The novelist J. K. Rowling indicated that failure is responsible for the mega-writer that she is today. Last week, I came up short. I failed. It doesn’t matter what personal challenges I had or whatever else I had on board, but I hadn’t fully completed an assignment. I had read the article, but I hadn’t completed my response. I had done 80%, but that doesn’t cut it. It was humbling to accept this, but it also put more fire in my belly! If this means I’ve got to put more time, effort into my work, then so be it. And you gotta believe that it didn’t matter if I got 2.5 or zero hours of sleep, but my next assignment was done.
Intention is one thing, but as an AWAI blog indicated, it doesn’t replace efficacy. I can hear my mother’s voice: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” So, it doesn’t matter if I intended to be successful. What matters is whether or not I had accomplished my academic goals and tasks effectively.
I was reminded of this as I stood on the platform without a train ticket the first week of class. The ticket machine was down; it’s broken as often as the elevator. Get it together METRA and while you’re at it, how about a discount for college students who are forced to ride your train because they have no other alternatives? Those who live off the main transportation routes know what I mean. Already strapped with expanding educational costs, we struggle to make it to class. I digress…so there I was forced to pay a surcharge because their machine didn’t work. That surcharge ate up my lunch money. The operator instructed me to go to the teller for redress. However, that would have made me late for my first class, which was unacceptable! First impressions are everything and more importantly, I didn’t want to miss a thing.
So, I sucked it up and went to class – a 9 AM – 4 PM daylong workshop, by the way. As my stomach churned I was reminded of what’s important. So what if it means that I have to manage hunger or deal with lack of sleep. My job right now is to put extraordinary effort, – make that effective effort into successfully accomplishing my tasks.