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February 28, 2022

Life Is Like School

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I learned of today’s analogy in Will Smith’s book called “Will”. It’s amazing to see the behind the scenes of his life and the lucky breaks he got, the mistakes he made, and the hard work he put in everywhere in between. Unsurprisingly Will Smith has an incredible work ethic that was instilled in him from a very young age.

The book has a theme that supports just about everything else. Will’s life has been a consistent cycle of preparation and opportunity. Smith even likens the process to how school works but he makes an important differentiation.

In school this cycle takes the form of lessons and tests. The preparation is learning the material, doing the homework, and understanding the concepts so that you can successfully apply it when being tested on it. There’s a direct cause and effect and those who are most prepared do the best.

In life it’s different. We don’t know what we don’t know, so how are we supposed to prepare for what we’re going to encounter? For that reason Will suggests that the cycle reverses - You’re first tested and then on the backend of it you’re taught a lesson. With this theory, those who take the time to learn the lesson are those who succeed. There isn’t a cause and effect relationship to it like in school, so it’s unnatural, but it separates those good from the great and it helps people be more prepared for whatever might come there way.

That’s how life is like school - It’s full of lessons and tests, it’s just the order of them are different. Think about how this concept has affected your life in this reflection - What lesson have you learned that took longer than it should have?

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