My young family enjoys playing a game called Loot, which involves ‘floating’ out merchant ships carrying various amounts of gold and then attacking these ships with different pirate boats.
In the game, there are a few rare cards called pirate captains, which trump any other cards and just about guarantee you win whatever boat-load of gold you attack.
What often happens however, is that these powerful cards end up unused at the end of the game. You’re waiting for the right time to use them but someone runs out of cards before the moment comes.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to live life like this. We have certain skills and resources to make the most of, but many are under-utilised.
As a kid I loved to draw. I was good at it. I still have my painting from Year 1 that reads underneath ‘When I grow up I want to be an artist’.
But I grew up and reality hit. Now as an adult, my artistic side is rarely seen.
When I was training to be a teacher, a supervising teacher noticed me drawing on the whiteboard. She told me I should use drawing more in my teaching.
But I couldn’t really see its application in the day to day of my work and didn’t really take her advice.
Until a few weeks ago at least. I started to draw a bit on the board in a class and realised the kids were quieter. I turned and saw they were looking up.
It got me thinking that I should do it more. Make it my key strategy.
No one at university told me how to draw cartoons explaining long division. And so I had separated who I was from what I did.
I’m learning that we’ve got to take what we’re taught and make it our own.
In order to master something and truly understand it, we must go beyond the way we’re told to do it. Beyond what we’ve seen modelled. We must do it our way and bring our strengths into the mix.
Don’t leave your best card unplayed. Find a way to use what you’re good at everyday!
Tom likes Indian spices, French cars, British drama and Japanese gardens. He goes running nearly everyday, but early in the morning so that he doesn't miss time with his wife and two young kids. In his spare time, Tom is a Special Needs and Technology teacher.