The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

On having fun

“If you’re not having fun, you’re not learning. There’s a pleasure in finding things out.” @ProfFeynman

This quote stayed with me for a while. Reading through the responses to the tweet I wondered if people were somewhat disturbed by it and possibly struggling to see its meaning.

It changes the default meaning of learning by expecting it to be fun and by expecting it to be about finding things out. It seems to transform learning into a lifestyle but also to describe lightness in style.

Curiosity is invited to the table, as it’s about finding things out. However, it is a curiosity that is being rewarded, as there is fun while experiencing learning. But fun is not constantly present, as there is also the moment when one doesn’t know, otherwise one wouldn’t need to find things out.

Fun is how learning feels. Learning is triggered by not knowing, but learning is dealing with the tension between not knowing and knowing. Engaging in the quest to find out, knowing that it leads to some form of knowing, makes it fun. Finding things out is the outcome of learning, not the learning itself. It’s also the moment when fun becomes pleasure.

Words and sentences carry meaning. What others say allows some insight into their unconscious as well as worldview. But my interpretation of it would need some validation. It is how I’ve been able to perceive what is being written and how I’ve been able to describe it.

In coaching it often is a useful exercise to try to put words on what one understands or can see to then verify with the coachee how much of it catches what they meant to say.

At the same time, it can be quite a long process as what I’ve described becomes a tool to reflect on what has been said and what was really meant.

It’s enriching, and indeed fun. That is if one can stay focused on the tension instead of on the sense of knowing or of not knowing.



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