Learning to type

Posted by Doc
Feb 04 2009

Anne Epstein (twitter: @ajepst) tweeted:

Cory Haines' post http://is.gd/im5f reminds me of learning to type. 
You never learn until you stop looking @ the kb

Followed by this:

Stop looking at the keyboard, speed goes *way* down immediately.
Then, you get faster than you were at hunt n' peck...eventually

My response was this:

@ajepst there's some profundity in that beyond just about typing,
 isn't there?

It really got me to thinking about how hard change is, because that’s what this exchange is really about: change.

In fact, my entire series of posts in this category, Coping and Communicating, is largely about change.

Learning to see my own behavior as my own, to see your behavior as being about you and your feelings, and understanding that we only interact at the external, behavioral level – that’s all about changing.

Change isn’t instant. Change takes practice and commitment. Change usually involves some failures and some frustration and exasperation, and strong temptation to give up and go back to what we know that is comfortable.

Like learning touch typing. It’s easier to look at the keyboard and take your time, if that’s what you’re used to.  In fact, I’ve seen some hunt-n-peckers who are blazingly fast. But their focus is on the keyboard, not on what they’re typing, if they have to look to find the keys.

I was fortunate, in that I was required to learn touch typing in Junior High School in NYC. I was less fortunate when it comes to personal development.  There were no requirements, and I was able to self-delude into believing that there were no consequences.

It took a long time for me to embrace the ideas that I’ve been sharing here, and longer to actually be able to put them into practice.

Just this week, I had a lengthy email exchange with a dear friend. He was very angry, frustrated with me, and hostile. He swore at me, was accusatory, told me how much he’d done for me, and so on. I was able to listen, pay attention to what I saw as being most important (our relationship, and his difficulties, and  how I might help), and respond without taking any of it personally.  It felt really good.

Like when I realized that I could, in fact, type without looking at the keys (95 wpm, btw ;)).

Thanks, Anne.  Thought-provoking.

2 Responses

  1. […] is part of what happened with my friend the other day in our email exchange that I mentioned in Learning to type. It would have been very easy to react to his hostility and his hurtful words. It was tempting now […]

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