Dr. Agboola and Lesson of Small Steps

1498772One of the lecturers that I can’tquickly forget  is Dr. Agboola of Mathematics Department in my alma mater – FUNAAB. This man strolls into the class already with cynical thinking that everyone here knows nothing except first class “hustlers” who take the front rows. Those at the mercy of constant disgust are the Engineering students. He wonders if we can ever piece together all that he’s trying to explain. Yet, we want to get away with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering

So what does one as a student do? It is to act like one knows nothing because Mr Agboola faces the blackboard whiteboard solving complex equations leaving you to fix the loose ends. When the exams come around, one does not ask for an “A” – except the First Class chasers. 40 marks out of 100 will be fine; anything that makes one escape a re-sit is fine.

So, I had a cool understanding of how to pass Agboola’s exam. It is about forgetting the answer and focus on the steps. The likelihood that you will get the final answer in Agboola’s exam is very slim, why disturb oneself? All I do is to try hard, to go far and when the road forks and I get confused, I abandon it and find another question. So if I attempt the four questions and I half-solve them, I will be fine. Interestingly, by God’s grace, it worked. I got lost in one recurring Laplace Transform which I was already bragging about, I quickly left it and move on.

At times in life, business and relationship, we underestimate steps/actions and focus on the answers/outcomes and results. The aspect of trying, giving it your best deserves a pat on the back. We like to focus on the result and discount the steps that one needs to get there. This how a society plays itself, never taking account that those that even failed made an attempt. To most people it is all about the result, but we need encouragement at every turn of action.

If you train yourself to be emotionally rewarded for actions taken rather than outcomes you may be able to lengthen the time you can spend in active “failure” and increase your chances of success.

When it is not working, never discount that you are at least taking action, mounting steps, it is part of the story. It is part of the outcome. It is part of learning and it the story that will be told when everything good comes. Keep walking. Keep trying.

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