A friend has a big exam coming up. The subject matter is equities, bonds, options, futures, and the market. It is a comprehensive exam that is never automatic, even if you work actively in the field. The questions are complex. The answers at times subjective, depending critically on how you read the English sentence and its grammar.
As I do what I can to help clarify the study questions, I keep going back to what I would leave as my advice to take into the examination room. As I consider formulas, different approaches to problem solving, and key concepts, I realize that these are not what is needed going into the exam. Every individual must prepare, reading, absorbing, and learn as best as s/he can. There is something I can leave with them; “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions.” (1 Corinthians 16.13)
I catch myself listening to my advice, realizing the most days are exam days. Sometimes I know the answers. Frequently, I am guessing. In every moment, I have an opportunity to learn. The more I think about what happens, the scarier the process becomes. What if I fail? More accurately, what happens when I fail?
To anyone, including myself in this situation, I would offer the following ideas.
Be alert, in listening and seeing all that you can. Life is. Shutting one’s senses down only means you know less of what is here. Being alert creates an opportunity.
Listen to your heart. Hold your values and priorities close. Guard against theft by situations and circumstances. Stand tall.
Strive to make a difference with a smile while always learning. Let Hope release a relentless pursuit of More.
Above all, get into the pool and swim. Act intentionally. Reach. Strive, strive, and then strive some more. Failures and pain are great reminders that you are in the game. Keep going! Every moment you are alive comes with the freedom to choose. Seize it, do something with it, learn from it, and start all over again. You and I will make a positive difference.