the skill to read
and remember three (3) books, articles and reports in the time others can hardly
finish one? Call us to start now.

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, not in the multiplicity and confusion
of things.” Isaac Newton.

See ya,

copyright © 2009 H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of Speed Reading, graduating
2 million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.