3 years and more…why not?

My wife is from Southern China and for our 5-year wedding anniversary part of the celebration in China was with her family. Stay with me here, this story leads somewhere half way in!

One of the celebrations included an anniversary family meal. My Mandarin let’s say is a work in progress. I sat with my partner’s cousin and we began talking about Confucius and were exchanging notes with the help of translation from my partner.

It did not take long for us to start discussing modern day applicatons.

If there is one stand out line from Confucius that links well with the approximate time it takes to ‘study’ for that first degree/qualification/milestone it’s this…

“One who will study for three years without thought of reward would be hard indeed to find.”

Milestones, celebrations and feedback from tests, exams and assignments are tremendous.

They let you know where you are and yet…easier said than done is this…


In other words what do you need to ask and answer and expose yourself to in order to play the long game (three years or more) without the immediate reward of say that degree or qualification which is still to come?

An approach I found to be intrinsically motivating was relishing the learning experience itself.

It got to a point where I looked forward to being in lectures…I wanted to learn more. I looked forward to the prescribed readings…I wanted to discover more….I looked forward to the tutorials…I wanted to go deeper.

As I leaned into the learning process the joy of discovery of new knowledge was fascinating.

What will it take for you to see your learning journey as a place for discovery and development of your potential?

Sure it may be ‘hard indeed to find’ but it can be found.

Why not be amongst those who study for three years (or more) without thought of (immediate) reward.

Why not let the learning involved in that study be the reward itself?

A love of learning is a strength that can contribute greatly towards your potential.



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