The Invention of Our Minds

Photo Courtesy NCSA

Photo Courtesy NCSA

Life is full of inventions. What some people don’t realize though is that half the time, the inventing happens in our minds. This inventing isn’t building a fancy robot, a technologically advanced software system, or even some shiny trinket that makes day to day life more useful. The inventing that we do is judging our capabilities, labeling others who surround us, and the impossible standards that we have set for ourselves.

While I haven’t spent much time as a CB South student, I have learned a lot from my teachers so far in subjects we don’t ordinarily learn. One teacher in particular told me three little words that have changed my way of thinking and doing. They are “It’s all invented.” They may not seem like much, but remember them each time you feel that you tried your very best, but you just didn’t get the grade you wanted. This doesn’t just go for school. Grades can be given at any time or place for any reason of any sort.

The next time you receive a bad grade or you don’t get the results you so desperately desired, stop asking yourself how you did. Instead, start asking yourself how much effort you put in and how much you got out of it. Sometimes, we think that the grade defines us. But it doesn’t; we define the grade. The grading system itself is all invented. Because we have grown up thinking something like a 73% on a test is bad, our direct instinct is to cringe at the very sight. Some students even deprive themselves of their own capabilities if they get the horrid “B.” And yet, the “A” that most students aim for is the bare minimum. These students strive to get 100% and pity themselves at a sight of a 92%.

What is a percent? It is an invention that has been created to judge others, yet we think that the grade defines each of us as a person. The effort you put in is the grade you deserve. Receiving a “C-” in a class that a student struggles in but worked really hard for is much more precious than a student in the same class who didn’t try at all but got an “A.” So with this in mind, here is my advice: the next time you receive a grade, don’t question what you got as a grade, think about what you gave effort wise. Just because you get less than an “A” doesn’t mean you are less than an “A.” The idea of what is acceptable has all been invented in our heads, and we all have our own standards. Everything we think about is invented, all of it. Instead of thinking of yourself as a “B” student or even a “D” student, think of yourself as an “A” person. Someone out there has to think that you can achieve greatness.Why can’t you be the person to think that? Isn’t that the first step in succeeding at your goals?