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How I Came Up With My Biggest Failure

Improving myself after I dropped off my masters’ degree


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Stevie Jordan

3 years ago | 4 min read

Everyone must be ever experienced failures, regardless of how much the impact was. Break-ups, divorces, you name it. But for me, the biggest failure that I ever made was to drop off my graduate school.

Not only I wasted 9 months of my time, but I also lost $5.125,93 of my investments.

Why did I fail? Having a masters’ degree with a blended learning method wasn’t the best choice. Especially with a full-loaded work environment.
I was thinking that blended learning will give me time flexibility. I can take the class after I’m done with my work. But the fact, the class wasn’t that flexible. I could have a webinar that I should take, while business hours weren’t over yet. By then, I kept missing my class, left holes in my attendance, and failed many courses.

To retake all my failed courses, I need to spend another $5.125,93. I didn’t have that amount of money anymore, so I decided to drop off my masters’ degree.
From my bitter story, I can identify why I failed. And this might be a drawback for some people too.

  1. I don’t know where to start — I could choose informal courses with more flexibility in time.
  2. Lack of time management — I could attend all courses if managed my time better.
  3. Lack of motivation — I could ask my superior to give me an hour to attend my class within business hours.

Noticed why I failed, and I need to be better, this is how I improve myself

Start to Build a Positive Habit

I start to make a list of my activities in a week. Put a schedule for each of them, and start to apply it.

This is how I start to build my habit.

Wake up early in the morning

I’m not talking about 7 AM or 8 AM morning. I start my day, at least 5 AM.

By weekdays, I can spend a lot of time from 4 AM to 9 AM to write an article, learn something, or to attend my online courses. More time for me by weekends.

Daily, I write about things that I have applied, from what I learned. This also a way for me to keep the knowledge inside. I agree with what Digital Pratik said,

Learn, Apply, and Share

Write an article a day also triggers me to learn more things that I interested in.
Where do I learn these things?

  • Medium — free ($4,75/month memberships). Many interesting and insightful articles shared by practitioners.
  • Udemy — $11,10/course on average. Comprehensive and flexible online courses. It also includes certification.
  • Google Digital Garage — free. Google has these online courses platform. You can build up your soft skills there, and free certificates there.

Writing also keeps my habit on track.

Learn more in free times

While I still write and do some online courses from 5 AM. Every Saturday starts at 9 AM, I will read a book. At least until I got bored.

I also take notes of what I got after I read that book.

Here are some books that I read:

Working on a side project

Besides my work, my project, I also have local apparel that I do with my friends. This is also a way to apply what I’ve learned.

Not only applying it but also a chance to test my knowledge, if it works or not.

By working on a side project, besides keeping me productive, this also can be a way to train. Test and re-test. And a way to master the skills in reality. So what I’ve learned, what I’ve written, won’t be pointless words and thoughts.

So see, now my activities are inline. To keep me productive and keep these activities on track, these two tools help me a lot:

  • Trello — free (5$/month for Gold account). Project management tools. It helps me to track tasks, activities, or even blog post ideas.
  • Pomello — free (2$/month for Premium account). Pomodoro timer that integrated with Trello. Try this to increase your focus time.

Give Yourself a Headspace

This will sound cliché, but I realized this works.

When you are emotionally content, you can take more things easier. You can also be prepared and decided things better.

For me, as I’m a Muslim, I do pray 5 times a day. This is how I give myself a Headspace. You can do whatever you could, whatever your beliefs are. Or meditate is another way to give yourself a Headspace.

You can use this App, to guide you on how to meditate:

  • Headspace — $17,45/year. It’s a good app, and easy to follow. Available on Playstore or App Store.

To summarize things up, improving yourself is a matter of mindset and willingness. When you are willing, means you decided to put any effort into it.

You can start by discovering what’s your interests. Deep dived those things, try to master them, make it your habit.

And don’t be scared to re-try things that you failed. I’m now enrolled in another masters’ degree, now with a different strategy. As of now, so far so good.

I can’t wait to get your message about how you came up with your failure. I hope we can be more successful in the future.

This article was originally published by Stevie Jordan on Medium.

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Created by

Stevie Jordan

Researcher at Ipsos Indonesia & a Digital Enthusiast | Get more insights https://steviejordan.my.id | Hit me: stevie@steviejordan.my.id


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