Brain Train: Studying for Success

By Richard Palmer | Go to book overview

TESTING…TESTING

1

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit down and look at it for hours.

Jerome K. Jerome

What would you say the following had in common?
1. Getting up in the morning
2. Writing an essay
3. Cleaning the car
4. Reading War and Peace
5. Re-decorating a room
6. Mowing the lawn
7. Having to practise the piano
8. Sending off thank-you letters
9. Preparing a meal
10. Chatting up someone you fancy

You might answer that, with the possible exception of (10), they are all unpleasant or a drag but will have to be tackled sooner or later. Another possible answer, though, is that they are all difficult to start doing, but that once you have started, they're not so bad-even pleasant. Initially, however, there must be a degree of motivation present for you to be willing to start the task.

Since this is a book about study, and since study, like all things, requires such initial motivation, it is appropriate to suggest that this might be paraphrased as your 'interest' or 'enjoyment'. Indeed, the emphasis throughout the book is on enjoyment. Few people succeed at anything while finding it dull; and most really successful people-whatever their job-derive an enormous amount of good old-fashioned fun from what they do. So just about the worst thing you can do when starting a new course is to dwell miserably on what hard work it's going to be. If you expect a course to be difficult, obscure or boring, the chances are it will be. From the start, therefore, cultivate a sense of enjoyment; believe in the pleasures and satisfactions that await you.

It is of course idle to pretend that any course of study does not involve work-hard work. But the key to that phrase lies in the adjective 'hard'. If you think it means 'laborious', or its cousin 'tedious', you're

-3-

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