Opinion: The power of perception

Anusha Vadlamani | Staff Writer

I don’t really believe in superstitions. Seriously. I don’t believe that the reason my day is going awfully is a black cat crossing my path, and I don’t believe it was more than a mere coincidence that I fell down the stairs on Friday the 13th.

And while I don’t believe in a lot of superstitions, I guess I believe in the power of perception, which is a superstition in and of itself. When I was growing up, my parents ingrained into my mind that hard work was the key to success.

The amount of respect I have for my parents is insurmountable by anything else, but sometimes I feel like hard work isn’t all you need to reach success. Before high school, hard work had always worked for me. If I wanted a hundred percent on a math test, I would just study for a couple of hours, and that was that. But in high school, I’ve had to accept that it doesn’t ensure that I’ll do perfectly. 

I still work just as hard as I did in middle school, but now there’s a layer of understanding that no matter how much effort I put forth, things still won’t go my way. Changing my perception is what helped me understand that sometimes I’ve done what I can, and that is all I can do. 

I don’t mean that now I look at self-worth for less than it should be valued at. I don’t. I also don’t hold myself at a lower standard. I know what I’m worth. 

Changing my perception meant realizing that hard work isn’t the only component to success. It also meant realizing that success should be redefined by what you want out of life. 

For the longest time, success, to me, was defined by the college I would attend. That was it. I was forever going to be labeled and branded by the college I was going to. College is still really important to me, but now other things hold value in my life. To my sixteen-year-old-self, success is defined by how happy I am (sorry for the cheesiness). 

Success, to me, will never again be determined by a brand or a title. It will be determined by me, my mental health, and how much I take advantage of what life has to offer. Hard work is the foundation of personal growth, but it’s still not enough to succeed if your perception of the world isn’t aligned with you want. 

My perception of the world is so much clearer now that I know what I want out of life. Hard work has brought me here, but my perception will take me farther.