Many days ago, I read this story in the newspaper. This was a fictional story in a motivation article. A boy in school fell asleep in his maths class. When he woke up at the end of the class, he saw two problems written on the board. Thinking that they were for homework, he copied them down before going home. At home, he put his full efforts into solving the problems. They were hard, but he laboured throughout the night and managed to solve one. In the maths class, he showed it to his teacher. He was afraid he would be punished for not finishing his homework but as it turned out, his teacher was astonished. This was because the problem solved by the boy was actually (or should I say, was supposed to be) impossible. The moral of the story, of course, was that determination can achieve anything.
This got me thinking. It's all very well for the boy who fell asleep in class, but what about us? What if we were awake in that class and had heard the teacher say the problem was impossible? How would we solve the problem then?
In our lives, no matter what age we are, we all sometimes face problems that we think are impossible. Whether it's learning a new skill, solving a particular problem, changing ourselves (or others) for the better etc. We usually start by thinking that it will be difficult, but if we find we can't succeed after putting in some efforts, it might become easy for us to give up. We could decide that the task is impossible, or at least, impossible for us, and give it up. Or even if we do continue, it'll be with a sort of defeated attitude. If we wouldn't feel confident of our skills, it'll be easy to feel demoralised. So what do we do when we get into the mindset of "this is impossible!" ? What do we do if we've stayed awake in class and "know" a problem is impossible? Unless we have are super-powerful at forgetting things and are also determined to finish the task, it's likely to be hard for us. Now I'm in no way qualified to be a lifestyle coach or motivational guru, but if you're interested, here are my views:
1. Analyse - There's no way you're going to solve a problem if you're ignorant. Make sure you've gathered some information about your challenge; whether you actually LIKE what you're trying to do, whether you have the faintest clue of what to expect, whether you really want to commit yourself to try hard and so on.
2. Be rational - It's not likely you'll have to solve an impossible problem. If you've already analysed, you should have a fair idea of whether you want or have to do. Even if you have to solve something "impossible", try to be rational and not hysterical.
3. Be determined - If you really want to do something, most tasks should be easier than you think because half the battle is won. Self motivation is exactly what'll keep you going.
4. Forgive - Yourself, the situation, others, whoever you have to for your peace of mind. Relax.
5. Remember - You've done new stuff before, right? In fact, lots of the stuff you take for granted now was probably new to you at some point. As for a personal example, when a new session starts in school, I go through my books to see what I'll be studying the year. It looks really intimidating at first, but by the end of the year it feels like the back of my hand. You'll have different problems no doubt, but don't make the mistake of focusing only on the mistake you've made. Let the successes you've had do their job and buoy you up when you need it!
In the end, don't give up without giving your best ;)
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