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Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

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Some days you actually just wish someone would come along with a tayzer and give you the zap you need to get started.

Before my beautiful trip to Vegas, I was ‘Miss Motivation’! I was out on my bike smashing KMs in the wind. Now all I can think about is how to avoid any sort of cardio training. “I’m like totes CBF!


There are two types of fitness fiends in the world. Those good with team sports and balls, and those who enjoy the 15 minute run on the treadmill. I hate the treadmill. Trying to get myself to a gym for a casual session is harder than pulling teeth. I am so bored with self-motivated fitness; I’d rather chew off my leg. For this reason I play sport.

I am currently playing a regular Softball game, which is not the sport for fitness buffs. Realistically you only need to be able to run a little, and a massive hit is always more warranted. As long as you can get to the first base, then you’ve got it covered. However preceding weekend this proved more than difficult. I did mange to hit five fouls.

Social Mixed Netball, which has sadly gone to the dogs, as we could never get enough members to commit permanently. It’s the most frustrating part, when you are keen to play and others play ‘whenevs’. I hate the non-committal netballers, I play the game for two reasons; 1) to burn calories and 2) to challenge my brain in a different way.


Reaching 27, over the last couple of days means that I have hit the most vital point for a women. Apparently the theory is ‘everything goes downhill after 27’. This indeed is a scary predicament that I have landed myself in. Isn’t 27 the year that you are supposed to accept yourself for who you are? Or is that what just older people say to make themselves feel good?

Armed with the thought that my ridiculously great metabolism may be moving towards a slower existence is scary. I can only look back to the 29 kilos that I weighed when I was 12. Is this inability to be motivated for exercise just another stage? Or is it reflective of a positive identity establishment?

More recently I have become fascinated with the workings of the mind. In particular, the workings of the minds around me. Why people do the things they do? It has led me into readings of various social theorists such as Freud, Foucault and Erikson. When reflecting between the situations in my adult life and those I deal with daily in the classroom. I can draw enormous conclusions. I am seeing the same behavioural patterns with adults as I do with children.


It is these patterns of restrictive development and defense mechanisms, which are ultimately able to lead me to direct my conclusions to the social class networks formed from Aldous Huxley’s, ‘A Brave New World’. I cannot help to relate Huxley’s view of the society with my own real world experiences. I agree with the American Psychological Association (1) that adult cognition can be seriously affected by the educational choices of an adult in their 20s. Moreover, I would relate this to a form of ‘educational enlightenment’.

It is this attempt to seek answers and explanations for behaviour that I can reflect on my own path to self-discovery. I’m at a point in my life where I want to change the way my life is going. I guess on the basic level I am happy. I am happy with the person who I have become, but I also still wonder if I had been more committed to sport as a teenager, then maybe I wouldn’t find so much difficulty in motivating myself as an adult.

Ironically in conversing with others, I have established exactly what it is I need to do with my own life. I am looking at whom I want to take with me into the next 10 years. I am learning about myself and about the thought processes of others. I have learnt that many do not give me back as much as I feel I give them. However this will not stop me from being the person I have become.

The flavour of the month in my vastly spread social circle is to have children. This is scary because I believe that I am not ready. I don’t know if I will ever be ready. What is more poignant is that it is actually harder to get pregnant than our parents have told us, with more and more people looking to various forms of hormone replacement to facilitate fertilisation. And to this effect, I can hear the clock ticking.

top-five-get-smarter-1I teach my students that ‘life is about getting smarter’, that the more intelligent you are the more successful you will be. I do not mean entirely that students need further education in order to develop themselves, but it is a good start. As much as I sat there in University dreaming about my life outside the hour in the lecture theatre, I am surprised with the amount of information I have obtained. An example would be the practice of being about to teach World War One history right out of my head or the ability to reference The Russian Revolution as the beginning of Socialist Movements of the 20th Century.

I am a glass half full person and the events of the last couple of weeks have demonstrated to me that there is more to life than the bumps in the road. And to this effect you have to keep going, that life is really not as bad as it could be. These are the exact words I gave to a year 12 today, who thought nothing could be worse that the bitchy high school fights of last year. Unfortunately, my further explanation of life provided her with no real relief other than that this is how it is.

So, my goals for the next year are going to be centered around the development of my mind. I want to expand and challenge myself in a breadth of social and academic activities that allow me to further facilitate personal educational enlightenment. And by this I mean I want change. I feel no longer challenged by the context of the world in which I exist. Challenges in this world are only against my emotional wellbeing and not pitted against my intellect. I want to thrive in the world around me whilst I can. And I do not want to take NO for answer, especially if it is coming from me.

“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood” Stephen Covey


1) Arnett, J. (2006). “Emerging Adults in America, Coming of Age in the 21st Century.”American Psychological Association.

Author: Em Mango

Blogger, PA, Nerd, Social Media Addict, Friend, Lover, Snuggler, Traveller

One thought on “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

  1. Pingback: Come at me – Uranus! #Evolve #DontChange | Mangoes World

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