Happy New Year and welcome to the 21 Self-Improvement Tips 4 Kids series! This is article number 17. You can be up-to-date on everything regarding my Self-Improvement Series by subscribing to our blog (with an adult’s permission.)
Today’s topic is about why it’s important to follow instructions. “It’s easy to follow instructions,” you may think. But is it always that simple? Sometimes it can be difficult to understand or hard to follow (or sometimes we’re stubborn and don’t want to accept instructions), which is what makes it a complex and important skill to develop and use.
Here is a short list of the situations that call for instructions:
- Construction work
- Riding a Bicycle/Scooter
- Playing a Game
I’m sure that if you’ve learned a skill, in some way you have used instructions… or if you did not have instructions (or didn’t follow the ones you had…), I bet things probably did not go very well.
It’s good and healthy to use your creativity and think-outside-the-box (actually, that used to be my mom’s slogan for her website-building business), but when it comes to following instructions, do your best not to mess around with the ingredients.
I am going to share 2 stories that will illustrate why instructions are important. One is my own personal story that happened recently, and another is about someone I admire that happened not-so-recently.
On Thanksgiving, we had lots of cooking planned. We were making pumpkin, lemon, pecan pie, and on top of that, I decided to make a sweet hazelnut pound cake. Long story short, it called for 1 lb. of acorn squash, and instead of checking to make sure I was using the right amount, I decided it would be much easier and more convenient to use the whole squash (which was about 3 lbs total).
As I put it into the oven to bake, and 45 minutes go by, it was still very soggy, and I start to realize that I put in too much acorn squash. After my mom spoke with me about following directions and the cost of taking shortcuts, I felt better about myself. We decided to eat it anyways, and it actually was delicious. That day I learned an important life (and cooking) lesson: never take shortcuts, always follow instructions.
But, even though my pound cake turned out alright, sometimes there can be major consequences that cannot be reversed or fixed.
Leonardo Da Vinci, my favorite artist, is the main character in this next story. He is known for some of the world’s most beautiful artwork, and also for his insightful, spontaneous inventions and creative ideas. Leonardo was commissioned to do a large wall painting of “The Last Supper” scene on a special type of plaster that makes the oil paint used in that time dry very quickly.
But, you see, he liked to take his time perfecting every detail, he didn’t want to be rushed. So he simply invented a new type of plaster that meant he could take all the time he wanted. Unfortunately, the type of plaster he created repelled the paint, and the mural began to peel over time, and is still peeling to this day.
Although these stories are different in circumstance, setting, characters, and time frame, they have the same lesson expressed in Proverbs 4:13 to, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”
It’s good to be creative, but we also need to follow instruction. Remember that through instruction, you can create beautiful and lasting experiences throughout your life. Following instructions requires humility, and also good listening skills.
“It is far better to follow instructions than to have no instruction at all,” ~ Nigel Hems. Instructions give us clarity to create, learn, grow, and become better for our world!
Do you have any personal stories to share about following instructions?Be confident!