This Guest paper was submitted for publication 8/14/13 and is copyright to author Chris Majer, © 2013.
These observations are abstracted from the author's book The Power to Transform and published here February 2014

Editor's Note | Introduction | Knowing but Impatient
Craving for Understanding but Reluctance to Begin | Blindness and Confusion
Mind/body Learning and Comfort | Constant Assessment but Independently
Novelty and Characterization | Summary

Mind/body Learning and Comfort

The mind understands but the body learns
We tend to forget the essential role of the body. We claim that while the mind understands, it is the body that actually learns. To develop better leadership skills, you can't just study books, watch TV, and attend motivational lectures. It takes practice in real time with real people with real impacts and personal risk.

Risk-taking entails dealing with fear, and fear lives in the body. It takes time to build capability and skills for coping with fear. It takes new behavior when fear arises. The mind understands, but the body learns.

It is natural to want to be comfortable, so comfort is the enemy. When confronted with new ideas, most people react strongly. When our familiar patterns, associations, and responses are challenged, often we respond with fear and anger. Our minds cling to stability and predictability, and we tend to judge something new as dangerous.

Moreover, the notion of learning and changing always looks good from a distance. In fact everyone is in favor of learning, as long as it doesn't mean me and it doesn't mean now. When presented with our own opportunities for change and growth, however, discomfort arises.

The array of excuses, dodges, and delays we toss out can be astonishing. In short, beware of the perfectly natural desire for comfort. Unfortunately, comfort and authentic learning are mutually exclusive. You have to get out of your comfort zone.

Blindness and Confusion  Blindness and Confusion

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