Like it or not, life is full of tests and trials. That’s just the way it is. Tests are a tool to evaluate how much we’ve learned, how proficient we are at something, and as a way to measure our progress. As I see it, they’re a necessary evil in our lives. I certainly wouldn’t want to go under a knife held by a surgeon who didn’t pass numerous tests with flying colours in order to get his medical degree. Some benchmarks in life can only be reached through a litany of extremely challenging tests for a very good reason.
In my own life recently, I’ve been undergoing my own set of tests. Recently, I achieved a benchmark that’s important to me in my personal life: I passed my road-test to receive my full Class 6 driver’s licence–which permits me to operate a motorcycle. It’s the capstone of a learning process I’ve been thinking about doing for several years, and started on in May of this year. Now, I wouldn’t compare this to a medical license, but having to pass a series of tests to get this license is a good thing. It ensures that I have a basic understanding of how to safely operate a motorcycle, and not put myself or others at risk.
Other ‘tests’ are more on-going. Right now, my job is putting me through a number of tests as I work to get a new housing project going. The challenge is to populate an 80+ unit apartment project with reliable tenants, make sure all of the logistical details are in place, and be as prepared as possible for the unexpected. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, but I always try to step back and realize that this is just another test/challenge that I know I’m capable of meeting; and the things I learn from this will serve me, and whatever organizations I work for, well in the future.
All too often, we view tests as a negative thing, and sometimes it can seem unfair to measure someone by just one moment or one event, and we need to be careful with that. However, it is important to have some sort of measure of competency, and the tests that seem to break us or challenge us are the ones that can also make us better–if we choose to step back and see what lessons those challenges can teach us.