Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Tests Of Life

The tests of life.

No matter which way one puts it, Life is all about tests. Some we welcome and others we avoid like the plague. The older one becomes, the more skilled one gets towards avoiding them or embracing them as a source of betterment.

No test seems plausible at the time, but by learning the process, we ensure we are better equipped when the test comes around again. In theory!

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” Bernard Edmonds

Education is fundamentally a process in which one is exposed to a series of experiences and skills which instruct and equip us for life. Education in its self doesn’t initiate, but it does prepare us.


1. The act or process of educating or being educated.

2. The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.

3. A program of instruction of a specified kind or level

4. An instructive or enlightening experience:

Life was never meant to be measured by awards gained or ticks achieved, it is meant to be about living “in the process" and maturing as a result of the experiences that have been provided through the process that tests will bring. Living life focused purely on the results is devoid of the learning process. It improves no one and cheats only ones self.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Tom Brodett

I spend a considerable amount of time working in the education sector, providing training and personal development. It never ceases to amaze me just how many people misunderstand the core value and ethos of education. It’s incredible the length that some students will go to, in order to short cut the process in preference for attaining the result, void of the experience.

A test will reveal as much about the person taking the test as it will the subject being taken. Every test in life is tailor made for the person taking it. If we live a life of avoidance, we will get to take the test again. Why? The process is more beneficial to our growth in life, than the test itself.

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.” John W Holt

I well remember the driving lessons I took as a teenager. They were laughable, as I lurched from one gear change to another. The grinding of gears, frayed tempers and “bunny hopping” from one lane to the next as everyone within walking distance was exposed to my “learning process”. Although I wanted my driving license, had it been issued to me without the prolonged process, it would not have improved my ability to drive. Surely, the process is what ensures I am capable of passing the test with proven experience? These days I drive HT trucks, HG Trailers, Buses, Mobile homes, automatic and manual transmission and have the license to prove it.

“Wise are they who have learned these truths: Trouble is temporary. Time is tonic. Tribulation is a test tube.” William Arthur Ward

How one handles oneself in the test says more about oneself than the answers ever will.

"The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him, which he finds it hard to answer”

Next time you become aware of a test in your life, remeber this thought!

For the pearl to be created, the oyster needed an irritant.