I read this comment somewhere recently, without realizing that quite soon I would be writing it myself: "We teach what we most need to learn".
The truth of this hit home to me today while working on my current book. I am writing a book about study skills and how to approach studying, aimed at those who are struggling at school or just don't like to study. Since my current life doesn't resemble that in any way, one would think I wouldn't have anything to learn on this topic. That turns out not to be the case however.
A few days ago when I was working on the chapter on procrastination, I realized that ironically I was procrastinating on working on it, and on a few other things I was supposed to be doing, and that the advice I was writing about could benefit me. I shrugged it off as a funny coincidence. The same thing happened days later when working on the chapter on managing distractions. I again dismissed it, because after all, we all have way too many distractions nowadays, so it was hardly noteworthy.
The particular section that I was editing this morning was different. I had already been distracted today, because my work isn't going well, I'm frustrated about how slow it feels that I am moving while everyone else around me is hurtling forward and achieving obvious success. Then a few lines that I had written a while ago popped out at me - words about not worrying what others were doing, and to simply focus on your own work, and trust that you would get where you needed to. They were meant for students struggling at schoolwork, but they seemed to be advice that was tailor-made for how I was feeling today.
And that's where I realized - nothing in life is really a coincidence. I kept asking myself why I was compelled to write a book about study skills when I was no longer a student, hadn't been a student for a long time, and when I had a whole queue of books that would 'make more sense' for me to write. Now I am beginning to understand. While writing this book I have learnt a lot - about tackling projects, about the mistakes I made in my youth (feels so long ago), about facing up to something you're struggling to get a handle on. I truly did need to teach myself a lot in order to find something to teach others about as well. Now I'm looking forward to what my next book will teach me, and the lessons I can in turn pass on.
My current book Anyone Can Get As: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades is available on Amazon.