There are many steps that enable all of us, especially students, to create what we want in the world. To consistently create the end results we feel we deserve. So, what stops us?
Of course, we can play the blame-game and look outside of ourselves for the answers. Dance with the inevitable “ but everyone else has it so much easier than me!” This dance of course, often ends up with an empty dance card and a lonely list of ‘if only’ at night’s end.
Or, we can look inside at some of our consistent behaviours and habits and fully examine the current reality in relation to these personal habits and the outcomes we are currently creating.
All good students know the awesome benefits attained in honest self-evaluation. Not the beat-myself-up kind of self-examination but a gentle exploration of what makes us really tick in relation to the goals we set ourselves.
In the words of Aristotle: “Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.” In other words, it’s the things we repeatedly do (or don’t do!) that create our results.
Three habits that can measurably improve scholastic performance are: Preparation, Purpose and Practice.
Let’s briefly examine each one, extending to it, the baking-the-cake metaphor.
Preparation is really the key. Baking any cake is vastly more effective when we prepare. Knowing the recipe, having all the ingredients at hand and being clear on the method, can make all the difference to the successful outcome. The same idea is especially useful when applied to creating a project or classroom assignment. Making a list of all the resources should be the first thing we do. Gathering the resources not only creates tangible, material evidence that engages our focus, it also activates all kind of sensory resources that stimulates momentum. The adage of taking the first step is never more relevant.
This can really save students an untold amount of time and heartache. What is the purpose of making the cake? Sure, we want to eat it but is it the right kind of cake? Does it really need icing? What flavour is it going to be? Who is it for? Students that ask the correct key-questions invariably do well because they simply ask the questions that need to be asked and very quickly get on purpose to create the results they want.
Finally, practice. How many of us can lay claim to the perfect cake created with our first attempt? Contrary, most of us improve our favourite recipes with repeated attempts. Adding things here and there, modifying small steps, all the while enhancing the creative process and constantly improving the end result.
When applied to creating a better-crafted essay and assignment, applying these three simple ideas can be the difference between loving the end result you create, having your cake and eating it too, or eating humble pie!
The proof really is in the eating!