One of the propositions I made for the defense of my dissertation is that ‘Deadlines increase the value of time’. Although four years was the time allotted to write four research papers, by the time I completed all four papers I realized that it had actually taken me only the last one year and a half to work on three of the papers, from start to finish. And I asked myself, what was I actually doing the last two and a half years? Of course, the learning obtained during the previous two and a half years have contributed in a way to my increased efficiency in the last one-year and a half of my study. But I believe that the time pressure to complete my study on time was the main contributor for my last minute increased efficiency. Thinking back, I realized that the potentials of our brains really depend on the challenges we are facing. The number and the quality of ideas that come to our minds are simply incomparable to the ones we would be normally be having under a more relaxed situations. I am sure that many of you have seen how productive you become when faced with a tight deadline.
I believe that the level of the challenge that is presented to us determines our abilities to deal with the challenge. Have you ever told and convinced yourself that you do not have the capacity to deal with a particular type of challenge? And have you ever found yourself later on, to your amazement, actually coping well with the challenge that you thought you would never be able to deal with? It is just amazing the things we discover about ourselves when faced with the supposedly unimaginable situation.
And we cannot discover the strength and capacity that is bestowed to us unless we allow ourselves to be challenged. The thing with challenges is that they are scary, because of the high perceived probability to fail. Or we do not dare ourselves to be challenged simply because we are too lazy. Have you ever faced an imaginable challenge in your life, came out of it successfully, and realized how much strength and capacity you are actually endowed with?
And there are those kinds of people who like to discourage those who try and challenge themselves. These people are quick to point out the failures of those who try and try to lead to them to the conclusion that the thing they are challenging themselves for are really not worth their hard work. These people prefer to stay on the safe and mediocre side and consider themselves to be successful over those who challenge themselves and face the probability of failure. I believe the strivers should stay as far as possible from people who consider mediocrity as success.
I keep trying to become a person who is not scared of challenges as they come to me in life, and even better, a person who seeks and quests for new challenges to up and become a better version of myself, because I know I am not there yet. And I believe you should try too!