As I count down my final weeks until I graduate from high school, I am reminded of one of the most important truths of life: What we do today will become our history tomorrow and, ultimately, determine our legacies after death.
During finals, I was stuck with a very challenging math multiple choice paper, and during the process of answering the problems, I made a deep connection between life and multiple choice exams:
Life's Many Questions.
Life is an extraordinary thing; it encompasses crossed paths between several interacting human beings. Along that path, you will make choices with not only interactions, but your own personal paths, as well.
With all the options, sometimes none of them or only some of them are right, and a multiple choice test becomes a great analogy.
Think of things as an interwoven web, with each ramification connecting to another. Some choices may work, but not as well as others.
Consequences For Each Selection.
Every decision you make will have consequences.
When you take a multiple choice test, that's exactly what comes into play.
Some questions are even linked to others, too. Ever heard of the butterfly effect? That's exactly what life is: a chain of causality, but riddled with choices and more choices.
"A" may not be as good as "B," but "C" is definitely wrong, though "D" is closer. Not all answers are black and white, and some aren't even gray.
Two Or More.
This leads into the option to pick more than one... well, option.
Things get compounded quickly in multiple choice tests, especially exams where the questions may ask you to select the two best answers.
Think of choosing "A" and "C," or "D" and "B," or even more combinations with three options. Everything you deal with in life will be a compounded series of choices that will ultimately reflect the transient score of whatever you're dealing with.
Sometimes, It's All Of The Above.
Lo and behold, just when you think having more than one answer is tough, try imagining it can be all of the above.
Sometimes in life, when you're experiencing a challenge, you need to do all of the above to get the best result. Think of moving, for example, or changing a job.
These require thinking of multiple possibilities, and each one will need to work in tandem for a successful change. Remember, each minute you're alive, you're presented with loads of decisions and there will be times when you need to do the hard things to move forward.
How Does Failure Happen?
The only way to truly fail at something is to avoid answering a question at all.
If you leave something blank on a test, it's an instant point lost. This is because no effort was made. If you don't actually attempt to make a decision, even the wrong one, you're automatically at a loss.
If you don't decide to switch careers or maybe pursue a degree, it will be like you never even tried at all. Effort, even if the answer is wrong, still brings you closer to being right.
My mentor, Grant Cardone, said it best: "What if you’re going the wrong direction, but you’re going fast? At least you find out sooner."
Would you rather have a result that is fruitless (i.e., the lack of a result), or know that making the right decision is only a few more bursts of effort away?
None Of The Above.
On rare occasions, you'll need to select “none of the above.”
At times like these, things may seem hopeless. Don't give up; this is your chance to think and expand on your perspective, challenging what you may have thought you knew so well.
It gives you an edge and can be used as a reference later. In fact, compare this to a test: Many multiple choices you make end up being referenced later on in the test.
That's just like life; things will be compounded, referenced, cross-referenced, indexed, expanded and elaborated on with every waking moment.
At the end of the test, if you answered every question to your best ability, you did all you could do, just like in life, making it the ultimate multiple-choice test.