Lessons Learned From A Grade School Notebook

When You Are Aware, You Learn From Anyone And Anything

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The notebook in question: “If you get tired, learned to rest, not quit.”

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” — a grade school notebook

Well, that’s both wise and very timely for me!

Last Friday, I had made the decision that I would do a self-improvement week (more on that at the bottom of this story).

And for that, I needed a new notebook!

During that week, I wanted to limit my time in front of the computer, so a notebook was the best way to reflect, take notes, and plan stuff.

I went to the store thinking about attributes I wanted in my notebook:

  • Be orange (there’s no substitute for orange);
  • Be medium-sized, with about 100 pages; and
  • Not have any lines or grids.

That’s all I really thought about. Price was not an issue since I’m in India, and I wasn’t going to a fancy store anyway.

Then Monday came. The day my self-improvement week started.

I took the notebook out, and the first thing I realized is the quote from above.

That’s a good start, the notebook is already agreeing on me! It’s the start of a great relationship!

When’s the last time your notebook agreed with you?

Turning the cover page, I was expecting to just see boring printing and copyright disclaimers on the reverse of the cover.


Look at this beauty:

The grade school notebook strikes back, with more inspiration!

My two favourite quotes from there are:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” — Lao Tzu

This got my blood pumping for my self-development week!

Lesson 1: Don’t Act In The Heat Of Things

Let me repeat the quote above here:

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” — a grade school notebook

Sometimes it feels like you’re at the end of the rope. You can’t take it anymore. You have to quit.

Don’t make rash decisions!

Have you tried distancing yourself from the situation? To see the big picture?

Resting, relaxing, sometimes just brings you the necessary clarity to see things the way they really are.

Lesson 2: Failing An Experiment Is Not Failing In Life

Because of our traditional education, we’re trained to think that when we get an “F” we fail.

Well, take this into consideration, from one of the greatest inventors of all times:

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison


Is Thomas Edison a failure?

I think we all agree that he isn’t. Listen to him. Think about that the next time you or someone else considers you a failure.

Lesson 3: Start And Be Consistent

It is true that everything has a beginning. Starting something, for a lot of people, is hard.

“Just do it” — Nike

For me, it’s the 999 other steps I find hard. I’m a starter.

It is said that it takes 18 months to form a habit. Well, that’s a lot of steps!

“If you believe you can change — if you make it a habit — the change becomes real.”― Charles Duhigg

Trust in Lao Tzu, Nike, and Charles Duhigg.


I hope, like me, you learned valuable lessons from this grade school notebook. In short, here’s a recipe for “success” for you:

Rest, start things and fail consistently

And for those of you wondering why I say it’s a grade school notebook: some pages at the beginning have tables with columns like “teacher name” and “grade”. So…, yeah.

Oh, and bonus lesson for you:

“Always go orange” — Danny Forest

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! 🙂 Follow me for more similar stories!

The Self-Improvement Week
The Real

Originally published at

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