Where we begin does not dictate where we end up

Cease judging persons on being intelligent or unintelligent but instead recognize the fact that everyone has the ability to do well once they put in the necessary work and effort

As a baby, we all were born without knowing anything. The type of family we were born into paved the beginning of our life journey as a child. The choices we make and the habits we cultivate as we get older ultimately determine our success. Certainly, there are some of us that possess inherited gifts, talents and abilities from our parents. However, if not used and practiced often, the talent can vanish or the person can become rusty at performing or using their talent. The same is true about a skill. As the saying goes “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! For example, some students have a natural ability to learn and understand information easily. However, if the student does not study or practice the work they have learned through reading over notes and attempting questions, they will eventually forget what they have learned and have been taught in school. As a result, their grades may diminish and their academic performance may decline.

Conversely, there are some persons who may not have obtained inherited abilities. There are students who may not grasp information swiftly in which these students may need to work twice times harder to do well in school. Although it may seem like the students that may take longer to grasp information are at a disadvantageous position, if they work harder by exerting greater energy, effort and sacrifices than the average student, they can exceedingly excel in school. With the suitable study strategy, constant revision and practicing of questions, the student who takes longer to grasp information can do better than the swift learning student. This is due to the fact of the quote by Tim Notke ‘Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work’.

This goes to show that in spite of the cards that are or are not handed to us in life, it does not matter where we start, but where we finish matters because we all finish with different results and different experiences. This is due to the fact that our success is mainly dependent on our mindset and the amount of energy and effort we exert after we cross the starting line. The main goal, however, is to make it past the finish line as we should aim to finish what we start.

From the race track below, we see 5 lanes and 5 X, each X represents a student where there is 1 student in each lane.

  • Lane 1- this student that is represented by the blue X is exactly at the start line indicating that he has an ordinary life as he/she does not have any major advantages or disadvantages. This student living conditions can be described as being stable with mid-income range parents.

  • Lane 2 – this student that is represented by the orange X is far behind the start line indicating that he/she has drastic disadvantages plaguing his/her life. These disadvantages may include and are not limited to financial issues, living in a single parent home, health challenges, having limited studying time due to working while attending school, difficulty in accessing important resources such as books, a computer and Wi-Fi or the student may be a slow learner.

  • Lane 3 - this student that is represented by the green X is far ahead of the start line indicating that he/she has major advantages to benefit from in his/her life. These advantages may include and are not limited to financial wellness, easier access to important resources such as books, a computer and Wi-Fi or the student may be a fast learner.

  • Lane 4 - this student that is represented by the black X is exactly at the start line indicating that he/she has an ordinary life as he/she does not have any major advantages or disadvantages. This student living conditions can be described as being stable with mid-income range parents.

  • Lane 5 - this student that is represented by the purple X is slightly behind the start line indicating that he/she has some disadvantages plaguing his/her life. These disadvantages may include and are not limited to financial issues, living in a single parent home, health challenges, having limited studying time due to working while attending school, difficulty in accessing important resources such as books, a computer and Wi-Fi or the student may be a slow learner.

  • The student X in lane 1 came 2nd by efficiently using all the resources available to him/her despite knowing that the journey would be difficult.

  • The student X in lane 2 came 1st regardless of being at a disadvantage in life. This student placed their best foot forward with a lot of blood, sweat and tears in order to achieve their destiny. He/she took the lemons life handed them to make lemonade by surmounting their life challenges, succeedingat their set goal and shining from the results of placing 1st.

  • The student X in lane 3 came 4th probably due to the mindset they started with. In spite of being at an advantageous position, this student did not place within the top 3. This can be due to thinking that since he/she is already at a head start in life, it is not necessary for them to put in the additional effort and hard work to do well. However, this type of mindset should not be applied to any venture in life as it limits the ability to fully recognize one’s potential to be successful.

  • The student X in lane 4 came 3rd in spite of taking school lightly and not being serious at the start. This student was not plagued with any major difficulties thus there were no challenges to help keep him/her focused. Nevertheless, the student gained focus and began putting in the necessary work halfway through the race which led him/her to finish well.

  • The student X in lane 5 did not complete the race as they stopped halfway through. This student was at a slight disadvantage in the race in which he/she allowed to tamper with his/her performance. In the picture, we can see that this student considered the disadvantages as a limit to their success. Therefore they gave up by quitting school or in extreme cases commit suicide. In life, there will always have challenges for us to overcome. Although we may get tired and have the urge to give up, we should not because the longest rope has an end, thus hard times don't last forever. It is okay to stop for a break but we should not quit completely. As the saying goes the race is not for the swiftest but who can endure till the end. As a result, if we think that we need to take our time through any process, we should, rather than compare our circumstance and distance to others which may cause students to become discouraged and overwhelmed.

In conclusion, wherever you start as a student, either at an advantageous or disadvantageous position, refrain from allowing your circumstances to define your ability but rather allow your work ethic and mindset to catapult you into your desired success. You can do it!!

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