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Select challenging work

 

"Pink Language Work"

Graham is in a school that uses the Montessori learning method.  Each student is able to select what they do during their work period (usually 75 minutes) if they have had a lesson on the skill.  What he choses to do is called "work".  Because his class is 3 and 4-year olds and Kindergartners, there is a progression in the type of work available.  

Graham is like me (and his Dad) in that he likes mastery.  The Montessori teaching style encourages this, however, it permits the child to achieve mastery at his or her own pace.  One of disadvantages to striving for mastery is the overwhelming challenge that comes at some stage in the process.  The challenge that I instintively would rather sidestep or bypass altogether if I could.  Taking the road of least resistance is less stressful but has less rewards.

Because Graham has some best buddies in his class, he likes to do 2-person work with a friend that may not be challenging to him; something he has already mastered and comes easy for him.  His teacher made me aware of this tendency to chose less challenging work last fall.  If I remember, I try to ask Graham, about once a week, if he is chosing challenging work.  Somedays he will tell me he did challenging work, which may coordinate with a certain color - "I did pink work today".

One of the reasons I chose to become a lawyer was to have challenging work available to me throughout my career.  I also wanted to be a role model for Graham to show him that you can overcome huge obstacles if it is something you are passionate about.

Today I was reminded how exciting it is to do challenging work.  I did a consultation on a replevin issue; something I haven't had a case on yet. I reviewed the prospective client's documents, reviewed the statutes and some caselaw and gave him my legal opinion on what to do (I also discussed my fees - very challenging). New cases, even the prospect of one, gets me excited about the skills that I have obtained to identify a legal issue amongst a set of facts and research what is required to achieve a desired result.  

In school, there is someone who makes sure that you face the challenges necessary to be successful in the future.  When you leave the learning environment, you are that someone - its up to you to seek out challening work.  Then, enjoy the moment the challenges you overcame are rewarded.

 

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