Why Learning Is Difficult: And How Lack of Intimidation Helps Build Talent

Imagine you had to learn Photoshop.
And you were given a Photoshop manual.
Or maybe thrown into the deep end, with the program.

There you are, wondering what those complicated things on the tool bar mean.
There you are, wondering why Photoshop–or any other learning–can’t be simpler.

But yes it can be simpler.
What if we learned Photoshop, or at least a bit of Photoshop without opening Photoshop at all?
What if we learned it, without even a computer at hand?
That would be nice and un-intimidating, huh?

Most learning is intimidating
Not only do our brains have to take in too many facts, but the things we learn are often complex.
And the method used to teach often erroneous.
Because the best way to learn is not to learn at all.
But to have fun.
To discover things.
And to feel this sense of achievement.
Achievement and awe.

If you don’t know Photoshop, you’re going to feel this sense of awe in a few seconds.
But even if you do know it, you’ll see the simplicity in the method.

So here we are: Without Photoshop in hand. Or a computer.
And let’s say you want to draw a brush stroke.
Now tell me, if you wanted to use a brush stroke, which letter of the English alphabet would you choose?

You said “B” right?
Well you’re right. If you opened Photoshop, and pressed the letter B on your keyboard, the program would take you right to the Brush tool.

But suppose you wanted to decrease the opacity of the brush tool to 50%, what number on your keyboard would you press?
Did you say the number 5?
Well, you’re right. And if you pressed the number 6, you’d get an opacity of 60%. And the number 1 would give you an opacity of 10%. And of course 90% would be the number 9. So what would 100% opacity be?

Yes, it is indeed the number 0. 🙂

So there we are, without a computer. Or Photoshop.
We chose a brush tool.
We increased and decreased the opacity.
Now how about we increase and decrease the brush size.

So you have two square brackets on your keyboard
The left one that looks like this: [
And the right one which looks like this: ]
Which square bracket would you press to increase the brush size?

The right one, right?
But what if you said, “The left square bracket.”
Well, so what? You got it wrong once, but you learned from it.

And in a few minutes, we learned how to:
1) Pick a brush.
2) Increase the opacity (or decrease it)
3) Increase the brush size (or decrease the brush size).

All without touching the computer.

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