• Diana McLaren

What if everything is as easy as driving?

Driving is a difficult and complicated task. It requires you to use many different parts of your brain and combine many small skills into the larger action of driving. And yet no one has ever been told that they probably wont be able to learn how to drive.

Odd isn’t it? That a complicated task is of course accomplishable by everyone, so much so that eventually it will become second nature and you will barely have to think about the steps you take.

So why then is it that when we approach other things we learn it is assumed that some people will simply never be able to do it. We learn this in high school, some people are good at math and others just never get the hang of it. Some students excel at English at yet others seem to only ever be able to just scrape by.

Unlike learning to drive we assume that there is an innate ability that means some people will be able to do it and others won’t. In kindergarten it is assumed that you will master the basics of reading, writing and learning when it’s time to go potty. The bathroom is an excellent example. I personally never met anyone who didn’t eventually master that one, at least to some degree.

It is because we have assumed this is doable for all people. Well what if we assume everyone can learn quantum physics. What if instead of telling students that calculus is hard and they’ll have to work at it and even so some of them might never be good at it, we assume it’s like driving. If you learn each individual skill, like changing gear and applying the right pressure to he accelerator then eventually you will know it. What happens then?

We limit our potential for learning consistently. We say that some people are simply gifted, have innate skills, they can cook well, or understand complex theories easily or are naturally born athletes. It may be true that certain skills are going to come more easily to others. But that doesn’t mean that anyone else cannot do them.

If we assume everyone can learn everything should they simply apply themselves are we not putting a new kind of faith in all people?

We currently operate under a heinous and ridiculous notion as a society; that if we cannot be the best at something then it is better we don’t try. It sounds extreme when phrased that way so let me demonstrate it differently;

‘you should find something your good at’

‘you have a natural talent you shouldn’t waste it’

Reverse these sayings and what do you get; you shouldn’t do something you’re not good at, if you don’t have a natural talent for it your wasting your energy.

You don’t have to be the best to do something. I am not the best driver. But I am a driver. I am not a great cook, but I’m pretty damn good. I have only a basic understanding of quantum physics, enough to discuss it and further my understanding.

When we let go of having to be the best and return ourselves to a state of learning, where we can all learn anything we want to; should we apply ourselves and break it into some chunks. Well then we give ourselves the chance to grow exponentially. We can improve in any area of our lives we choose and leave behind the competition of ‘best’.

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