The Illusion of Good/Bad

Here's a question for you...

Do you see yourself as a good student or a bad student?

Got your answer?

Here's mine (sorry if it's a little anticlimactic):

There is no such thing as a good or bad student; there's no such thing as good or bad period!

The fact of the matter is that "Good" and "Bad" do not exist in objective reality. What is a good tree? What is a bad rock? What is a bad garbage can? Good and Bad are subjective value based judgements that are created inside your head and informed by previous experience. As kids, we were all bombarded with messages implying whether we were good or bad.

Unconsciously operating on these terms, as we all naturally do much of the time, creates fertile conditions for various unwanted emotions; fear, anxiety, depression, shame, disappointment, overconfidence, denial, and resentment to name a few.

What I'm suggesting here may not be terribly difficult to comprehend.

What is difficult is that the world around us continues to disseminate messages suggesting, implying, or appearing to tell us that we are good or bad. We are hard-pressed to take at least some of this bait.

Choosing to avoid categorizing things (including ourselves) along the good/bad continuum is the first step toward freedom and power. Choosing not to buy-into the judgments of others is the more difficult second step.

Instead of operating under the good/bad categories, I suggest you operate from the perspective of seeing what what works/doesn't work. There's really no such thing as a good or bad clock, but there are clocks that work and those that don't. Asking yourself if something is working or not working leads us down the more constructive path of kaizen; what can we do to make progress toward a clear goal.

Hence, instead of questioning whether you're a good or bad student, the question may become, "are you a student that is actively learning and progressing?" If not, what can you do to overcome what is stopping you?

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