There’s been a lot of talk of poultry recently around ADL towers. And when I think poultry I think eggs. And then I remember being lectured as a little boy not to count my chickens before they’d hatched. I’m sure there’s a fascinating story as to why this particular quote gets stuck in my head, but these days it mostly surfaces when thinking about our students.
You see, an ugly truth of distance learning is this – an awful lot of people enrol on a whim and then don’t bother with their courses. They just let it slide, telling themselves they’ll do it tomorrow. Or next week. Or maybe when this project at work is finished next month then they’ll get it done (honest!) Sound familiar?
It’s not unique at all to online learning. It’s just human nature to think that, by making a small change in preparation of a big one, you’ve already made significant progress. Like treating yourself to that great big meal because “tomorrow” you’re going to start the diet (only for real this time). Or going out and buying all those brushes and paint pots because this weekend you’re going to paint the fence, like you’ve been promising your significant other (as if).
And the worst part is that this is complacency brought on by having taken the first step. I even heard that when Macdonalds, the hamburger chain, started introducing salads at their branches, sales went right up – sales of Big Macs that is. People thought that, just by stepping into the restaurant and looking at the salad and thinking about it, they’d done their bit for healthy living and they could have their great big burger, fries and soda (non-diet thank you) because, for sure, next time they would take the healthy option.
Don’t get me wrong. Taking that first step is truly important. Life changing, 'The walk of a thousand miles begins with a single step' sort of profundity. But you’ve got to take the second step too! And the third. And the fourth. And so on until you get to your final destination. Because if you don’t, what was the point of any of it?
So make that second (or seventy second) step today with your course. Don’t let it wither on the vine until all interest is lost. After all, you wouldn’t want to deprive me the pleasure of signing your certificate at the end would you?
Until next time.