May 06, 2014

Life Lessons from High School: Show Your Work

You know in high school when your math and science teachers wouldn't give you credit for solving a problem correctly unless you showed the work? Or when your English and history teachers said you needed facts and citations to support your opinions in essays? It probably drove you nuts. Why does it matter, you asked, if the answer is still correct? Isn't that the point? Well, no, it isn't. 

It was actually a much bigger and more important life lesson in disguise. See, life isn't always about getting it right. More often than not, you won't. It is about understanding how you got there and learning from your mistakes. It's about seeing what made that effort fail or succeed and, in the case of a career or personal goal, about using that information to explain and understand your actions. This is what allows you to either continue to exceed or refine your efforts until you do. Success isn't about knowing how to get it right the first time, it's about perseverance and trying again until you do. You can't do that if you don't "show your work."
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