Stop trying so hard!

It’s time for the Grad School Lesson of the Week!

Are you ready? Positive? It’s a biggie! Here we go…

No one is perfect.

I hit a little bit of a rough patch within the last week or so. Last Monday, I realized the very true fact that I had to plan, start and finish my final project for this class in the next 3-ish weeks. On top of the other things I have to do weekly, I had to work on a huge and important term paper for one of my other classes. So when I met this realization last Monday, I had a very optimistic plan for how to get it finished. Just like several other optimistic plans that haven’t quite turned out so well this semester.

So I spent the majority of the weekend trying to get the term paper finished, with spurts of productivity on the other project. I didn’t finish the paper when I had hoped to, but I did get it done today, so that’s a huge burden lifted off my shoulders.

After realizing that there was no way I could get everything done last week, I went with my second option: try my hardest, do the best I can and spend time working rather than worrying – or worse – panicking.

After I got through some really tough parts of the paper, the work wasn’t as bad, and I sailed through it in time to spend the rest of this evening catching up on some other stuff that I needed to get done.

The lesson here is that worrying never helps. Have a plan, but if it doesn’t pan out, take a moment to step back and consider the next move. Rework the plan. My grandmother always taught me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” So what if you reading responses aren’t amazingly insightful this week? Everyone has off days here and there. It’s probably not as bad as you think it is. No one expects you to be perfectly on the mark all the time. And if you find the rare person who does, don’t let them get to you. It could be an employer trying to motivate you or a professor who wants you to get the most out of the experience, but just know that your best is the best you can possibly do. I know I probably sounds like a Dr. Seuss book right now, but please just go with it, and save yourself some pain.

And if no one else ever reads this blog, maybe I will come back to it for motivation one day. It’s like the British say: Keep calm and carry on.

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