Thursday, January 07, 2010

Keep In Mind

Each of us sets goals. Often that happens at the beginning of a new quarter, new relationship or a new year. Often we fail to reach those goals. The good thing that we have done is set goals. The crazy thing we tend to do is not adjust our lives.

This thought is attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Clearly, it didn’t work last time, so what has changed that makes us think that this time it will work. Instead, we must make changes.

Those changes very often boil down to time. How much time am I willing to devote to success in this new goal I’ve set? In the case of relationships, how much time am I willing to spend with someone significant in my life. Or am I going to count on increased repetition of the idea that, “Indeed, you are my best friend.”

The KIPP Academy concept of time spent on task has been proven by them to be successful. Their program begins at about 7:30 AM and there are still students on campus at 7 PM. They attend into what most think of as summer vacation time by about a month. And they take the time that is necessary to cover and understand the concepts before them.

One of the problems we all face is an idea that has been buried in our minds. It suggests to us every day that if we can catch on to a new idea quickly, we’re smart and others will see and notice. If it takes quite a bit of time and involves asking questions then we must have been shortchanged in the brain department. Who cares anyway? You are going to live your whole life with you, not the teacher or fellow students. You need the concepts that are before you and so it is important that you do what it takes to understand and retain those concepts.

In addition, it has been my experience that only a handful of times has anyone asked me what grades I got when I was in school, or what schools I attended. Instead, they want to know if I can do the job. Set goals! Make the goals reasonable and attainable. Make the changes necessary, probably more time spent, and reach those goals. It may take me longer to get there following this plan, but when I get there I will have achieved my goal which is success in its own right.

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