Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't Do Anything Halfhearted

Back to school for A & P. N starts on Thursday. I thought today was an appropriate day to tell the boys about my recent commitment to do things wholeheartedly or not at all. In reviewing what was working well and what was not in my professional life I concluded I needed to eliminate those things I was doing halfheartedly. The boys don't have the luxury of eliminating some of the things they are doing halfheartedly, e.g., some classes, piano practice, but I made the case that if you are forced to do something, you might as well do it wholeheartedly. Why? By giving it your best you often discover that something you thought was boring or uninteresting can actually be fun. You can make it so. Otherwise, you are not giving that activity a chance. Also, when we only devote part of our attention to something and, for example, read or draw something unrelated in a class (or check our email during a meeting) we are actually kidding ourselves into thinking we are making better use of our time. The reality, at least most of the times, is that we are not less bored and don't really accomplish much else. All we are doing is a crappy job at more than one thing at a time!

I know this is easier said than done and it takes some discipline, so some "tricks" might help. For example, suppose you have a lousy teacher, rather than "check out" form the class and daydream or draw, maybe you can have some fun challenging the teacher. The teacher might not like it, and it might even get you in more trouble than just checking out, but you will probably get more out of it - and have a better time.

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