I wondered each and every day what I could have done to earn such favour, to be the best student in the country across several subjects, and I never found anything that made me deserve such an honour. I’m aware that there were students that put in more effort than me, however, I came to the realisation that it was all by God’s grace.
As I look back to my years in secondary school, I believe the most important factors to my success were diligence, discipline and respect. There are so many other things I could attribute my success to but I believe that these three traits shaped my character in such a way that all I longed for was to be better.
I say diligence because truth be told, I may not have been the brightest or the wisest in my class, but that never had an impact on me. People had their opinions of me and I had my own opinions of who I was. This way I could work hard and the only expectation bearing upon me was to reach my full potential, which was my ultimate goal.
Discipline helped me prioritize the things that would allow me to reach my goals. I remember that often times, I would plan my days and study timetables, but lack of discipline would always leave me fire-fighting, but when I started following my timetables strictly, I would find myself with ample time to even enjoy my hobbies. The exciting part of being disciplined is that you exceed your targets and reach heights that you’d have never imagined.
I know being a high-achiever most times forces one to lose respect for fellow mates, and even elders. Respect for others, helped me to live a less dramatic life. I came to realize that each and every person around us was put in our lives by God for a specific purpose. Respecting teachers for example, created a strong relationship to grow and that way I would benefit more from them. Sometimes, people would become obstacles to my goals, things would not work out, I’d feel like giving up but I learnt that God allows people sometimes to discourage and despise you, in order to bring out the sleeping giant that dwells within you.
To writing classes, all I can say is you have be confident about your God-given ability. However, you can never be confident if you have never tried to make it work. I was never afraid to set high goals because I knew one victory makes way for another victory.
Your teachers are there to guide you and make things clearer but it’s up to you to put in the hours. Every subject requires a different approach and it is up to you to find out which approach to use. It is good to copy study methods from those who are succeeding but the most important thing is to find one that brings out the best in you.
Remember, Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, ”I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Then there is the parable of the talents, Matthew 25 from the fourteenth verse. These two portions of Scripture inspired me, and I believe, will also inspire someone to look on the prize and not on the obstacles.
Finally, no matter what we do, all the praise, glory and honour must go back to God Almighty.