Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Getting through

T -1 day to promotional exams. The going metaphor is that the exams are like a door to get through, which makes sense. Once past that door, the successful get to face a new arena containing a new set of trials and tribulations to traverse before they arrive at the next door.

Some kids think that they need a 'passport' or a 'password' to get through the door, and that they can find it in the assigned reading materials or last-minute hints dropped by their tutors in the last days leading up to the exams. But they are being silly. The fact is, there is no one guarding the door to hear the password or stamp the passport. The door is simply locked.

Who has the key, then? The good news is, there is no 'Master' key, so there is no need to scramble for a limited resource that doesn't exist. There is also no need to acquire a key in a standard design, because there isn't one either. Remember the trials and tribulations mentioned above? They exist to train each student how to pick the lock for themselves. Yes, not a key, but a set of lock-picking tools unlocks the door to the next level.

I like the lock-pick metaphor because unlike keys; passports; and passwords that only work once per door, we always hold on to our lock-picks, find new ways to manipulate them and pick up new upgrades along the way. Lock-picks work on every door, and how they are used is unique to the user, as long as they consistently practice their skills, being in the moment and not constantly worrying about the next door ahead.

Cliched, but if people valued the journey rather than the destination, they'd have less anxiety approaching their exams.

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