RE Blog

Welcome To Teaching Religion

This blog will present ideas about teaching religion from my ebooks and elsewhere.

Teaching religion is one of the toughest teaching challenges around so I hope you may find this blog to be useful and helpful in your own teaching

 

John Watson has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at
http://motivationtoday.com/

 

Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your site but please include the resource box above

Achieve Your Learning Goals Through Focus, Belief And An Empty Mind

All humans learn right up to the end of their lives whether they want to or not. This article describes how you can achieve any learning goal so long as you avoid distractions and believe you have the ability to learn practically anything.

It is also important to have the humility to have an open mind to accept that you still have huge amounts to learn in any field even if you are an expert in that field.

Universities and colleges sometimes destroy any chance their students have of academic success in the first or second week of their first term or semester.

There is usually some kind of freshers fair early in the term when new students are invited and even harassed into joining one or more of the clubs or societies on display.

If you join more than one of these, you are probably doomed to lose your focus on your studies. Without focus, you will usually not get a first class degree or achieve your learning goals. These remarks are, of course, my own views and have not been backed up by any scientific studies but I think I am right!

When I went to Cambridge many years ago, I joined my colleges rugby club, the rowing club and the Christian Union. Partly as a result of these early extra activities, I had little time to actually attend any lectures or do much academic work.

I think I showed up to about two lectures a week instead of the fifteen or so I should have attended and I never figured out how to make the best use of the huge university library.

I did make a point of attending the lectures by the great C.S.Lewis author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. These lectures were only forty minutes long because he insisted on starting 10 minutes late and ending 10 minutes early so that his audience could arrive on time and get to their next lecture on time.

These shortened lectures were still well worth attending. I remember him speaking with infectious enthusiasm about medieval English literature but, as a result of all my other activities, I had little time or energy to read up on the books which might have helped me to share his enthusiasm.

Meanwhile rumour had it that the students who would eventually gain firsts did not join any clubs or do any sports. They just focused on studying hard for their degrees.

They were regarded with some contempt by the rest of the student body who felt that they were narrow minded geeks who did not really understand what life was all about.

However, when the three years of an undergraduates life was ended, they were the ones who had the pick of the jobs available. They could even become lecturers at a university and enjoy an even longer university life.

They would be offered tea and cream cakes and waited on hand and foot! They would have plenty of time to think about the meaning of life whilst many of the rest of us were stuck in jobs which might well vacuum up years of our life before we realized we were now middle-aged and approaching old age fast.

People, like myself who gained inferior degrees but who wanted to teach their subject English Literature in my case might have to content themselves with teaching at a less academic level in a secondary school and there you had to collect your own tea and, if you were lucky, cream cakes!

The fact that you might have rowed for your college or played rugby for the second fifteen did not count for much in life after university.

The rewards went to the despised few who had learned how to focus on their studies and avoid all the other distractions of university life.

It is true, however, that some people discovered their true vocation through their extra curricular activities. My brother developed his main interest in drama and went on to become an opera director.

One reason, so few people concentrated fully on their studies was that they did not believe they were capable of achieving the best degrees. They believed these would go to an elite group of high powered intellectuals.

No one had told them or me that all of us are born with amazing brains which are capable of achieving first class degrees and far more. No one had told us that focus and belief can move mountains including academic mountains.

It was assumed that undergraduates would know how to make the best use of their time at university but few did. Tutors were available but they were often busy people with time consuming tasks to deal with. My tutor was in charge of the wine cellar at my college as well as his other more academic duties!

I never heard any one say anything about study skills during my entire time at university. Perhaps, they assumed wrongly that we knew it all.

Problems with achieving academic excellence start early in many UK schools. Those who work hard are despised or envied or both. I began well at school and was even moved up a year to take my first public exams at the age of 14 instead of 16.

But my class mates did not like this and called me a swot. I stopped working hard for about two years until I came to my senses and decided to ignore their views. It was a little late by then to do outstandingly well but I did manage to win a minor scholarship to my college at university.

However, I lacked focus and belief for the reasons described above and, like the great majority, came out of university life with a second class degree which could have lead on to a life time of mediocrity.

Hopefully, this article will prevent someone else being distracted from their main aims in life whether they are at university or not. It is, of course, never too late to start making use of the magnificent minds we were born with. With focus and belief, anything is possible.

If we start believing in ourselves and using the power of focus by avoiding too many distractions, we can still achieve miraculous things both in the academic world and outside it. I hope you will.

Believe in your own ability to learn what you want to learn and get rid of the distractions and I dont mean your spouse.

Finally, even if you achieve a first degree or become an acknowledged expert in some field of knowledge, keep an open and empty mind. You can learn from anyone and any source of information.

The next time you feel like missing a lecture or seminar as I frequently did, attend anyway and see what you can learn. You may well be very glad you did. The next time you think a book has nothing new to teach you, read it anyway. It could change your life.

John Watson has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at
http://motivationtoday.com/

 

Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your site but please include the resource box above

 

Succeed By Accepting Boredom

It is a relief to be told that success demands that you do the boring stuff.

One of my three current internet business mentors, has just told me as much. I already believed this but it helps to have your view confirmed by someone who is a very successful expert.

Once you know, for sure, that you have to face up to and do the boring things, it becomes easier to do them.

If you think there is an easier way which does not involve dealing with any boring little details, you will resent and eventually stop doing those boring essentials which are the only way to achieve your dreams. You will probably waste time looking for a less boring but non-existent alternative.

Of course, there are usually easier ways to do things which you find out by bitter experience or by listening to those who have been there before. But even these shortcuts or easier paths involve taking some boring little steps.

So many sales letters for business opportunities dwell on the dream but forget to mention the often monotonous and repetitious steps which are needed to achieve the dream

According to the writers of the sales letters, you dance around your room in your underpants in celebratory mood. Occasionally you glance at your laptop to see steady streams of money pouring in to your bank account and then perform another victory dance.

You have a laptop because you are not at home but are living the high life in some exotic location surrounded by beautiful people! You sip your expensive drink as you sit by the mandatory swimming pool.

The authors of the sales letters forget to mention the small, unexciting steps you have to take to make the money to allow you to take off to the Bahamas with your lap top.

The steps may not be that difficult but they are boring and a little bothersome and that is enough to put most people off. One dictionary defines boring as dull, repetitious, uninteresting.

Few people can deal with the chore of taking boring, repetitious steps unless someone is cracking a whip behind them and threatening to throw them to the sharks if they dont take action.

The dictionary forgets to mention that the boring often leads on to the exciting and the fascinating!

I find writing articles for my website and for ezines to be quite enjoyable and I submit my articles to one or two of my favourite article directories but then I get bored with the repetitious process of submission and go back to writing some more articles.

This is not a complete waste of time since the articles will be very useful to me, at least, but I am wasting 90% of the work I have already done by not doing the boring bit of submission. Submitting is not difficult; it is just very repetitious and not very interesting even if you use article submission software to help you.

I need to remind myself that submitting articles may lead to the exciting bit when more people visit my website and buy the ebooks and other products on sale there. Reading emails which tell me that real money has arrived in my account is fun and not at all boring!

When I was a teacher, pupils would argue that a certain book or topic was boring and they genuinely believed that was a good enough reason for not reading the book or thinking about the topic. The word boring has become a mantra or universal saying among teenagers to excuse their lack of effort.

When I teach my martial arts students, some of them will drop out even though they are making progress. They may find the warm up repetitious. I cant talk on this one as I avoid warm ups whenever I can.

But a warm up is essential. Without a warm up, you may suffer an injury and then have the even more uninteresting experience of being unable to train.

Warm ups also involve leg stretches which allow you to improve your kicking until it becomes awesome.

I remember Steve well. He always arrived very early at classes and was always seated on the floor stretching when the other students straggled in. His kicking was lightning fast and he eventually ended up as a British heavyweight Taekwondo champion.

However, martial artists too often forget the benefits of stretching and in the end give up because they have become half-hearted about the way they warm up and stretch.

You can vary the warm ups and you can play music in the background but you will in the end have to repeat some key stretches or movements which, in time, can become too familiar, repetitious and, eventually, boring.

Some students find learning the forms or patterns of movement too repetitious and boring. Even black belts will drop out of a martial art because they find it difficult to remember the movements and do not want to keep repeating the forms until they remember them.

They forget that, once a form is mastered; it can be exhilarating to do and can improve their technique to a level of power which can give them great self-confidence and skill.

Eating healthy food can be boring for those who are brought up on fat soaked, salty and tasty foods. It takes time to realise that the healthy foods are also tasty once you have educated yourself to appreciate the taste.

Even if you never to get to love the cauliflower or the brussel sprouts, you are still well advised to eat them or you will suffer the highly uninteresting experience of living a low energy life or falling ill or even dying early.

One way, then, to overcome the boredom obstacle to success is to fully accept that some unexciting steps are inevitable on the path to success. If necessary, talk to a millionaire or read a book about a millionaire and find out what boring steps they had to take to achieve their million.

Another way is to realize that the boredom will vanish when success is achieved and you start celebrating and enjoying your achievements whether they involve improved skills or a healthy bank balance or both.

A third way is to realize that if you accept and do the boring, you will then be equipped to move on to the fascinating. Learn the piano scales and then you can start playing the tunes. I never got beyond the scales!

A fourth way is to be aware of the need to avoid the dire consequences that can arise from not doing the repetitious stuff. Missing out on exercise because you find walking or jogging uninteresting can eventually lead to losing the ability to walk or jog. You lose what you dont use as everyone knows or should know. Who wants to spend their later years in a wheel chair?

A fifth way is to make the boring as interesting as possible. I have written eight ebooks on how to make religious education fun. I have tried playing inspiring music in my martial arts classes and have used drills which are fun to do. All this helps but there is still a hard core of boring and repetitious work to do.

A sixth way is to work, whenever possible, with people you like and respect. Working with some one you love or fancy is a bonus! It may then, of course, be hard to focus on whatever project you are doing!

A seventh way is to use the powers of your subconscious mind to make the work you do easier and more interesting to do. You can access the subconscious mind by affirmations and by visualising your success in detail and with intense feeling. Eventually, however, you have to take some kind of action steps which may well be boring.

Try to commit to doing the boring, repetitious stuff for a month and see what happens. Even, within that short space of time, you and I will probably begin to appreciate the wisdom of taking those boring little steps and will begin to see one or two exciting results.

Eventually, if we keep going, a whole new and thrilling world will open up for us and we will achieve those dreams we had as children and/or as adults. We will then be able to dance around for real and even take a dip in that pool!

To sum up; accept that some boring work is inevitable and get on with it! Failing that, we need to relish our dreams because that is all we will be able to enjoy.

We will simply join the ranks of the millions who talk about what they want to do but never actually do it because they cannot be bothered to deal with the boring little tasks which must be completed on the way to achieving their dreams.

I hope that reading this article has not been too boring. It may be just what you or I need to hear. Try doing something boring right now! You may, at least, enjoy the feeling of having done it!

 

John Watson has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at
http://motivationtoday.com/

 

Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your site but please include the resource box above