I’ve Failed

A couple of weeks ago I submitted an OU assignment.

After a lot of work, and probably more stressing than normal, I couldn’t bear to look at the essay anymore. I needed to submit it and move on with my life, even though I knew I could have done it better. I had a sinking feeling – sadness and even slight guilt. I suspected there would be a significant drop in marks.

I always want to feel like I’m learning and developing new skills, because the courses would have little satisfaction for me otherwise. This philosophy generally enables me to work hard without fear of failure, or fear of how I compare with other people.

It’s the same in every area of life. I may not be able to lift much weight at Crossfit, but I can lift far more than when I started, and more than I could a few weeks ago! Even if I received 40% in an assignment, and then worked hard to achieve 50%, I would still be happy. It’s the improvement that counts.

The flipside of this is that a ‘great result’ is not a success in itself. The marks aren’t what bother me: I feel like I’ve failed when I know something wasn’t my best effort. If I got 90%, knowing I hadn’t done my best, then the result would be bittersweet.

I now have my assignment result. Sharp intake of breath… There was a moment of shock, followed by a moment of confusion, which was quickly replaced with amusement. It was one of the highest marks I’ve ever received! Well, it’s always nice to get a good mark…But does it count as a success?

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