Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

perseverance beyond prevention March 10, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:02 am
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It is what we think we know already

that often prevents us from learning.

Claude Bernard

Isn’t this a profound sentiment? I recently heard that studies have shown that the key to success in mathematics is not being ‘math brained,’ but rather, it’s about simple perseverance.  I know so many people who had to have math for a career training who just fought through, because they ‘had to have the course’ who said, “It’s much easier than it was when I was in high school.”  I don’t think it’s about easier at all.  I think it’s about knowing there is no other option than getting it done.  That change of attitude is the key to success.  We ‘think’ we suck at math, so we don’t try.  When we come up against a concept that is difficult to grasp, instead of working through it, we give up.  If you must have it the math credit to do what you want to do, you stick with it, and lo and behold, you figure it out!

I have a friend who was told in high school that “Girls can’t do math.” and “Blonde girls are so stupid, they can’t do math at all.”  A bet was made.  My platinum blonde friend went to university to get a math degree, and then for good measure, she got a masters in applied math.  (Last I heard, she was working for the Canadian Nuclear Energy Board).  Trust me, Karen had a lot of stubborn perseverance!

So the next time you think you can’t do something, remember that it’s what you think you know that’s the problem.  Quite often, your premise is wrong.  Open your mind, and explore all the options.


7 Responses to “perseverance beyond prevention”

  1. tatygirl90 Says:

    I’ve found this to be true. I really wasn’t trying with math when I was in school but now I’m having a much easier time with it since I don’t automatically give up.

  2. words4jp Says:

    So true. Perseverance is also about patience. When we are younger , patience is typically lacking. Some have it, but I believe the majority do not. We need the answers now – all answers now. When we mature – that is if – we realize that all of the answers take time – rarely if at all – do they happen at once. 🙂

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