Discipline to Success:
The Education Attribute
Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.
We continue our review of the attributes that makeup our education attribute. We reviewed last week developing listening and reading skills. Let’s move onto:
Education is Perception
Take a moment and closer your browser. What do you hear? Perhaps the sound of a bird, the gust of a wind, the laughter of a child, the bustling of a traffic intersection, etc. What thoughts come to your mind when you listen to these sounds? Look around you. How would you describe what you see to a blind person, if requested?
When you have a chance, take a fifteen-minute walk around your neighborhood. Walk slowly and observe with your eyes and listen with your ears the sights and sounds of your neighborhood. Note the plants and flowers. How do they differ from one another? Describe in your mind the beauty and the ugly that is all around you. Study the unique features that architects used to design the buildings and homes in your neighborhood.
When you commute to school or to work, notice the sky, the traffic levels, the overhead bridges you pass under, the trees and animals in the distance. Try to identify something different each time you commute. In the winter, study the skeletal structures of barren trees . . . the oak, the maple, the ash. If you were to photograph a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, what scene would you focus inside your camera lens?
You can learn more in these simple activities each day than most people learn in a lifetime. There is so much education around us if we just take the time to look, listen and ponder. Education is increased perception of your surroundings and environment.
You are familiar with the verse that reminds us to take the time to smell the roses. In other words, take the time to perceive the world around you. Too often we rush to work, rush to school, rush to practice, rush back home, and then rush . . . rush . . . rush by opportunities to learn and appreciate our surroundings. We miss the animals and plants that beautify our world; we miss the different styles often worn by people; and we miss the funny shapes formed by the clouds. We are missing opportunities to expand our knowledge base.
Increasing your perceptive skills require that you first become a good listener. Then you need to spend a few moments each day to observe. Make it a daily habit to observe your surroundings when you commute to work or school. Spend a weekend in the woods and observe the changes in the seasons. Take jaunts or trips to discover nature’s tiny intricacies.
Another suggestion to increase your perceptive skills is to research a particular subject and then make a trip to observe the subject that you studied. For example, research some materials on botany science. Then walk through a conservatory to study the plants and trees. Perhaps you might be interested in local history. Schedule a weekend to tour your community to identify historic buildings and artifacts. Perception is listening and observation. By opening your eyes and ears to your surroundings, you can strengthen your educational attribute and your appreciation of your environment.
Education is Positive Language
Listen to your language. Do you use positive or negative language when you speak with others? Your language communicates how you feel, how you react to challenges and how you believe in yourself. Changing and strengthening your education attribute means developing a positive language with a proactive attitude.
Negative phases such as:
• I can’t
• I don’t want to
• I can’t do that
• That’s not my responsibility
should change into positive, proactive language such as:
• I’ll try it
• I choose a different approach
• Let’s look as different alternatives
• Let me help you where I can
A positive, proactive approach to language, action, thinking and response will open your mind to experiences that increase education. Proactive people accept different challenges that force them to learn, to experience, and to enjoy. Though they may be bound by constraints such as personal knowledge and authority, they will always look for alternatives, believing that there are ways to accomplish an objective. Inventors, explorers and other successful people throughout history used proactive thinking. Similar proactive thinking must become part of your vocabulary.
Next time: we will continue our discussion of education attributes.
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