Eat Your Lima Beans: The Importance of Becoming the Student You May Not Be
[modified from Albert Berg’s Unsanity Files, blog post February 21, 2011. Original post here.]
When I was a kid, my mom had a rule at the dinner table: “Eat everything on your plate.” I was okay with it most of the time. Mom was a great cook who never failed to deliver a stunning meal even when she didn’t have much to work with. But sometimes…sometimes that rule was a tough pill to swallow. Especially when Lima beans were involved.
But what I didn’t realize was that mom was teaching me an important principle way back then: it’s just as important to do the things you don’t like as it to do the things you love.
…But the problem is that homework and school work just don’t fall onto place naturally. They need to be planned. They need…deep breath, I can do this…scheduling.
There. I said it. Scheduling schoolwork. Planning homework ahead of time. I like it about as much as I like Lima beans. But recently I’ve come to realize that what I like doesn’t really matter. I realized I needed to approach my school work like I approached mom’s dinner. It’s fine to enjoy the good stuff, the stuff you really love, but sometimes you’ve got to eat some Lima beans too.
Which means when the time comes to start my next big homework project, I’m going to have to get out a calendar and pens and start planning. It probably won’t be fun, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore it. There will be time for fun later on when I’m soaring through the clouds – having turned in my homework early.
This isn’t a post about scheduling; it’s a post about doing what doesn’t come naturally. Maybe you love planning. Maybe you go to town with those little pocket calendars and colored pens.
But the odds are good there’s some other aspect of scheduling you fall short at. And that is the thing you’re going to have to conquer if you want to become a truly great student.
Doing what comes naturally is easy. We can play from our strengths all day long. But playing from our strengths isn’t going to make us great. If we aspire to greatness we’re going to have to learn to work through our weaknesses.
We have to eat our Lima beans. We have to become the student we may not yet be.