How to pass exams – Part 4
“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.”
Do you remember the song “Rock Star” by Nickelback, and the video where their fans are miming along to the words?
Every generation has a song that says ‘If I could just be somewhere else or someone else, or have a credit card without limit’, I’d be alright.
My generation had a song called ‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits; they sang “If I could play my guitar on the MTV”. There’s an even cheesier song by a band called ‘Bros’ (ask your parents or carers if they remember that cheese monster classic!), they sang ‘When Will I, Will I Be Famous?’
Have you ever heard people say that the “grass is always greener somewhere else?” That got me thinking about my favourite quotation from Coach John Wooden.
He said: “Success is peace of mind…in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
John Wooden is the most successful U.S. college basketball coach of all time – he won seven championships back-to-back and coached many of the greats. Interesting, he doesn’t mention fame, or money.
[ Based on years of research you can read more about Lee’s work at http://leejackson.org/education/howtoenjoyandsucceedatschoolandcollege – how to pass exams ]
At the end of your exams/course you’ll probably have a two or three month break, one of the longest holidays that you’ll ever get in your life! You’ve got two options in that break, you can relax, have fun and peace of mind because you know that you did your best. Or, you can be stressed out wishing you’d done more work.
Peace of mind is a great thing because YOU know that YOU did your best.
You see there’s a shape in the world that is YOU shaped. My shape’s slightly larger than your shape, but it’s still my shape! It’s Lee Jackson shaped. I can do amazing things as my shape, I bring unique things to the places I visit and the community I live in. I bring unique things to this book.
And that means you do too! You bring unique skills and gifts to your home, school/college and eventually your workplace. But the problem is that, if like in the Nickelback song, we’re always trying to be someone else…we can’t be our shape effectively.
If we are saying – “If I can just be like that person in my class; if I just had her hair; if I just had his money or if I could just do essays like they can,” then we are trying to be someone else – we are comparing ourselves to others and we will always feel worse doing that. And if we are trying to be someone else then…my question is ‘who is being you?’
You bring something unique to your school/college and if you do your best, your school becomes a greater and better place because of the gifts you bring to it. Everyone wins! But it’s never about being perfect, it’s about trying our best and being unique.
Then even if we don’t become top of the class we can still look back and say “I tried my best”. That cures post exam stress and it’s good for us as it’s how we find out what we are really capable of.
More to come…
This an excerpt from Top UK School Speaker Lee Jackson’s book “How To Enjoy And Succeed At School And College” Available in paperback and on Kindle (for only £1.99 during pre-exam time) here now.
How to pass exams