Getting high grades is like dating your soulmate. Dating your soulmate takes love and patience and fills you with purpose. But to woo your soulmate, you’ll move mountains if you rely on a positive psychology. Whether you wish to win over a love-struck lifelong companion or to wow with high grades, put your best spirit forward.
But how do you put your best spirit forward when faced with failure? Well, there are several ways you can lessen the blow of a bad grade or a bad date.
Author Laura van den Berg Sekac, suggests that when you study, like when you date, forgive mistakes. Faults and failures feel forgivable when the rest of the performance is at its peak. Forgive yourself, too. “It’s okay to fail. When what you did isn’t perfect, forgive yourself” (48%). You’re unlikely to find a faultless friend or a fail proof performance, but a not-so-perfect GPA or date can offer its own rewards: “Aiming for 80% often gives a better result, because you are more relaxed than when you strive for perfection, so you make fewer mistakes” (48%).
So try not to criticize yourself or your soulmate for mistakes. And never criticize yourself for academic slips. Grow from the struggles instead. “If you tend to criticize yourself, you criticize, in reality, consciously or not, your visions, hopes, goals, and dreams. Criticizing yourself will put everything in your life down. If someone blamed you twenty-four hours a day, would you feel motivated to do things for them? Would you feel motivated in life at all? Could you have faith in yourself?” (87%). This may sound like a paradox, but you gain inner gifts by humbly owning and learning from your mistakes—and by saying no to self-criticism or blame. You’re meant to find ways to flourish, not to shrink, during struggles.
For another, to lessen the blow of a bad date or bad grade, “each time you struggle, imagine everything going smoothly. This will soothe both your body and mind, and the struggle you initially felt should have eased. It’s not important whether it’s possible. Make a movie (the best is a comedy) of it, if necessary. The objective is to get the feeling of clarity and ease (or whatever feeling you choose)” (57%). When you imagine your studies going smoothly, clues appear that help you sharpen your GPA. Jump on them. When you imagine a date going smoothly, you get a sense of the traits a soulmate might possess and what you have to offer. Act wisely.
Another way to mend the bitterness of a bad date or bad grade involves loving kindness. I find comfort in dreaming up all the things I love or appreciate about a topic of study, even if I’m bombing the course. For instance, if I’m baffled by a geometric shape, I might dream of a beautiful art piece that could be created with the shape. Or if I’m puzzled by Plato’s Myth of Err, I might imagine the beauty of my dearest friend’s afterlife. If I’m lost in biology, I might dream of a human life the science might help me save. By finding the magic that exists in everyone and everything, any subject grows enchanting. And we then grow motivated to gain a higher GPA. Similarly, focus on all the sunshine-and-sparkles traits of your soulmate date, even during rough patches. Seeing what you love in a subject or in a companion can motivate you to give your best.
A way to vet a bad date or turn around a bad grade “is to imagine the opposite of what happened. … Imagine that you return to the old situation and correct everything you want in a positive way…. Change everything you want to change, even if it seems impossible and you can hardly imagine it. Assume that you’ve gotten all of the recognition, love, attention, and whatever else” (78%). By imagining the opposite while assuming the best, you can see the traits you truly want in a soulmate. Similarly, you visualize scenarios that could help boost a grade in a difficult subject.
The best part? When you treat your studies or relationships with an upbeat attitude, you deepen your sense of purpose. “The purpose of life, as I experience it, is to flow toward an increasing expansion of positive feelings such as joy, love or freedom, a greater understanding of who we are, who others are, and what life itself is” (33%). Your journey at AU can offer heightened purpose. If you see the best and feel the love, then scoring top grades is like wooing a soulmate.
van den Berg Sekac, Laura. (2016). Get Unstuck Now: How Smart People Gain Clarity and Solve a Problem Fast, and How You Can Too. E-book.