I don't love you, but I need you
Perhaps I could have called this the “eat your spinach” blog, but I happen to like spinach and we are approaching Valentine’s Day.
One of the things that surprises me about my adult students is that some of them, an increasing number over the years, feel that all of their classes should be enjoyable. They expect to be entertained while being educated. They express surprise at being asked to read anything they don’t immediately identify as interesting. If they don’t like a class they consider it useless. While I do understand the human desire to spend as much time as possible doing that which you love, or at least like a little, I also know we sometimes need the less fun activities as well.
Sadly, it’s usually the students who complain the loudest over required courses or procedures that need them the most. I am never surprised when the student who grumbled the most about the time management discussion is the one who turns in lots of late work, or when the student who gripes about non-work related classes lacks the ability to communicate in a professional manner. Sad, yes. Surprised, no. And before you assume I’m just calling out college students, this desire to only do what we love trips up everyone sometimes, business owners, corporate workers, and me.
Maybe it’s the popularity of slogans like “follow your bliss” or “do what you love and the money will follow” that have fooled us into thinking life and work are going to be an endless parade of activities we love. Yet, the truth remains: there are going to be some classes, conversations, and tasks that you don’t want to face that will, in the end, be good for you.
So as you contemplate love this February, spare a little thought for the needed, but possibly unloved. To get you started here are a few of my own:
I didn’t love my finance courses, but they gave me a foundation in financial literacy that is protective.
I don’t love record keeping and filing, but as tax day approaches I sure do need that organized information.
I don’t love the process of editing, but the comments from beta readers and editors help me present the best possible version of my work.