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Book of Boating School

Questions for Contemplation

1. Being Ready is one of the great tenets of The Church. SpongeBob is so ready for his boating exam that he has slept the previous night in his pants. He has prepared for his exam, and wants to be able to successfully pass the test, so he has handled small details - like forgetting to put on his pants, or getting up early enough to be able to get them on in time - so that they won't distract him from his objective. Do you prepare well in advance, thinking of all the little details? How much time do you spend running around at the last minute, trying to get things done? Have you ever had an important event that was made harder to accomplish because you didn't give attention to little details that got in the way?

2. SpongeBob has failed his boating examination thirty-seven or thirty-eight times. Yet he continues to 1) try, and 2) be excited about it. What was the last thing you failed repeatedly to accomplish? This Book isn't such a great lesson on commitment, because in the end, SpongeBob does not get his license, but it does illustrate how important it is to keep trying, and to enjoy the process. Do you enjoy failure? Some people do, you know. They sabotage themselves all the time, for various reasons. Some people can't handle the idea of success, fearing additional pressure. Some people have never really succeeded at anything, and therefore are afraid of what success even is. Are you more afraid of success or failure? Is it possible to make yourself sick over this fear?

3. Even though he as failed his exam thirty-seven or thirty-eight times, SpongeBob still tells Mrs. Puff that he "is confident in (His) ability to successfully succeed." Is this inflated ego, or is he really confident? Why would he continue to try 37 or 38 times if he thought he would never succeed? Have you stopped trying to do some things in life because you thought you wouldn't be good enough? When you were young, did you dream of being a writer, or a painter, or an actor, or an NFL player, or a musician, or something like that? Why did you stop?

4. "Oh, SpongeBob...why?"

5. Are you superstitious? Do you have a lucky ornament or piece of clothing, that you're sure will help you succeed? What is it about that thing that helps you? SpongeBob apparently feels that his lucky underpants help Him. Do your underpants help you?

6. SpongeBob tries to cheat on his exam, and in the end, even though he could have completed his test and received his license, he instead confesses to cheating. He wants his license really bad - bad enough to risk failure 37 or 38 times - but not enough to compromise his sense of integrity. Have you ever lied to get something? How much of your personal supply of integrity did you lose on that occasion? SpongeBob's integrity is high - because his words and actions are in sync, he does what he says he will do, we tend to believe him when he speaks about doing something. Do other people believe that you tell the truth? Do you do what you say you will do? Would other people agree with you? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being full and 1 being empty, where would your rate your personal integrity bank?

Statements for Consideration and Absorbtion

If you want something, keep trying to get it, even if you fail repeatedly.
Wearing lucky underpants or a good luck charm may not work - but how can it hurt?
If you're going to do something, even if it's something you've failed at repeatedly, be confident in yourself and express that confidence.
Bicycles seems to work as well as boats underwater.
Tricks are always exposed.

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