Be A Bad Student.
I was a bad student.
I regularly got kicked out of class for talking back. I got sent to the vice principal’s office. I almost had to repeat fourth grade. In high school I failed geography and German.
Mix and Match
All my life, I’ve been a mix of a good student and a bad student. In some classes I was attentive, creative, focused, and in love with the subject. In other classes I was bored, distracted, and didn’t respect my teachers.
My math classes were like this. In other subjects I was in honors classes. With math I was in the regular classes. I lacked a natural aptitude for math, but I did ok. Until my senior year …
In my senior year I had an amazing math teacher, Mr. Stelmaszak. He was different than other math teachers. He was like a cross between Rain Man and Kramer.
Mr. Stelmaszak was excited about math. And he wanted us to be excited too. Amazingly, he helped me enjoy doing math.
So I studied hard, really hard. And that semester, I was awarded ‘most outstanding trigonometry student.’
It wasn’t because I was great at doing the homework. It was because I fell in love with the subject. Even better, I learned more than just trig that semester.
I learned to be flexiblie. I learned I could find joy in the strangest places. Best of all, I learned about myself.
Being a bad student and slow learner can be one of the best gifts to receive. It forces us to learn, to overcome, to adapt, and to grow.
I see this in my friends and clients alike. The people who make the biggest gains are the ones who aren’t naturally good.
When we are bad students we must be a better student of ourselves. As the Dalai Lama says, “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
Being a natural is fine, but stumbling is even better. When we stumble, we see our blind spots.
If you aren’t naturally good at something you have to work harder. You have to stretch to get better. It’s the stretching that makes deep transformation happen.
How have your struggles helped you grow?
What mistakes helped you become who you are today?
Please comment below and let me know.
- Imagine you have a good friend who is struggling to maintain a fitness or eating practice.
- Then think about everything you have learned on your own journey of transformation.
- What are 3 things you could tell your friend to encourage, inspire, and motivate them?
- Write a letter to this imaginary friend.
- Start with “Dear, Friend I know you want to quit, but …”
- Next take and put the letter in an envelope.
- Put it aside.
- Next time you are having a hard time take it out and read it.
- We are always our own best teachers.