I was rushing to catch up a meeting in the campus of the universities in Nigeria. I was walking closely behind three students. Their conversation suggested that they were in the same level and department. Their subject of discussion caught my interest; I thought within me that there is something to learn from these boys’ discussion. Then I slowed down and walk in the same pace as they were doing.
The first boy, dressed in white t-shirt and a blue jeans said to his friends, “Those who graduate with first class are destined to do exactly that. No matter how much people like us try, none of us can make it to first class.” The second boy was like, “What of if I double up my effort?” “You cannot make it.” the first boy insisted. I wished I could zip my mouth and listened but I just couldn’t.
“How in God’s name do you know that this young man is not destined to graduate with first class?” I interrupted. Looking at my face like you will do when a complete stranger bump into your discussion, the boy said, “I am judging him from his previous academic record.” If you ask me, that is the worst thing to do: to judge someone with his past. I went on to explain to these boys, “What is constant in life is change. Human intelligence, ability, and agility are not fixed. They change on a daily basis.”
Like the first boy in the story, most students have internalized the erroneous notion that academic excellence is feasible for only selected few – and that they couldn’t make it on the list of this precious few. Despite the fact that this notion is untrue, it will be true for anyone who believes it with conviction.
Here is the gimmick: Human beings by nature detest putting their witty effort or attempt to waste their time and resource on things that are unachievable. It has little or no effect when it appears unachievable to other but not you. But trust me, you won’t like to put your effort if it appears unachievable to you; even if it is obvious that it is achievable. The implication therefore is that students who incapacitate themselves with this erroneous belief will not hesitate to withhold the efforts required to produce academic excellence.
Therefore, I urge you to discard all the counterproductive believes that disqualifies you for academic success; discard also the people who reinforce these believes in you.
Academic excellence is at the finger tip every student; it only requires a copious effort to achieve it. It is noteworthy is that this copious effort is always something you can afford. Be willing to put in this effort and academic excellence becomes yours.
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