Find The Purpose In Everything – Or Don’t Do It
During the latest lockdown, my son was doing remote school lessons from a laptop.
We had a daily ritual of sitting in the same room at home when we worked. This was mainly so we weren’t isolated in different parts of the house – but it also allowed me to see what he was doing and learning.
I noticed one day he wasn’t his usual engaged self and was sitting daydreaming.
I asked if everything was OK and he said “Yeah, just bored”.
On exploration it turned out he was doing History and learning about the Plantagenets. He normally enjoys History, so I decided to use this opportunity to find out the purpose in his task.
Me: Why is it boring?
Him: Because it’s just kings and queens
Me: Why is it important to learn about kings and queens?
Him: Dunno, my teacher just said we had to learn about them
Me: Why is it important to you though?
Him: So I know what happened in the past
Me: Why is that important?
Him: So I know about our country
Him: So I know about the history of where we live
Me: And is that worth listening to, or is it boring?
Him: It is boring, but I need to learn it
Me: But why?
This type of questioning may seem exhausting but I really wanted to know why he did or didn’t find the purpose in learning about people who died hundreds of years ago.
He eventually came to the conclusion (after many more ‘whys?’) that History teaches us how we got to where we are now.
I was quite prepared for him to sit that lesson out if he couldn’t get past the ‘boring, pointless’ mindset. This of course may seem a bit ‘weak’ in parenting terms. Given the chance, most kids would choose to not do lessons. But finding the purpose and exploring why he was learning it gave him the energy he needed to start listening again. Surely that makes more sense than just making him sit there because it’s what he has to do?
Finding the purpose in every task we do is vital. Otherwise, why are we wasting time doing it at all? Applying this logic to everything in life really does make things a lot clearer and simple.
And it’s this kind of logic and approach that we use as a basis when helping teams and individuals establish the good habits that will enable them to become High Performing Teams and High Performing Members. Learn more here