You will get a good feeling just from seeing a growing number

3. srpna 2011 v 8:35
The Problem Usually Starts From Teaching Methods Used In Schools
Back in school, many of us learned sciences. We drew pictures of the butterfly's life cycle as it occurs during metamorphosis. But how many actually got to see the entire cycle take place IN REAL LIFE? I'm not sure about you, but I never got to see a real-life butterfly's metamorphosis(i.e. from the eggs to the larva - or caterpillar - to the pupa, and then into the adult butterfly) take place, till I left school!
And when I did learn it, it was by accident. Briefly, I took a caterpillar into my bedroom one day, and placed it on a leafy branch(broken off the adult orange tree from which I picked the caterpillar), which was set in a bottle of water. Over time, the caterpillar ate the leaves, and I replaced the branch until one day it disappeared! Upon noticing this, I searched all over the table on which the bottle was placed thinking it had fallen off, until I discovered, under the table top, in a corner joining the table top to the frame, the butterfly pupa covered in its cotton like cocoon! I promptly put a mosquito net around the table, so that when the adult butterfly hatched/emerged from the pupa, it did not fly off before I was able to see it.
My apologies to the reader if you did not do much biology or Integrated Science in school, where the reproductive cycles of some lower animals might have been covered. The point I made in the first paragraph is that sometimes, in our conventional schools, learners are forced to memorise photos, diagrams and sketches of the animals or organisms they are taught about in class - without being shown real life examples.
Experience-Based Learning Makes Cramming Unnecessary
Is it not funny that this learning should have happened for me the other way round, considering that parents send their kids to school to acquire knowledge that they can then come to apply in the real world? I honestly believe that is why Robert Kiyosaki's ideas for educational reform are so worthy of consideration by any serious parents or educational practitioners. Question is how many of us will take action to use those ideas to make a difference in the lives of the kids we raise, teach or coach?
The children in many conventional schools are seldom taken outdoors into the real word (nor are they encouraged or challenged to go out of their way after class) to see the real thing. Instead they are made to read about the activity, and learn to say it as they read it, instead of describing it as they felt while they DOING it. Now, the irony of this poor teaching method is that when one DOES make effort to get a "real" life experience, recalling all the important aspects of that particular process becomes considerably easier. Thus the need for "cramming" is more or less removed.
I sometimes ask people this question: "If you were told to describe the process of making a cup of coffee, would you need to look up the steps from a book to do it?"
The answer I always get every time is "No". The reason: "You've done it many times before". And there lies my point. Once we get into the habit of gaining real-life experiences relevant to any new area of knowledge we wish to explore, we will find that our resultant understanding would be comprehensive - and we would no longer need to do so much "cramming"!
Those Who Procrastinate Become Professional Students
Back to goals achievement. Some people attend seminars or workshops, and read books on starting up their businesses but never really start anything worthwhile. Such people in effect become professional students. They keep attending seminars, reading books, "start" to make the plans, then stop. They never really begin.
Then there are those who do start, but learn from a book/seminar that they need to make some changes in order for their business to move to the next level. However, instead of doing it, they keep procrastinating - and end up never achieving their full potential. Examples of people who are caught in this kind of "trap' surround us. It is the same thing for people in paid employment who desire career advancement, but fail to take the needed actions to improve themselves. Ditto for the one who wants to lose weight but cannot find the will power to deny THAT urge to eat between meals or 'miss' exercising regularly etc.
For those able to take action towards achieving the desired end, they ultimately "grow up" to reach higher levels. And go on to achieve authentic success. That's why some entrepreneurs always seem to be growing in their ability to take their businesses to a higher level, while some others always appear stagnant.
"There is a great deal of difference between having knowledge and applying it. The teacher asked. "What is Agriculture?" The pupil replied, "Agriculture is just like farming, but farming is doing it." - W.F. Weiherman
You Must Continue Learning, IF You Want To Keep MOVING FORWARD!
In a separate article, I wrote about people who record a measure of achievement, and promptly assume they have arrived at the pinnacle of success in their chosen area of endeavour. Not only is this a faulty notion to have, but it is also potentially damaging, because it leads directly to mediocrity - a state of mind whereby ability and performance that can STILL be significantly improved upon, is continually celebrated as if nothing else is left to be done.
Any one who wishes to achieve goals that are worth celebrating, and that others will acknowledge as worthwhile, needs to rid him/herself of mediocre thinking. The mediocre is the one who does a little, and thinks there is nothing left to be done. Those who are serious students of success know that success has been correctly described as a journey - NOT a destination. Also, a person who desires success needs to perpetually HUNGER for knowledge that will better equip him/her to achieve that success. In other words, s/he cannot be averse to LEARNING new things.
"Once at a public gathering, Einstein found himself sitting next to a teenager who failed to recognize the world-renowned theorist at his side. Delightedly Einstein engaged the boy in conversation, and after a while, the boy naively asked: "What do you do for a living?" With typical modesty, Einstein replied, "I study physics." "What, at your age!" the boy responded incredulously, "I finished that two years ago!" - Edward Hoffman, Editor, The Book of Fathers' Wisdom Birch Lane Press
Some people - like the boy in the above quote - learn a little bit about something, and immediately assume there's nothing left to learn. In our society, we have people who finish from university and conclude that they've done all the studying they need to do. One amusing thing they do to show this is to throw away their university notes!
I have never regretted keeping my university notes for instance, because most of the stuff I wrote in the management research paper (Statistical Process Control and Target Setting) that got me to the National Finals of the Nigerian Institute of Management's Young Managers' Competition in 1997, (5 full years after I left the university) came from studying some of the concepts in those books.
Summary
If you want to achieve the goals you set for yourself at work or in life, procrastination must become your number ONE enemy. You need to decide to stick with the target dates you set for achievement of each objective. Use a checklist if necessary, and tick off each item as you achieve it. You will get a good feeling just from seeing a growing number of ticks on it! That feeling, over time, will encourage you to do more. And before you know it, you will have a string of successes behind you, that can be a source of inspiration to others around you, who procrastinate, to break the habit once and for all .
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