“What’s The Phone Number For 911?”

I’ve actually heard those words come out of someones mouth before, during an emergency situation. Before you start throwing rocks (and after your laughter dies down) you should know that when you don’t ask for help when you really need it, you’re no better than the person who makes this colorful statement (OUCH).

Sometimes fear is just a four letter roadblock between you and doing the impossible.
Sometimes fear is just a four letter roadblock between you and doing the impossible.

Not asking for help‘ was one of my greatest downfalls as a student. I have a couple of reasons why…along with solutions to each. I will give the first one this week, and second one next week:

(1) “I Am Scared Of What Everyone Will Think/Say”: This is the number one reason why people usually do not ask questions in class, email questions to the teacher, or post questions on the discussion boards. It isn’t really that you are afraid of what they will say–it’s deeper than that. I was afraid of being vulnerable. When I say “Why does NaCl dissociate in water–and what does “dissociate” mean?” I am exposing my ignorance on a topic to the public. It really doesn’t help your cause when the people engaged in conversation seem to know exactly what is going on and you don’t.

SOLUTION: The first thing that you need to understand is that ignorance and stupidity are two totally different things. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge. We’re ALL ignorant of SOMETHING, so don’t focus on the fact that you ‘don’t know’–THAT’S why you should be asking questions. Stupidity is actually when you know that you do not have the knowledge of a thing, you have the opportunities for obtaining that knowledge,  but ignore that knowledge and that opportunity, and make decisions that should/could be made only with that knowledge. People who don’t know the equation for measuring the distance of a star in a neighboring galaxy are not stupid–they are just ignorant of that equation. People who are stupid are folks who think that 500 hours of playing Call of Duty equals 500 hours of real-life combat zone experience–they assumed that, even though their friends spent months training at Ranger School, that there was no need to even ask their friends what that training was like because they made themselves self-proclaimed experts. It is okay “Not to know”–that’s why you are asking the question. Questions are simply ways of communicating about things that we do not know. There is almost always someone else in the crowd with the same question that you have–and there are always two or three more who wish that they had asked your question first! One of the best ways to overcome this fear of being vulnerable is to write your question out before or after class–but research the correct terminology to use. Instead of using the word “thingy”, use your textbook to find out what the chemical is actually called. Find words that relate to the topic that is being discussed and pick words that you are comfortable saying. And if you are not comfortable saying them–PRACTICE. None of this will work if you NEVER say the words out loud. Your goal is to replace your fear with CONFIDENCE, not KNOWLEDGE. You are asking questions to gain the knowledge that you do not know, but you require confidence to raise your hand 🙂

The second one is coming soon, so stay tuned…

Make The Time To Make The Grade

Happy New Year!!! If your life is like mine, then you are already busier than most. I am writing this blog post while scrambling to get an outfit ready for a business meeting. I had this nagging thought that I wanted to share with you, and so here it is: no matter what you do this year, make sure that you make time.

What I mean is that if there is something that you hope to achieve this year that you did not achieve last year, it will require the very finite resource known as time. Time management is nothing more than time accounting, time auditing, and time banking. Think of your time like money–oh, and by the way…if you are bad with money, then you are probably bad with time too.

Just like you seek to get the most for every dollar that you spend, you should work hard to obtain the most for every minute that you spend. Every successful student requires time to become successful. Heck, even students who cheat require time to be successful in cheating. I once met a student who created an extremely unique method of cheating. When she was caught I was shocked at how much time she had to dedicate in order to pull it off. It was just as much time that would have been required to have studied for the same test and passed it.

Begin doing an assessment of your time–don’t just admit that you ‘you don’t have any’, but actually fill out a daily schedule to see where your time is going. Some successes come from small alterations. For example: look at what you do for the last 15 minutes before you go to bed…look at the last 15 minutes before you go to class…what do you do for the first hour after you arrive home from work…These are important periods of time and what you do with them directly influence the other hours of your day. In 2014, stop looking at the large amounts of millionaire time that you don’t have and start looking at the pocket change time that you are dismissing and throwing away. Now, where did I put that tie…