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:: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 ::

Of determination and things like that...

There are times when I think I can't do things, there are times when I feel like giving up with things and then at times, I find a compulsive urge to ensure that I successfully complete whatever I am aiming at. And each time I find this compulsive urge, I find myself driven by a sea of confidence backing me with it. The downside of me being that rare are the times when I concentrate so much on a task that I find that 'compulsive urge' to get going.

What I recall as the one of the best turnarounds I managed was when I was studying in class XII. My school had the practice of conducting 2 prelim exams before the ultimate examination - one in the end of December, one in February while the final exam would be in March. I used to be one of the bright students in the class but hardly managed to remain so during most of the year of class XII. But I realized how low I had gone down only when I saw the results of the December exam coming out - I had flunked in Biology(!), I was booked for being low performer and was asked to attend additional coaching in Chemistry(which I did not attend). My scores in Physics and Mathematics were so so at around 60% range. It should have come as a total shocker for me as I was never used to such scores anytime before. The only consolation I had for myself was that I had not really given any attention to studies most of the year and spent time whiling away, and the scores were nothing more than a reflection of that. But we all know how important is to make a good score in 12th exams, otherwise for which the chances of getting to a good undergrad school would be doomed. Instead of getting panicky, I calmly decided that I shall spend rest of the time catching up and making sure I get more dignifying scores in the second prelims in February. The plan was to be in the top 3 of the class by then but I did not really think I would make it. I made elaborate planning for that and made timetables to ensure I will manage to study everything in the books within a span of one month. And so I did, sitting with the books 13 hours everyday without counting the Sundays off. And whatever I studied, I did with complete concentration, putting all my mind into the books and nothing else. The facts that I loved Physics and Mathematics and enjoyed solving problems also came to my rescue, but I had to accept and live with the resentment of remembering all kinds of chemical reactions and many other unwanted things in chemistry. With my complete intolerance to Biology, I kept it away from this schedule. After studying for exactly 30 days very meticulously, I came back to my relaxed manner and started spending my time carefree again. It is the February prelims results that showed me how well I had done all that - I was surprised myself with the results. I had surpassed my own expectations and had topped the class in Phy-Che-Mat and my scores were pretty close to 100 in all the 3! But neglecting biology had its effects and I had flunked it again. But that was no surprise for me. I repeated the whole exercise with Biology alone for a week for the final exams and managed to come out with decent scores in that too! In the final exam, and this time without any surprises, I had managed to top the class without any problems.

Looking back at it, it is not topping the class that makes me feel any good but the way I was able to turnaround things from a state of flunking. And what is really unfortunate is that more oft than not in the later years, I have found myself not reaching up to what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be not because it was out of my reach, but because I never made up that determination to succeed. Coming up to me now are a few occasions where I intend to do a few things but have been lax as usual in executing them. I hope I will get working to see them going flawlessly...

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