I teach English at a community college in Washington, and words ceaselessly fascinate me. It is this fascination that leads me to question the inherent dichotomy in the word "achieve", which partly in keeping with its Old French root, connotes a sense of ending, and yet holds the immutable need to persist and never stop. An achiever, to put it simply, never stops at something. Personally, I have little faith in the smug comfort that little accomplishments bring. While it is important to cherish these achievements, it is essential to keep persisting towards perfection. Perfection is unattainable, but its pursuit leads one to be better than what she was yesterday.
Bullying had left an irreparable scar in my life. My grades in secondary school were average; I was considered ugly because my front teeth stuck out; and I lacked the social skills that could help me maneuver through tough and psychologically-hostile situations. Escaping it wasn't an option because I was reared in India where intelligence is not considered innate, but something you can cultivate through relentless hard work. An English teacher, in high school, taught me to love myself through my writing-- that was the next step. Hard work wedded to self-love were factors that drove me on. Now, I teach my students to never stop trying, for each moment of difficulty is a day of learning and hence a day that makes them slightly better versions of themselves. Opportunities harbor a fondness for people who persist. I have missed several buses in life, in the literal sense. However, once after having run desperately and boarded a bus that had overstayed its haul at a bus stop for me, I was told something precious by its amicable African American driver. He said, "I always wait for people who are running".
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?