a painting of the author, the description of the blog, and his URL: rickkitagawa.com/blog

Chasing the Gold Stars

When I was in grade school, my 4th grade teacher used a big grid with our names to keep track of how far we were progressing in learning our multiplication tables. Every time we’d successfully pass a timed test, we would get a little gold star, and when you filled up your row, you’d have successfully have memorized 8 x 7 and 11 x 12 (which I personally always found the most difficult pairings to memorize). 

It’s easy to chase the gold stars, since it’s public, it feels like a competition, and the teacher would praise you. 

But what if you chose to do something not for the external rewards, but for your own pleasure? Because you were interested in it, or because you thought it was fun? 

Chasing gold stars is all well and fine, but what would you add to your life if you didn’t chase the stars others set out in front of you?

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