Man raising hands in a sign of success

Today I found myself doing something annoying. I was pulling together an invoice and had questions about who had been paid this, and how much we’d paid for that. I knew we had the information somewhere in the office, most likely in a file marked “project expenses”. However, I found myself calling out to my assistant and asking her. I reasoned that she would know right where to look and be able to put her hands on the needed documents faster. But after my second (or third) “shout out”, I realized that it wasn’t fair to keep interrupting her from her current tasks just to answer my questions. It was more convenient for me, but it was very inconvenient for her. We have systems in place to ensure that there are proper records of all expenditures. I could find them; I’d just have to put forth the energy to look.

And look I did. And I found just what I needed. And I felt a bit empowered, and proud, of being able to solve my own problems without disturbing Alissa in the next room.

Sure, sometimes it’s easier to ask someone for an answer versus finding that answer on your own. And sometimes, time is of the essence and you must go to the person who possesses that knowledge to get the answer quickly. But there is strength to be found in refreshing your memory of systems, and practices that you, yourself, may have put into place. Depending on others is great, but depending on yourself? It’s priceless.

How does this apply to education? Let’s say you are struggling with a homework assignment. You could ask someone in the next room for the answer, text a friend for advice, or go to your textbook and re-read the section on the topic you are struggling with. The last option might take more time, but you’ll have done the right thing!

The next time you find yourself wondering something…take a moment and see if you can find the answer yourself. Truth is, I bet you’ll remember the answer far longer than you would have if you’d just gotten the information from someone else. There really is something in the “doing” of things for yourself.

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