As a student of life long learning there does not seem a day goes by without me learning something new whether it is a new way of doing things, a process, a new name, a number to remember, a card trick to impress my daughter (definitely the hardest one to learn).
And looking back on all the hours I spent studying to pass an exam, which to be honest if I had sat down and calculated what I needed to do to achieve my goal, I would probably have a lot more hair on my dazzlingly palette than I have know.
I remember having sleepless sweaty nights worrying about homelessness and domestic violence and how these apparent public and private issues could seemingly interact and now, an older if not wiser man of a certain age, can reflect on what a waste of energy it all was.
Not that the issues are not important nor less relevant today as they were some twenty odd years ago, but to me all the worry, stress, angst didn’t help me gain any more exam success or indeed knowledge about the subject.
Was I any happier?
Was I any more successful?
Did I achieve what I wanted to achieve?
Not surprisingly the answer to all of the above is No, nil point, zero , zilch etc. etc.
Yes I passed the test but if I had sat down beforehand and calculated my previous grades and worked out the average it would have been impossible for me to improve my overall grade unless I scored 100%.
Did I score 100% – well I cannot remember my actual score however it certainly wasn’t A+ that’s for sure.
How could it be?
My head was like mashed spuds – I could hardly sleep a wink, my poor pj’s had to be wrung out every morning with seemingly half my body weight in sweat , my youthful good looks drawn and gaunt, a pale shadow of my former self.
Indeed I never wised up to this until my final year when I actually was too tired to worry and stress and fret that I actually took some time out(doctor’s orders) to relax and chill and actually talk to my tutors, counsellors and friends.
I realised that we are on in the same boat however you don’t have to row as hard if you know what direction you are going.
So Before you jump in the boat, plan – plan – plan. Map out your journey , the routes available to you to get to your destination and share the journey with others. The choppy waters don’t seem as scary if you have a companion. Remember to pack plenty of provisions and reward yourself for doing the work.
And if you find yourself struggling against the currents then call out for some help you will be amazed how many people want to help you help yourself to succeed.
And if like me when you get to your final destination you realise it is not the promised land then get your map back out and plan -plan -plan again before jumping back into the boat.
Ultimately we are all on the same journey – so remember to breathe, smile and call for help when you need it, it will prove to be a lot more pleasant journey if you do.