People who are efficient in math are perceived to be smarter. Fill a room with college students and give them two options. Option A, solve the problem or option B, admit in public they are bad in math. Most people in the room will choose option B. Why? It’s socially acceptable to be bad in math. Just the other day, I overheard the comment from a parent saying, “You get that from me. I’m bad in math too.”
Parents interjecting their failures on to their child allowing them to use the excuses of being bad at a subject that, yes can be difficult, but should be fundamentally sound. If you take those same students and write a sentence on a whiteboard and asked them if they can read it, 100% of them would say, “Yes”. However, haven’t we all heard of the athlete that is pushed through school into college and can’t read? The athlete is too proud or embarrassed to admit they can’t read, because being illiterate is not sociably acceptable, unless it is math, then you admit how dumb you really are in front of family, friends, colleagues and employers. If you had to choose a team member to work with, wouldn’t you pick the person who’s good in math or is perceived being just a little smarter than the rest of the group?
People with high self confidence will attempt the math problem and be it right or wrong they will have made the attempt and will tell you they tried. I’ve performed this test many times while teaching college and it amazes me that more than 50% of the class will admit to be efficient in math. Now, the people sitting in the room have attend school for 90% of their life and have had math taught to them 75% of the time. So were they all just looking out the window and being pushed through the system or are they just accepting to be bad at something that they’ve had years of training to learn?
Improve your image and confidence by doing math daily. Yes, daily. Create the image of being smart and do math in front of people. Let them think you are smarter then them and want you as part of their team.
Tips for improving your math
- Brush up on your multiplication – it’s been years since you seen a multiplication table – read it once a week just to keep your memory sharp.
- Develop math tricks to help speed up the calculation process.
- When telling time – calculate the minutes after and before the hour. Simple mathematics helps you mind stay sharp.
- Do Sudoku puzzles
- When shopping calculate food prices and see if buying the larger amount is really cheaper than buying two smaller containers. You’ll be surprised how many times it’s not a savings.
- Help your children with their math homework. Relearn the basics with them. Their techniques and homework may be an improvement over what you were taught.