I had my very first final in a very long time in the evening prior. Admittedly, I did not miss this consequence of structured academic learning at all. No matter how interesting the material – arts or science – when it was time to spill all the knowledge you’d acquired throughout the semester – you might feel something other than an over saturated sponge ready to be decompressed or ‘juiced’ for all your smarts.
The exam, which had my stomach drop and churn, was not as hard as I had initially imagined. The professor didn’t pull all the imaginary ‘trick’ questions I thought he’d pull – needless to say, after I started the exam the only thing on my mind was to FINISH it with haste, so I can get it done over with and sleep – then wake up and study for everything else.
The point is, after I had finished my exam and dusted my hands off I started to wonder why did something with moderate difficulty cause me so much grief – I had been stressing about it days before in anticipation, my motivation to study had been zilch and then the dreaded cram session.
It was as if I had set myself up for an emotional block, the dread, the fear of failure – even before I tackled my study material. Somehow the pervasive thought that I’ll never get that 100% plagued me more than anything else.
Anything less than perfection was ugly – or so I believed (and perhaps still believe to some extent, less so, because I know that perfection is next to impossible if not a utter waste of energy) but, I know that some part of me still refuses to let go of the notion that things must be up to a standard, that everything had to be perfect or else there was no point in trying.
Well, so much for the notion of not trying for fear of imperfection.
Remember: “You miss all the shots you don’t take,” – Wayne Gretzky
So try, try and try again, try and fail, fail and fail harder – that’s how roads are carved.