Not-to-do lists

Posted on November 24, 2010


When I was in high school, my father told me one of his deepest desires: “Sana bumagsak ka.” I never experienced failure in grade school, and my father, who was my opposite when he was in school, said that life is incomplete without it.

I bring this up on the eve of the Ateneo High School math exams, about which my high school geometry teacher, Jo-Ann Enriquez, posted a Facebook note for her students tonight. “The easiest thing to do in this world is to give up,” she says. “Don’t be discouraged!”

At the first signs of failure, many students who fixate on their grades too quickly wallow in hopelessness. I hope they would not. Looking back, I think it’s the F1 I once got in high school math (D was the “highest” failing mark and F2 was the lowest) and my grades as low as 30 percent in a history long test in college, that have best prepared me for life after school. That means more disastrous mistakes, like deleting more than half the video of a main interview for the next day’s episode of Probe, or screwing up the logistics of our exclusive shoot with former US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.

Failure should not dampen our spirits for long. We can cry over it for a night — and that’s it. If we do an honest assessment and learn from our experience, we can turn failures into building blocks for our future success.

After all, it’s not only what to do, but what not to do, that make up the best practices.

Posted in: Life lessons