There is an old adage “Practice makes perfect”. It has acquired a special importance for me during the last two years of my study at Graduate School of Education here at NU. Its message is clear: if you work hard doing something over and over again, then you will progress.
Studying at Master’s turns you to a young researcher with a different view to things you did not possess before. While conducting interviews and analyzing data, I came to conclusion that experience and tuition play a greater role in success than natural talent or giftedness. Being armed with data on challenges novice teachers face at their workplaces (as it is my research topic), made me think that mostly those teachers succeeded at their workplaces who did their best to blend into unknown environment and get knowledge and skills they lacked at university.
I am getting more and more convinced that experts are invariably made, not born. My studies into becoming a teacher have shown that high achievers are in fact no more talented than their contemporaries. Conversely, the difference lies in the amount of practice and hard work they put in it. Yes, there are numerous other factors that influence effectiveness like supportive environment and high motivation that should not be overlooked. However, from my own experience, I can conclude that I would not be in this timeline of finishing my Degree without using all the reasonable diligence and putting the most efforts into study.
People say that in order to succeed one need to leave a comfort zone. Studying here does make you leave your comfort zone which is challenging and rewarding at the same time. It is challenging because you start doing things you never did before, and rewarding because these things eventually open new perspectives and horizons.
Most people practice doing what they CAN do rather than what they CAN’T do, while the key success lies in working and mastering at what you can’t do. If a person believes that he or she must be talented to excel in certain areas, then they are generally mistaken as they will question their own abilities every time they need to act and even give up trying as a result. By contrast, a person who believes that they have capacity to learn, improve and learn from mistakes will more likely succeed. We often refer to people as, for instance, “gifted composer” or “born leader” wrongly implying that their success is a product of their innate talent. However, have you ever thought how much their achievement and success is due to genes and how much is due to hard work and time they invested into practicing their abilities to succeed in chosen path? In other words, keep it up and leave your comfort zone, and the next time when you question your ability to excel, just think that successful people are not born, they are made.
PS. This last post made me sad. Just yesterday we stepped into Leadership Program at NUGSE, and two years just have gone. I want to thank my groupmates who shared their experience here and not only. I will miss all classes, group presentations, finals. A special thanks to Philip Montgomery who was teaching us best academic and thesis writing English tips. Special appreciation for your instant and effective feedback.