By Priyanka Patel
“Work hard” they say. “Everything will work itself out”.
Phrases every individual has grown up hearing. They’re the same phrases Michael Jordan’s mother told him when he didn’t make the high school basketball team. They’re the same phrases that J.K Rowling told herself when publishing companies closed their doors to her. They’re the same phrases that Thomas Edison heard each time he invented yet another lightbulb that just wouldn’t work.
We know that perseverance is the key to success, yet we fail to recognize what it is that allows one to persevere in the face of failure. “It’s not about how many times you’ve failed, it’s how you many times you get back up that matter”. As a senior about to complete her undergraduate studies and prepare for the next stage of life, it is not graduating or being on my own that frightens me, it is having to persevere when I am unable to achieve my dreams that scares me the most.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that hard work is the key to success. But what happens when you try your hardest and it just isn’t good enough? How come there aren’t stories about those that tried their hardest and had to settle for average? Are those people not worth learning about?
Test anxiety is a common experience, especially for those that are familiar with the LSAT. I’m surrounded by great role models that have persevered through their failures and are now living their dreams. I want nothing more than to be one of those people.
As my Law School applications begin to come together, these are the questions that linger on my mind the most. It is in times like these that I turn to my one constant in life. The outlet that never seems to falter. The rock that never withers. My faith.
My guru (spiritual leader) tells me, “Do your best. Leave the rest.” As I open up my exam results, these are the words that spring to mind. I may not be happy with the results, but I am content with myself. At the end of the day, a person is not measured by their successes, but rather the way they make others feel. My religion has taught me that. And during these moments when I feel as though my dreams are too far out of reach, I find comfort in knowing that I have already achieved what matters to me the most – living a life of sacrifice and service of others.
Perseverance comes in all shapes and sizes. My faith has taught me that. A Hindu perseveres on a daily basis by controlling their mind, the hardest battle to win. Having the strength to refrain from indulgence is what perseverance means to me. My guru teaches me that. When I think of my faith, I know that there is no end to what I am able to accomplish.
With this in mind, I stop staring at my LSAT score, and remind myself that I’ve already accomplished what so many others are unable to, and my life is a strong testament to that.
Failures will not define me. Numbers will not define me. A career will not define me.
My faith is what will define me.
Hinduism will define me.
I am a Hindu.