One of the greatest moments that each day brings is going to bed at night truly fulfilled, knowing that you took a step forward, towards your dream. — Samuel Kapansa
Looking back in the past, specifically during my primary education, school and learning for me weren’t as exciting as it was for those that were well known for being the topmost students. I remember teachers would first give out end of term results to the best students in class and I was always last on the list. It never bothered me that much because I got used to the same routine, not knowing that I was developing a habit of always not doing better or even trying for a change.
I bet if I was to ask some of my primary school mates about the outcome of every end of term test that we ever had, most of them would admit that not even once did a thought of coming out last in class cross their minds as long as we were in the same class and wrote the same test.
Yes, my parents would tell me, “work hard, try your best, you can’t be failing like this, your friends are passing so can you!”, they believed I could do better but I just had a negative mindset and did not believe in myself that much. See I wasn’t going to do better with the same mindset I had believing that my position was being last in class, I needed to change. One of the greatest motivational speakers, Les Brown, once said:
To do something that you have never done before, you have to become someone you have never been!
And so, the question I had was, how? how was I going to start getting good grades like everyone else, how was I going to make school and learning as exciting as everyone else? I didn’t know the way of going about everything, I didn’t know how to start or where to start from, I didn’t believe in myself that I could do better like everyone else, I didn’t know how to ask for help, I didn’t know anything about school or learning and most of I didn’t even have a clear purpose to why I was even going to school.
Luckily, I met an awesome and passionate teacher, Mr. Siamasambo, my grade 9 history teacher and mentor. Upon seeing my record, the man understood that I didn’t find pleasure in opening books or reading one for a change. I guess what they say is true, you can take a donkey to the water but you cannot force it to drink!
Understanding where I stood on the matter, Mr. Siamasambo knew that the only way I was going to improve my grades was to help me develop an interest in learning and reading books. He told me that the reason I wasn’t doing well was that I had no goals to meet, no reason for learning and no sense of purpose in my work. He went on to say:
To improve your grades you need to have a reason and a “why” that will drive you into becoming good at your work and getting those good grades.
With time I started to understand him and how important it is to set goals and have a sense of purpose in everything we do if we are to succeed at it.
Months after this whole experience, my grades greatly improved, I went from being the bottom to the top of my class, not only did I end there but I went as far as getting the first position in both our grade 9 mock and final exams. From all these experiences I learned the importance of having clear goals and a sense of purpose in my every work and fell deeply in love with learning, all thanks to my teacher and mentor, Mr. Siamasambo.
You may be going through the same challenges that I went through or even harder ones, but one thing you ought to know is that we all have the power to choose, to choose to become our “Better self” and so, no matter what they say, don’t give in, don’t give up, keep on trying, keep on going, the best is yet to come.