You think you are studying geography, history, science, math . . . and you are. But the real subject, whatever you are studying in school, is yourself.
Do you know yourself? Do you understand yourself? Do you know what sort of things stress you out? How do you dial the stress down to a manageable level? How do you respond to criticism? Are you a leader or a follower? What do you really enjoy? Why do you enjoy those things? What do you really hate? Why? Are you an extrovert, or an introvert? How do you learn? Why are you the kind of person you are? Are you like your parents, or one of them? Have you been shaped by childhood experiences? Are you like other people in your family? in your ethnic group? linguistic group? Are you like others who share your religion, or your nationality? How did you come to be the person you are? And so on.
The more you understand yourself, the more successful you will be not just in school, but in everything you do. And almost every moment of every day provides a new opportunity to learn more about yourself. Problems, disagreements, difficulties of all sorts offer especially good opportunities to think about how you are responding to a certain situation; and what that response tells you about the sort of person you are; and what that experience can teach you that will be useful in the future. As I used to tell my children when they were young, pain is that little friend waving his hand, trying to get your attention. “Over here!” he calls out, “Look over here, there’s something you need to know about! Something you need to learn from!” If you always run away from the pain, run away from conflicts, ignore problems or just endure them until they go away—then you will miss all those opportunities to understand yourself better.
If you do learn to understand yourself, then everything else you study—geography, history, science, math—will be much, much easier. You will earn better results, and you will enjoy your studies more.
Think of it this way: instead of having to learn six or eight subjects, you really only have to learn one: yourself. And the really good news? It’s a subject that you are actually interested in.
I have not tried this out myself, but here is the TechCrunch review that caught my eye.
Might be worth 99 cents if it could help you keep on track with assignments and due dates.
“Read every day!” is one of the most important good habits that I urge students to practice in Good Habits, Good Students.
Two items recently came to my attention that add to the evidence of reading’s benefits.
First, via Larry Ferlazzo, this study showing that reading actually makes our brains bigger:
Don’t try to solve all your problems at once. Pick just one area that needs improvement, and work on it until you’ve reached your goal. To turn your achievement into a new habit, repeat the behaviour you are practicing until it becomes automatic.
Set a realistic goal. Decide in advance what you need to [...]
I am now working on a second edition of Good Habits, Good Students, which will be updated and expanded, including an entirely new section (more on that, later).
If you are one of my readers and have ideas about what a second edition should include, please share them with me! I want the book [...]
Sugar is a slow poison that disrupts normal liver functions in the same way that alcohol does. It leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, liver disease, fetal insulin resistance, and, of course, obesity.
That’s the bad news from Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, [...]
My advice for secondary school students (and older) is at EricMacKnight.com, here: http://ericmacknight.com/wordpress/?p=359.
HundredPushups.com is a great exercise site. They have sister sites for sit-ups, squats, and pull-ups. Each site provides a simple program that takes about 30 minutes a week, and promises that over six weeks you can dramatically improve your fitness.
The secret? A graduated sequence of repetitions in five sets. Each sequence is repeated [...]
Apologize, fix it, and move on.
What should you say if you’re caught doing something wrong? Apologize, first. Then, if you can do anything to repair the damage, do it.
All of us make mistakes. The question is, how do we respond to them? If we try to weasel out of trouble, point the [...]
Bob Duffin teaches in Mesa, Arizona. In April of this year he posted the following review of Good Habits, Good Students under the heading, “Advice that can really work”:
I teach mathematics in middle school and am always looking for high quality reference material to help my students develop better academic and personal habits. [...]