To me, learning is an active experience. Something you do that teaches you a brand new life lesson. It’s extremely hard to learn without actually having a reason why or how. That reason came to me many years ago, and I got 50 bucks out of the blue! Who wouldn’t want that?

There I am, sitting in class one day in seventh grade when the teacher announces, “We have a poster making contest with a reward of a hundred dollars; you kids should all make one.” So the day before it was due, I went home and make the crappiest poster, ever, in less than five minutes.

So that’s how I turned it in. I submitted it knowing how terrible I did, and continued on with my day. I didn’t feel the best about the effort I put into it, but at least I tried. A week later to my complete surprise they announced that I had won 2nd place! 2nd place meant I won a fifty dollar gift card to Target.

If everyone had had the same thoughts that I did, “I won’t win, there’s some perfectionist out there that is going to win just like they win everything” or “I don’t want to waste my time on something I won’t get anything from” no one would try to accomplish anything different or make mistakes or, well, anything! No, that’s not how people should think. What I learned that day was that you should always give everything a shot, no matter how terrible you might be at it. If you don’t want to waste your time on something, rethink that it might get you extra money in your pocket.

What I’m trying to say is that, learning doesn’t have to take place in school, and it could be something you see, like a flyer in the middle of a street corner on a phone pole. Opportunities lie all around us, just waiting for us to pick them up and try. I suggest we take a lesson from the movie Yes Man (where the main character says yes to everything, and good things start to happen to him) and give things a chance before we immediately shoot them down.

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