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What if the things that have caused the most hurt in your life became the birthplaces...

No one life is perfect. In fact, we have all been through rocky roads, have fallen over and over again feeling lost, hurt, like a failure and/or have wanted to give up on the opportunity of life. But how many times have we gotten up and shifted mindset in order to see things differently and continuously try and try again? Many of us have been there. I am here writing about this topic today because I have lost count of how many times I have failed over and over again. In fact, it is not something I am proud of. But, if there is one thing that I have learned over time, is that I have never been alone through the process of feeling lost and as a result, have always sought ways to get up and keep on pursuing in order to obtain my end goal.

Let's talk about the time I was a junior in high school and was sitting in my AP Algebra classroom waiting for my name to be called because exams were being passed out with our grades. When my name was called out and I received that test back, a big 45% was written on it. How is that even possible? How am I going to explain this to my parents? It has to get signed? What am I going to do? I think I am going to fail this class and it will forever be in my record. These were all the thoughts racing through my mind because for the first time in my life, I had felt like a big failure. You see, growing up, I was very competitive with my grades. I wanted to be on the honor roll, I wanted to be valedictorian, I wanted to be the first in many things. As a matter of fact, my competitiveness sometimes still shows and this is something I am working on on a daily basis. The interesting thing is that I was not competing with anyone else, but rather with myself.

Seeing that 45% on that math test really marked a hurtful day in my life because I felt that this test determined my whole future. There was so much effort that I had put into studying and still felt like I got nowhere. Instantly, I wanted to blame someone for this. My first thought was my teacher. I wanted to blame her for not teaching me properly, for going over the material too fast, for just something that would make me feel better that is, because I didn't want to take responsibility for this outcome. However, this was all unreal to do because my teacher at the time was a Harvard graduate, a wonderful and super smart lady who wanted us to perform at a Harvard level as well. Of course, this is not something I was able to see at the moment because my emotions and self doubt were over empowering me.

Little did I know, that receiving this grade was going to be the beginning of a great friendship with Algebra. I decided to meet with my teacher to go over the exam and see where I had gone wrong in order to be able to learn the material and pass successfully. I wanted to bring that grade up to an A in my next exam and the only way to do that was to really have a good grasp on the material and face the challenges that came with it rather than avoiding it and feeling like giving up which is what I really wanted to do. Meeting with her allowed me to find a technique and shortcut to really learn the ins and outs of algebra, understand what the questions were asking for and also, learn process of elimination. Needless to say, had I not gotten this grade, I would've never passed AP Algebra nor would I have scored high on the math portion of the SAT. Is algebra and/or math my passion today? NO. But in all, the moral of the story is to not give up and not compare yourself and your potential to anyone else. It is easy to do when you may be used to doubting yourself, your power, and your greatness but maybe you need to sometimes get a 45% in your life to really embrace the whole picture of what life is all about. Perhaps you need to continuously fall because your gifts are not being used accordingly and until you get up and realize that, you may just have to continue to fall in order to become more humble, wiser and smarter about the choices you make for yourself.

It is all a matter of how you perceive things and how you choose to face them. Today and every day, don't give up on yourself. Keep on trying so you could achieve your goals. Embrace the following formula and remember, a 45% in your life, does not define who you are.

SOH CAH TOA

S= Surrender C= Celebrate T= Thrive

O= Obtain A= Accept O= Obtain

H= Happiness H= Happiness A= Accept

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