When I look back at my learning experience in school back in Singapore, I recall many times I checked the time and can’t believe only 2 minutes had past. How was it possible that time can past so slowly? I struggled to stay awake in class most of the time and that to me was a horrible experience. The desire to sleep but you can’t because you kept getting woken up the teacher or you don’t want to get into trouble. I can see how sleep deprivation is a method of torture. Because it’s not actually fun to struggle to stay awake, sometimes I did actually want to pay attention in class, I had the intention to stay awake in class, but many times that did not work either.
What if gratitude could actually solve this problem? What if seeing the opportunity to learn in a safe and clean environment as a gift could make me excited to learn? Maybe just having intention to pay attention in class won’t work if I already classified the subject as “boring”. But if I was excited about something surely my chances of success for really learning and paying attention would be greater.
However, maybe even if gratitude doesn’t make me excited about a subject, it could help me see the value in learning. Rather than I going to school today to learn, it’s I GET to go to school today to learn! How lucky am I? Sometimes reading scientific papers for my PhD can put me to sleep too. It’s time to start seeing the gift of being able to learn something new. The number of hours someone has put into writing up a paper and the process of getting it publish is something I’m familiar with. Now I get to read the fruits of their labour. What a gift! And I guess in a way the act of reading someone else’s work is also my way of expressing my gratitude back to the authors.