Wednesday, October 9, 2013


THIS may not be practical for the exams you are sitting now, but for those that you will be sitting next term, next semester or for years to come.
Your growth in what you are learning in school is shown by better marks you attain in the different terms, semesters or years that you continue studying different or related subjects.
I am challenging you not to be satisfied with just a “pass grade”. Go beyond just merely passing – learn to really master what you are learning.
Some time ago, I was invited to speak to university students from my area and I urged them not to work to get just any paper – but the “best paper”.

Today, I urge you to work in your school life and try to, in one of your terms or semester, to hand in a “perfect paper”.
That is a challenge to help you go beyond just passing – but to truly master what you are learning.
That means, aim to score a test, assignment or exam with full marks.
The possibilities will be there – but you must challenge yourself to score 100% on your written comprehension, Maths, or Science tests and exams. Do you think it is impossible?
No, it is not impossible.
The idea of impossibility often creeps in because you never really thought about pushing yourself that much in life.
Sadly, that is also the way a lot of people think in life – they do not want to be challenged to master something.

People whom we admire for being successful in what they do often set such goals – to come up with perfect results.
In some sports, that is what champions think like and perform.
To get scores of 100% means you cut down on mistakes until you make none at all.
In certain sports, an athlete will be awarded points by a panel of judges. Should the judges award perfect scores for a performance by an athlete, that means she or he is already the winner of the event, despite others not performing their routines.
This is true in the sport of gymnastics. 

One of the best movies my parents took me (and my siblings) to watch back in 1984 was of Nadia Comaneci (pictured), the great Romanian gymnast. 
Photo: Nadia Comaneci. (Pic from

She was only 14 when she competed in the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Her routine on the uneven bars earned a perfect score of 10 (the maximum score). That meant she was flawless – did not make any mistake at all.
Comaneci made history because that was the first time anybody scored a perfect 10 in the Olympics.
Apart from earning the perfect score, she won three gold medals there and two in the 1980 Olympics. (Comaneci is now 51.)
If you are a shooter or an archer pushing yourself to train to hit the bull’s eye (or whatever you targets are) every time – 100% of the time – you are already a champion.

I hope you will adopt the same mentality in your school work.
Work hard and try to hand in perfect papers. Do not just get by.

Next week: After exams, plan for work

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