I visited the presentation of Ray Klaassen 12th of June 2023. As a former special forces operator he challenged his comfort zone by organizing his first public show in which he collaborated with different artistic disciplines such as; dance, music and song. He introduced the principle of the ‘learning pit’. I think he referred to the learning pit principle by James Nottingham that visualizes the learning development. It’s a tool for learners to realize that learning something new often involves confusion and sometimes anxieties. The metaphor of the pit is where we learn how to cope with new ideas. Ray points out the pit also involves our ‘blind spot’. We need others to help us out of the pit. We all have blind spots in our development. The key to overcome obstacles is to acknowledge them and keep moving forward.
The learning pit principle seems related to the ‘dip curve’ by Seth Godin. In his book he describes the process of goalsetting. When you first start chasing a goal you are excited because the perceived reward is often high. People surrounding you are often happy and praise you which supports the perception of the high reward. Then, somewhere in between there is a potentially long period in which the perceived reward vs. effort drops off. Feelings of defeat, shame and quilt can arise for not accomplishing yet. Within that period we must figure out if the struggle is merely a dip or a dead end. You have to ask the question; is it okay to quit, or do I need to push through? The choices we make there are the ones that define us.
“Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when other’s can’t see it. At the same time, the smartest people are realistic about not imagining light when there isn’t any”. S. Godin
To conclude his show, Ray emphasized growth through adversity, stating that effortful tasks often result in happiness. Ownership and relationships are important. Don’t blame others, instead connect with others, and allow yourself to be supported. There is no such thing as a self-made man. With these thoughts in mind, I am preparing my concluding questions for my team members before the onset of the summer break. Thankful to be part of a team with a mission.