Trying to live life with sandy toes and laughter
Last week I was out with a friend who recently went back to school. He was telling me about his study habits… basically he’s one of those people that doesn’t fully apply himself until the last minute, pulling all nighters the week of exams and final projects. As I was listening I realised I’m the same way.
It almost caught up with me in art school when the night before having to submit 10 oil paintings for my final grade/assessment I only had 5. Stayed up all night and produced 5 more and handed them in wet (oil takes a few days to dry). The time crunch worked in my favour, forcing me to loosen up my style and work with the paint. The teacher loved them and probably would have failed me had I spent the time to produce 5 more paintings like the first 5. Another time I missed quiet a few economics classes and didn’t read the text until the night before the exam. I ended up with a B. A pretty decent grade considering, but that’s the problem. There have never been any negative repercussions. I know I work better under pressure, but what if I could have applied myself all year? I think I like having that unknown. What if I applied myself and didn’t do better? Not trying too hard gives you that “ya, and that’s without even trying” buffer.
School is just the easy example – this 75% effort to leave a 25% unknown buffer has become a habit for me. I’ve been pushing past it at work but realised this weekend that I’m approaching Capoeira (my martial arts hobby) that way. Coasting by with minimal effort, not really trying to play and get better… because what if I did and it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t fully get how stupid that is until now. Hey, I grew up in the “we’re too cool to try” generation. This is a revelation for me ; )
Anyway, 100% from now on and if I still get the ‘B’ at least I know where I stand.