Stamped Stars in Law School

XT, my youngest nephew, started going to school. Everyday when he arrives home, he would always showoff the stamped stars on his hands signifying that he was well-behaved or had performed good in class. And he feels sad on days that he didn't receive a star. It has been a practice in kindergarten to motivate students and reinforce good behaviors by stamping stars or giving them ribbons and the like. This practice is the application of psychological theory particularly the operant conditioning.

Today, I received a stamped star in law school in the form of an exam result. I got the second highest grade in my LTD pre-midterm exam. Actually, it will only comprise 1/6 of my final grade. Despite that, I still feel like I just won the lottery. It was so unexpected because I remember feeling so drained after taking that pre-midterm exam. I expected to fail it actually so I was so surprised when my name was called second. Second highest! It's been forever since I last received a positive feedback in school. Law professors are not very generous with encouragement. It's up to each student to motivate himself and rise above the pressure. Although it's how law school is designed to work, a little recognition from time to time works a mile.

I can attribute the result to luck but I also believe that part of it is because I'm good. I'm claiming it! Since I returned to law school, my insecurities on my abilities increased for some reasons. Because of the news I got today, my self-esteem had been a little bit restored. I realized that it's not lack of skill or diminishing intelligence that's keeping me from being my best self. It's my self-defeating thoughts that must be blamed. My self-defeating thoughts are my greatest adversary. I need to overcome them to fully restore my self-esteem. After all, a mind that believes is the most powerful weapon to success.

The mantra KEEP ON GOING works. Even if you feel hopeless, even if you feel that it's a sure fail, even if you feel it's impossible, even if you feel there's no chance anymore, just continue fighting because in the end, things might just go your way and fate might just favor you. Life is so unpredictable. It might just do a 180° turn for you when you least expect it, you'll never know!

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