When I was a small child, I worried a lot, especially about the outcome of given situations or a test I had taken in school. I worried about situations not turning out good, or about failing tests, or about being a failure in life. One thing my mother always told me was, “Think positive. If you believe things will turn out good, then they will. But if you allow negative thinking to get in the way, then things wont turn out so good, especially for a test, because your mind would be focused on the worst possible outcome.”
I remember one day in school, I had to take a social studies test. When preparing for a test, I would end up reading and rereading the same paragraph over and over again, because it wouldn’t stay with me when I tried committing it to memory. Frustration set in. So, I gave up. I figured if I was going to fail, I’d fail. There would be nothing I could do to prevent it.
My stomach was twisted up. I felt nauseous. I decided to lay down a bit.
My mother entered my bedroom to see how I was coming with my studies.
“I can’t remember anything I read. It doesn’t do any good for me to read the stupid book, if I have to keep starting over, because I can remember anything I had just read. So, I’ve given up. If I fail, I fail. It’s all out of my hands,” I said while turning on my side, closing my eyes.
“How do you know you’ll fail? You’re problem is that you’re so consumed with failure, you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to enjoy what you are reading,” she said, while walking over to my bed, swing my legs around, forcing me to sit up and get out of bed, “I want to you go to your desk, open the book, and start again. This time, I want you to read the first sentence out loud. Think about it. Let it sink in, and write a brief notation summarizing what you just read. Do that with every sentence in the book. I guarantee you’re bound to remember something from your textbook. I also want you to start by saying to yourself, “I can do this. I’m going to remember everything I read from this book and every book. I’m going to apply what I learn, and be successful in doing so,” my mother said as she pulled up a chair next to my desk, sat next to me, and worked with me for a few minutes.
I got through the first paragraph successfully. I told her I wanted to write a summary about the entire paragraph, even though I already wrote summaries for the individual sentences in the paragraph. She thought it was a good idea. Not only did I remember what I read for the paragraph. I wrote a five page summary for the entire paragraph.
Throughout the entire lesson, I did the same procedure. I not only finished the lesson successfully, and committed everything to memory, but I committed the entire book to memory.
Upon taking my Social Studies test the following day at school, I read the questions and answered everything successfully. I even did the extra credit questions for the first time ever in my years of taking tests.
Two days later, I received the results back. I not only passed, but I got A+ on my test. I was so proud of myself. My mother was proud of me too.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015