Doing hard things can be fun. Yes, fun.
(This post is written by Elijah with the help of his mom.)
Recently, I achieved Memory Master.
Since I am ten this year, I had to say my times tables instead of skip counting. At first, I was scared of saying my times tables because they were very hard and took much more thought than skip counting. Finally, my mom printed me the Tables, Square, and Cubes [from CC Connected] to help me learn my times tables. I tried saying them and realized that some of them were easier than others to master. I started with the 3’s. Even with these [charts], I still felt that I could not master most of them.
One day, Mommy said I really needed to work on them. I sat with the tables and said them over and over and over again. This went on for many days. The first hard ones I mastered were the 6’s. I kept going up and up. Finally, the only ones that were hard were the 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, 14’s, 15’s. During this time, Mom got the video Multiplication Rap from the library which I thought was for “little kids”, but I watched it anyway. After I watched that video, I was able to do my 11’s and 12’s easily. While I was still working on my 13’s, 14’s, and 15’s, we went for a walk around our neighborhood. There my mom and I, as we were walking around, started reciting our 13’s. Mom was better than I was. We said them over and over, and eventually, I knew about the first half.
During all of this time, the times tables felt like hard work. They were exhausting and no fun.
But guess what? Now, my 13’s and 11’s are my favorites. The hard work was not at all fun, but the result (achieving memory master) was.
I learned quite a few lessons about doing hard things along this journey.
- Things are hard until you decide to make them not hard through practicing (putting in hard work).
- Practicing every day gradually develops your skill.
- When you can do the hard thing, it feels like the work has paid off.
- The results of hard work are fun and exhilarating.
- When a task gets easy enough, then it is very fun. (When you are still struggling, it’s not as fun.)
- It feels good to say, “Look what I’ve learned” and be able to rattle off the information.
Doing hard things can be fun in other areas of life too.
In complicated board games, it is hard to figure out strategies, but when the hard work pays off, it may lead you to victory.
In cleaning (like when Mom tells me to clean my room), I’m not thrilled, but I know what it feels like when it’s clean. It’s just pure fun when it is clean.
Hard work pays off in sports too like when I learn new skills in basketball and disc golf.
Doing hard things brings about a satisfactory feeling of accomplishment.
If you’ve got a hard thing you haven’t done yet, go do it and remember that hard work pays off.
(Note from Becki: This picture was originally shared on our facebook page with the quote: “The elevens are fun.” Elijah dictated this blog post to me – even down to telling me to add the affiliate link for the Multiplication Rap.)