Many students are guilty of asking: Will this be on the test?
There’s a mindset prevailing the method behind the question. It’s less about learning and more about ticking a box. The reason for wanting an education should be to learn as much about a subject to eventually be regarded as an expert. When learning is voluntary, the learning and the experience become the ultimate prize. It’s not about the certificate or diploma, it’s what you gained in knowledge and experience.
An athlete training to win the Comrades Marathon is a volunteer. They pitch up daily, 100% vested in training to become the expert. They’re not expecting to only do the necessary, they’re prepared to sacrifice and endure suffering to achieve their goal. They are expecting things to get tougher. Their purpose drives the winning mindset. They’re not asking, “Will this be on the test?” Instead, they’re asking:
What more can I learn?
It’s interesting to note in both examples, people who voluntarily commit to a difficult challenge display a level of grit and determination most of us don’t understand. By asking, “What’s the minimum requirement?” or, “What’s the least I can do to qualify?”, we’re missing an opportunity to develop and grow into the best we can be. Character is not built by doing the least, it’s forged doing more than is required—the hard yards.
In many areas of life too, we find ourselves trying to do the bare minimum. Our natural tendency is to do as little as possible. “What can I get away with?” In most situations where our involvement is involuntary—traffic laws for example—we mostly do the least to conform. Anyone unhappy in their job will almost certainly not be asking for extra work.
There is calamity and tragedy right where you are. The pandemic has decimated the lives of folks from all walks of life. People and communities everywhere are negatively affected, none as much as those that had little to begin with. Most of us are oblivious to how bad the situation is in many areas around the country. It is sad to see when it comes to folks around us, especially those in need, the trend is to not volunteer. It’s back to, “What’s the minimum requirement?”
Rather, we should ask:
What more can I do?
You confine yourself to the limitations of the instructions when you’re forced to do something. But when you volunteer, you can commit and prepare yourself, especially—and in excited anticipation—of doing the hard yards.
“Is there a maximum to the amount of kindness, love, care, and compassion we can extend to one another?” It’s when you volunteer with your heart, mind and soul, you go from trying to do the minimum to try to be a blessing.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏