As the school year begins, let’s remind students that they are magicians. Let’s remind them that they are able to turn what’s difficult into what’s easy.

“But it’s hard” can be what kids say to avoid trying something. However, the reason they need to do these things is “Because it’s hard”. They have already done many things in their lives that were difficult…like rolling over, crawling, walking, tying their shoes, riding a bicycle, reading…and now these things are easy. By doing what’s difficult they have grown and developed their potential.

You may be familiar with Paul Coelho’s lesson of the butterfly story:

A man was watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. Although   managing to make a small hole, its body was too large to go through it. After a long struggle, the butterfly appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.

Deciding to help the butterfly, the man took a pair of scissors and cut open the cocoon,   thus releasing the butterfly. The butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled, and its wings were undeveloped and crumpled.

Hoping the butterfly would open its wings and fly away, the man saw nothing happen. In fact, the butterfly, unable to fly, spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shriveled wings.

Out of kindness and eagerness to help, the man failed to understand that the tight cocoon and the effort the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were nature’s way of strengthening the butterfly’s wings so it could fly.

Similarly, the extra effort it takes for us to do what is difficult is precisely what prepares us for the next challenge to be faced. If we avoid doing what’s hard, we are unprepared for future challenges that come our way.

Rather than making things easy for our students, we may do them a greater service by encouraging them to do what’s difficult. Help them see what they will become when they strengthen their wings.

Best wishes from our Top 20 team…Willow Sweeney, Tom Cody, and Kevin Brennan…who are my magicians helping me to change what’s difficult into what’s easy.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training