Yesterday I challenged a client of mine to keep a gratitude journal for a week for reasons that I knew could benefit me too. I told him I would do the same. So this is entry #1 of my week long gratitude journal:
My life can be frustrating at times, busy, and poverty stricken with no end in site, but really I'm wildly content because I've found something I love and want to do for the rest of my life. I've been living a hellishly busy schedule for the last 3 and a half years and yet my excitement about becoming a psychologist has only increased.
I attribute much of my excitement to a book I read which changed my life: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. It changed the way I thought about my abilities, my intelligence, my potential, my work ethic, and my parenting. It convinced me that I didn't need to be inherently good at something to become good at it. It convinced me that with hard work (harder than I am used to) I could achieve much more than I ever expected, and that without hard work I could not hope to achieve nearly any of what I someday wanted.
Things that I had once categorized as "impossible" or "too hard" or "not worth the effort" became not only possible, but wishes, dreams, ambitions, and finally goals. Like anyone, I often have those "If I knew then what I know now..." moments in which I lament the learning curve upon which I travelled, I cannot honestly say that I would change anything.
I got an A- this semester. I was devastated as I had decided that I could tiger mom myself into straight A's for my master's degree, yet at the same time I was proud of myself for holding myself to a higher standard. In High School a B- felt like an A, and an A- felt like an A+. I know grades don't reflect intelligence, but they do reflect a work ethic that I have never had, and bringing myself up to that level has given me a lot of well deserved self esteem.
So... I guess the thing I'm grateful for is that...I'm awesome? I'm kidding. I'm grateful to have discovered Tiger Mom and that the lessons I learned from her have affected me in such positive ways at a critical time in life.