Looking back at my childhood, I remember sitting up straight at weekly school assemblies, hoping to be noticed and commended for being such a good kid. I also remember hoping that I’d be one of the few kids to receive an achievement certificate; I’d work hard all week to try and get my name on the list of recipients. Most weeks my hopes were fulfilled, and I’d run home, eager to show my parents how smart or good I had been.
Even before I was old enough to attend school, that compulsion to learn and achieve was already apparent. At age three, when my mother would help my older brother with his homework, I’d plant myself squarely beside them, listen very intently, and shout out the answers before my brother could respond. I was up to speed with his level of homework because while he was at school each day, I wiled away my hours at home playing educational games with my mother (who by the way, was a trained school teacher who loved to challenge me as much as I loved being challenged).
But getting back to that compulsion – or whatever you want to call it – I’d argue that it has become one of my greatest strengths, since it’s rewarded me with the accomplishment of many goals. Unfortunately, it’s a strength that happens to also be one of my greatest weaknesses.
Because I feel compelled – most days – to do and achieve so many things, and often all at once, I struggle to tone it down and take rests when it’s obvious that rest is needed!
I’m working on it though……..