<em>Teaching is the Best Teacher</em>

Teaching is the Best Teacher

The dreaded spelling test.


I hated spelling tests in school. Every. stinking. week.

Here’s how it went down…

Monday – copy the new spelling words.

Monday night through Thursday – Play. Play with my dog, the cat, ride my bike, matchbox cars, build models, and watch stupid amounts of T.V.

Thursday night? – Think to myself, (ONLY IF the thought hit me) Hm…I have a spelling test tomorrow. I’ll study in the morning. Then finish off watching T.V.

Friday morning – Oh crap (or some adult variation that children shouldn’t repeat) I have a [bleeping] spelling test this morning. Then I would spend the time getting to school with notes in hand trying my best to memorize the weekly spelling list.

I usually got a good grade after said test, because I “studied” (memorized) the list right beforehand; and…wrote down the hard words on my palm; and…looked at the pretty girl’s answers sitting next to me.


I flushed everything I committed to memory.


There’s nothing wrong with committing things to memory.

Memorization gives the brain something to chew on. It’s an incredible device. Our brains will make things up to crunch on in a moments notice, and if we don’t keep it busy, it’ll just keep ticking away at whatever it wants to. This isn’t always ideal.

But the learning that gets embedded deep down into our intelligence doesn’t come from memorization alone.

This is why when we teach a new subject to someone, we reinforce it with practical application.

Yet, if you want to learn something that becomes second nature, repetition may help muscle memory in some instances—usually a physical skill versus a cognitive skill—but it won’t suffice to take us to the level of being an expert.

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. It’s an old idea but something that we could use reminding, especially if you’re intentionally trying to change things up in life.

A recent study released by Applied Cognitive Psychology revealed that control groups who learned a new subject and then taught a lesson on that subject scored higher on a comprehension test than control groups that did not engage in teaching the subject.

I know in my life when I’ve tried to learn something new, I can be frustrated with the learning curve.

Yet the learning curve is reduced dramatically if I can get myself out of my shell, which is usually tucked away in my cave, and teach someone, anyone, who’s willing to endure my lesson.


Take Away

The subject can be anything. We immediately think of academics here.

What about attempting to incorporate a new way of thinking? Or stop thinking a certain way so that repeatable negative cycles cease.

Teaching the why and the process and the knowledge behind whatever it is will help drive learning into the bedrock of conviction, and it becomes apart of you.

No matter what you’ve given yourself to learning; an new skill set for work, for your business, or even a new mindset (or belief) to better the quality of your life, if you really want to learn it, teach it and you’ll find yourself taking leaps and not just baby steps in the direction you want to improve.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Change, Life Hack, Living Better, Productivity, Reinvention, Self-Improvement
The Course Lived Over Decades

The Course Lived Over Decades

In our teens, hormones awaken with a sudden surge of excitement, thrill, and bewilderment. Emotions come alive that were previously unknown to us. It’s a time of growth, experiment, and evolution.

Enter the twenties. No longer under the umbrella of parents or guardians, life is new and fresh, and the restraints of our childhood are often cast aside as we pursue what we think will bring us happiness and joy.

Decisions are made. Paths are chosen. Trajectory of life appears to be fixed.

Thirties involve a settling of the dust. Routines are committed to, usually by decisions to take on families and debt. After all, that’s what we think we’re supposed to do. Careers, jobs, vocations mostly are chosen by the amount of money we can harness…and, for the moment, if we actually like our employment, AND our employers, this can seem doable for a time.

Life in the forties feels nothing like it did in the twenties. What once gave us a rush then usually turns out to be a horrible addiction of sorts to help cope with the routine of old that feels suffocating.

The path in the twenties and thirties are now worn down into a well-defined trench that the walls around us can feel like the hard iron grates of a livestock corral—funneling us to a destination that boggles the mind.

The bone-crushing debt is unbearable. The job taken for the wrong reasons is almost impossible to give up due to the entrapment of an income and benefits level that is too scary to think of loosing. The relationships that were based on the wrong reasons in earlier years are now a source of stress on the home front that makes coming home unfathomable and hence, overtime at work is an out to avoid just another war zone.

Fifties. If you make life-altering decisions now, you’re labeled as someone who is just going through the change in life: Mid-life Crisis.

Beyond that, decisions and the trajectory of life, like concrete poured around the ankles, has long firmed up and hardened. Why bother? Why change? “I’m too old to do anything now?”

I’ve heard that last line from those in their 30’s and 40’s.


For every decade lived, there’s an excuse. An excuse as to why we can’t change, can’t live intentionally, can’t move the needle on our compass.

Convenient excuses seem more plausible than facing the fear of change.

To take the time to examine what and who we really are, what it is that resonates within us, and who it is that we want to be associated with, takes effort.

Then to make a realignment with those core desires and beliefs will take courage.

The effort and courage we put forth into living more intentionally, no matter our age, will be far more rewarding than the regrets we live with if we continue as “normal”.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Change, Living Better, Reinvention, Self-Improvement