The All-Or-Nothing Mindset

When I joined IIT, I was hopelessly lost and overwhelmed. For the first time, I found myself to be, academically, just an average guy. With no other talent, academic prowess was my only source of pride - now even that was gone.

Predictably, when my first semester grades came, I rationalized that since the grades were not outstanding, it did not matter if they were decent or absolutely horrible. I call this an ‘all or nothing’ mindset.

As a result, I stopped caring and my grades kept slipping.

And all my sins nearly caught up when, to apply for an MBA, I had to share my grades. Even though I made it, it did give me jitters.

This all or nothing mindset is pure evil. This is why, when things are not going well, we totally give up instead of fighting to redeem whatever is possible. It is why we wait for the New Year to make resolutions instead of getting started the next day - ‘After all, since this year is imperfect, why bother at all?’

This is why we give up on our dreams when we suffer a setback.

This mindset is just an excuse for procrastination.

Life is not a black and white choice between ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’; most of life is grayscale.

We don’t have to be perfect - we just have to do the best we can, under the circumstances.


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