By 27, I have 3 masters degrees and 3 graduate diplomas, all with High Distinctions or overall scores at the highest grade category. I have accomplished all these degrees and diplomas within two and a half years, juggled them all at the same time, while running my import-export business, speaking to 120,000 people, getting involved with Toastmasters, and many more projects.
However, I did not consider myself an exceptionally bright student when I was younger. From secondary school to junior college, I scored average grades. I was an average student at best. I was only awarded a Good Progress Award for making improvements in my academic performance, but had no scholarships. Neither was I a top athlete, nor had I accomplished anything significant.
In university, I very much wanted to get into the school's double degree program. That was a prestigious program and it was the most important goal I wanted at that point in my life. However, my grades weren't good enough to qualify for it.
I begged and pleaded, but to no avail. The university kept rejecting my application. Although I had a great desire to learn, and an even greater desire to achieve my highest academic potential, I was not qualified to attend the double degree program just because of the 3 digits on my GPA (Grade Point Average).
I was on the brink of giving up on my studies. After all, for all my life, I hadn't accomplished any prominent academic achievements, and I believed that I wasn't endowed with the intelligence and the disposition for academic achievements. Why should I continue to waste my time in an endeavor that was just not for me? Why must I study so hard and put in great effort without a guarantee of any results? Why must I continue to slough for a future not guaranteed?
Just then, as if God or the Heavens knew about my misery, a mentor appeared, and gave me a question that, as cliche as it sounded, changed the course of my decision: If you can achieve anything you ever wanted to achieve, what would it be?
I knew I wanted to be intelligent, I wanted to be exceptional, and I wanted to 'have it all', to have achievements in every area of my life, a great career, an outstanding academic track record, the prestigious awards and certifications, and other goals I yearned for... I made a list of everything I wanted, and great academic results was what I wanted.
I realised that if I were to quit on my studies, I would have created another reason in my life to label myself as a failure; another frame of reference that only suggest mediocrity. It will be something I will be guilty for the rest of my life.
I decided to give myself one more permission to push on.
Since that decision, I began to model after top students. I changed my studying strategy and learned new techniques. I began to invest time in learning new peak performance methodologies, from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), to goal-setting techniques, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to today, rejection from the school's double degree program has turned out to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. I lost the chance to get a second bachelor's degree, but I obtained 3 masters degrees and 3 graduate diplomas in its place. Best of all, I mastered peak performance techniques that will benefit me in many areas of my life, for the rest of my life.
Today, I am engineering every element of my life, all from the lessons I learned from that great moment of depression.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I wrote this article to inspire you to keep pushing on despite the difficulties you might be facing. Never ever give up! You only give up when the goal is no longer important to you. Give yourself one more permission to succeed. Just one more chance, just one more attempt... Your success is just one decision away.