Every once in a while, a teacher can profoundly impact a student’s perspective on life. For me, this was a lesson taught by Michael Miles, my professor for Organizational Behavior. One of the first lessons he taught was called the “Reading Test.” The reading test is a PowerPoint slide projected on the whiteboard at the front of the class. Michael Miles then asked the students to count the number of “F” in the slide. After 30 seconds, the slide is turned off, and everyone shares their results.
At first, I thought the reading test was really cool and took it at face value. After reflecting on the lesson over a cold Stella with one of my fellow students, the true meaning of the test hit me like an epiphany. The slide is really a metaphor for life and demonstrates how your approach to life can make a big difference. Every once in a while, I look at the slide to remind myself what is important in life.
Carefully read the slide so that you can understand the context of what is written. Once you have read the slide, go back and count the “F” in the slide.
Click here to open the reading test.
How many “F” did you find?
Here is what the lesson taught me:
The first lesson this slide taught me is to appreciate the little things in life. The lesson started in motion a shift in the way I perceived life. Over time the lesson laid the groundwork for creating a lifelong personal value of Gratitude. Gratitude is a value I now hold dear.
As we rush through life, it is easy to overlook the little things. However, when you think about it, life is the sum of a lot of the little things we do every day. Take the time to appreciate and reflect on the things you are grateful for. A part of my morning routine is to list three things I am grateful for. If you practice gratitude first thing in the morning, it often carries with you all day.
The second big lesson that the slide taught me was to slow down and enjoy the moment. When I took the test, I rushed through it and only found two (2) “F.” To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So slow down, enjoy the ride.
I am genuinely grateful for the lessons this slide taught me and make an effort to share the learnings with my students.
As always, enjoy the ride!
Ian Paul Graham