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There’s Always a Spark of Curiosity to be Found

Effective teaching begins with students, not subjects.

Instead of trying to make subjects interesting, find where students’ interests are already kindled.

Then toss in wood & coal by feeding them questions, ideas, & resources that stoke their curiosities.

There’s no need to start an entirely new fire when you can fan an existing spark into flames.

How to Understand

If you want to understand something, then write about it, talk about it, and share resources about it.

For any given subject, the best way to learn about it is to challenge yourself to do something about it.

Don’t just study things in private. Share and ship things in public.

The best preparation is participation.

Be Sustainable

There’s no such thing as an opportunity that can’t be undermined by a failure to show up.

A lack of follow-through is the #1 way to negate a professional breakthrough.

Talent opens the door, but reliability wins the room.

Creativity will get you noticed, but it takes consistency to build something that will last.

As Shannon Sharpe says “the best ability is availability.”

Obstacles

Sometimes we overcome them.

Sometimes we use them as stepping stones to new levels of awareness.

Sometimes we transform them into opportunities.

Sometimes we accept them as invitations to question our assumptions about what’s really an obstacle and what’s not.

Sometimes we’re surprised by the way they stimulate fresh ideas.

Sometimes we’re thankful for how they reveal blessings in disguise.

“Sometimes” doesn’t mean “You are guaranteed to get a positive result”, but it does mean “You are not guaranteed to get a negative result.”

Before you let your obstacles get you down, try to see if there’s a way to use them as leverage for lifting yourself up.

Obstacles get in the way, but that doesn’t mean they have to mark the end of the way.

Work While They Debate

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Focus on your results, not your status.

“Are you a writer?”┬áThat’s a status question and it’s a distraction.

Some people will say your writer status is legit, but others will never concede the point because of your credentials or your style or your genre or whatever else they’re using as the ultimate metric.

The real question is “Do you have something to say and are you going to step up and say it?” If you can say “yes” to that question, nothing else matters. While people are busy debating over your status as a writer, you’ll be able to point to an actual body of work and say “I have written.”

Is J.K. Rowling a “real” writer? It depends on who you ask, but here’s what’s not up for debate: J.K. Rowling has accomplished her goal of telling the stories she wants to tell and making the points she wants to make. And she didn’t need anyone’s permission to get started with that. No amount of disgruntled or jealous literature majors will ever be able to argue her results out of existence. Her work has been done and her impact has been made.

The same is true of being an expert, or being an entrepreneur, or being an influencer, or whatever other socially celebrated title you’re chasing.

Instead of asking yourself “Am I an X?”, ask yourself “What kind of work would I be doing right now if I believed myself to be an X?”┬áThen go do it.

The substance of real world effort and value-creation will always take you further than fancy titles and fake accolades. Stick to the real thing: it’s called work.

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