My great-niece, Ella Ruby, starts 2nd grade today. She is totally chuffed, excited about her new teacher, backpack and classroom. She doesn’t care that she knows nothing about 2nd grade math– she just plans to tackle it and get as many gold stars as she can grab.
There’s something wonderful about a 7 year old’s complete lack of fear. For the most part, everything new is an adventure. Their little egos are practically non-existent, so they don’t even think about how it will look if they fail. They just want to try the New Thing.
This is where the 8 of Pentacles comes in. While I don’t play favorites with the Tarot cards, I admit that I love when this one comes up. The message is an encouraging one — it means that whatever you’re faced with, even if you know zilch about it, you’re gonna totally dominate. The card is nicknamed “the talent card,” revealing hidden abilities.
Most of the time when it appears in a spread, my client has a hard time believing that they’ll be able to pull off whatever that hidden ability may be (“I don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout Excel spreadsheets…”). I remind them of one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
A few months back, I got a call at 4:30 PM inviting me to do some copywriting for a start-up tech firm. There was a conference call less than an hour later — and in that time, I had to Google the firm, download Skype and learn how to use it, and give myself a crash-course in tweeting. I was able to fake my way through the call, and landed a nice gig.
Second-graders like my niece embrace learning — it’s what they do. Somewhere after graduating, we grownups decided our days of learning were pretty much over. New things freak us out, make us feel uncertain. But taking the challenge posed by the 8 of Pentacles is always a good exercise in reaching a little further towards our full potential. Whether we succeed or fail at it, we still get a gold star for trying.