David's Toe, a Plethora of Michaels (or Commandment #5: Always Be Doing)
Today's Blog is about D.O.I.N.G.
Michael #1 (Mikey)
When I was in my mid 20’s, I shared a house with a good friend named Mikey. We were both studying medicine in Tampa, FL. On weekend mornings, I’d awake to an irritating whistling sound which turned out to be Mikey singing to himself as he busied himself around the house with odd chores, like cleaning the kitchen, or soaking wood chips for a BBQ that he’d host later that day. Mikey was always doing something and it brought him a great deal of joy. I ended up naming him the KING OF DO. And who was I? I was the KING OF BE. In other words, I was moping around feeling tired and groggy while the KING OF DO was making things happen. This was my first taste of the power of DOING.
Here’s a riddle:
The mind cannot do nothing, so you’d better do something; otherwise you’ll be doing anything.
It’s a tenet of meditation that you cannot ever stop your mind from doing something. That would be called dead. In fact, the mind is always doing something. So when people learn to meditate, they are taught to focus the mind on something. Sometimes it’s the breath, sometimes the body, sometimes a mantra. If you don't focus your mind on some task, it will find other things to focus on, and you'll get nothing done.
My acting teacher, a wise old man with grey hair in his 80's taught me a lot about how to make things. He often mentioned Michelangelo's David, the famous sculpture that stands in the Galleria dell'Academia in Florence, Italy. It took Michelangelo two years to make it. My teacher, whose name was also Michael, implored us: "Do you think that he just went to his studio and worked on David? No, you silly young acting students! Michelangelo worked very specifically, one thing at a time. If someone came in the room and happened to ask him what he was doing, he would reply: 'I'm working on the TOE!'"
All this to say: What are you doing?
When you sit down to take a test, do you you have technique? Technique is a fancy word for “I know exactly what I am doing.” Here are a few examples of technique on standardized tests:
Reading - Tracing the structure of the passage
Math - Underlining key vocabulary words to avoid careless errors
Grammar - Identifying the prepositional phrase so that you can more easily find the subject of the sentence
For more about this key commandment to standardized test success, click here for your free copy of Satellite Prep’s Ten Commandments of Standardized Test Taking
In your corner,