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Fun and Learning a Deeper Connection

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Be Purposeful. Intended purpose leads to goals. / Goals lead to intention. / Intention leads to commitment. / Commitment generates enthusiasm. / Enthusiasm produces energy. / Energy leads to achievement. – Michael Josephson

For 15 years, I have taught trainers, leaders, and instructional designers the importance of making any learning event fun. I have given them reasons and ways to do it. I have written about it at times.

The things I have taught and the techniques I have used are valuable and helpful. Those techniques, by themselves, are not sufficient.

The training techniques and ideas all focus on the learning process. And while the process is essential, we can lose sight of the result when we focus too closely on a circle. 

It is like when you tell someone their form is wrong and ignore that they stoutbowlbowl you by thirty pins. Or when you tell someone they hold the pen wrong while writing, they still have pretty handwriting. Or they do something in an unconventional but successful way.

In all these cases, focusing on the process keeps our sight away from the desired result.

So, it is with fun and learning.

Will our learning be more profound and more lasting (as well as more enjoyable) if we do things to make the process fun? Of course.

But as I already said, that is not enough.

If the person leading the training does not understand why those techniques work or believe they will work, they will just be using methods, and it will feel like that to both the teacher and the student. It will be like putting a band-aid over a wound far too big helpful but not a solution.

So, what is the deeper connection?

The Deeper Connection Between Fun and Learning

It is simple. The result of learning is:

  • Satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Success
  • New skills
  • Greater confidence
  • More security
  • Enjoyment
  • Fun

The result of our learning something new is supposed to be fun.

This fact is why the techniques work. They are aligning the learning process with a profound human truth. When we learn, we express a deep human need when we learn about our greatness. When we realize we are doing what we know subconsciously we are supposed to be doing. And when we put our actions in alignment with those needs, it makes us happy.

The result of learning is bottomless fun, enjoyment, and satisfaction.

Too often, we forget this both as students and as teachers. Learning is fun.

This article helps you understand why the best trainers make learning fun and engaging. Now you know why you use those types of ideas. You even see ways you could teach coworkers, peers, and your kids things more effectively.

I hope so.

But my real hope in sharing this article with you is that you think about your subjective experiences and beliefs about learning.

This deeper connection between learning and fun matters to us, not just because we might be teaching someone else but because we are learners too.

And we will be more effective learners, more productive learners, and more successful in our lives when we recapture the joy and, yes, fun that inherently comes from learning new things.

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