I Wish I had Done Less, It Would Have Given Me More

Don’t we always aspire to be someone who conquers huge challenges and reaps rewards for it? I do, and I used to think that required me to push myself in things I’m not very good at. And yes, some of the time it is rewarding, but a lot of the time I have found concentrating on strengths is far more effective.

My mistake was at highschool, when I studied Mathematics as my final year subject, along side French, English, Music Theory/Piano Performance/Clarinet in Orchestra and Visual Art. Seriously, if I needed the science unit so badly, I should have done biology because I SUCK at chem/physics/pure math. SUCK I tells ya!

But I pushed myself to continue in Maths at the 2nd level of difficulty – the state offered four levels of Math, 1st being specialist, 2nd level, 3rd level and then 4th level which was called ‘Maths Applications’ ie. maths you will use in daily life.

And it was a really stupid thing to do, because if I failed, I would have drastically affected my university entrance scores. But no, I kept at it, and with the amazing support of my parents who cheered for me to get a ‘scrape your ass pass’, I finished with a 13/20 (12 being a fail).

Looking back on it now, I can only wonder why. Why push myself to do something that was a complete up the hill battle, and had no real benefit other than pride? It certainly bruised my pride to see the results on my score sheet when I scored above 17/20 for everything else.

But you know what really stung? The only math I needed to do my Bachelors of HR Management – study that is meant to be far beyond my high school education – was math I covered in year 10 as a 15 year old. I completed my first year uni course using math I had learnt 3 years earlier, and got a High Distinction.

What a waste of tears, angst and energy in my last 2 years of high school! All for nothing!

Ah well, now I’m a little more strategic about what I forcefully apply myself to. I like to understand if it is something I’m doing just because it’s a pride thing, because everyone else is doing it, because I have some natural flair for it, or because I genuinely need it? Perhaps I’m also more willing to cut my losses earlier too.

Hahaha I have to laugh at it all now, but I wish I could tell that poor crying teenager stressing about it all – “Give up! It’s ok! Do something you’re good at!”

Have you ever applied yourself to something incredibly difficult that you could have done without? Do you regret it, or are you glad for the experience?

Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 13 September 2012