Another child: I dare you to climb to the top of that tree.
Me: No thanks.
Another child: Who thinks they could climb to the top of that tree?
Me: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
I would then try ineffectively to shimmy up a tree. I’d only manage to get one or two feet off the ground. I never had good gross-motor skills.
It wasn’t always physical challenges that prodded me to take on a challenge. There were academic challenges too.
Math teacher: Ok, it’s time to review our algebra homework.
Me: AAAAARRRGHHHH. Math is hard.
Math teacher: Ok, here is an extra-credit algebra worksheet. You get 1 extra-credit point for each problem you answer correctly.
Me: I’ll take two, please.
Now, I was no great-shakes at math, but that’s besides the point. If you try to motivate me to achieve a goal by betting me I could never do it, well, you’d be right. If some one thinks I’m unable to accomplish something, and they tell me so, I have no desire to prove them wrong.
But if you simply present me with a lofty goal, I’ll rise to meet that challenge.
And sometimes I succeed.
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