I wonder if there are such things as pointless facts. As a kid, I memorized things. The matching card game in Super Mario Brothers 3? There were 15 possible boards and I studied a manual that highlighted the similarities and variations so that you could solve it in one attempt if you did it just right. I was an ace. When I went through my “I am very interested in basketball” phase, I wrote out and typed up statistics for my favorite college and NBA players. I could make a statistical argument for John Starks being as good as Michael Jordan. “Who?!” you ask. Calm down, I was 11!
I still enjoy a memory game. I won’t try to argue for the merits of the facts themselves, but noticing patterns is a simple joy. Duck, Duck…goose! Right? Moreover, the thrill of mastery kept me coming back for more.
As an adult in my 20’s facebook game mania took over. I couldn’t muster the interest, but I stumbled on an online quiz where you named the countries of the world in 15 minutes or less. All 196 of them. My best time was under 8 minutes and 30 seconds.
It has to be the thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering something. It’s the unspoken secret to all the productivity books that have the same advice: set small goals, get help from others, and chunk up the tasks. Right?
Of course my mind rushes to how I can apply this with my students. But how can I apply this with myself and with others? Is there a way to extend this kindness of mastery and accomplishment to other adults? I’d actually love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for visiting. For the month of March, this blog is all “Slice of Life” every day.