Just finished reading Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy which chronicles his life up through the 2005-2006 NFL season (the year he coached the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win). In the middle of the season, the Colts had beaten New England, and Coach Dungy was concerned that his team would overlook the next team on the schedule, Houston, who was 1-7. He gave the following speech after their win: “The beauty of McDonald’s…is that they are consistent. The reason my kids like McDonald’s is that they always know what they’re going to get. It’s not gourmet food, but the french fries they order in Indianapolis are just like the french fries they order in Tampa. Wherever they get McDonald’s fries, they know it will be the same. That’s what McDonald’s does. They don’t make french fries in New England more special than the ones they make in Houston. We have to do the same. We can’t view any game as more important than another. Just like McDonald’s, we need to keep making the same good fries.”
Now, I don’t often use McDonald’s in an illustration, but the principle of consistency has helped them to become an international icon. This same principle is the secret to success in mathematics (and most things in life, for that matter) as well. Mathematics doesn’t “cram” very well; it requires continual, consistent effort. The students who achieve in AP Calculus and college mathematics are not necessarily the typical “best” students. Many times, these students are the ones who keep plugging and chugging, day after day, every day.
With that in mind, what are you doing today that will increase your chances of success on May 5, 2010? Think 5!