How to Handle Life’s Pop Quizzes

You were up all night writing a paper for your literature class and barely got up in time to make it to your 10 o’clock biology class. Just a few sips into your grandé Starbucks coffee, your professor walks in and says the two words every student dreads: POP QUIZ. Not only were you just giving yourself a pat on the back for simply making it to class, now you have to figure out how you’re going to get a least a 70% on this quiz. We’ve all been there, right? Well, I’d like to argue that life has pop quizzes too. Although there might not be a grade attached to each quiz, whether we pass or fail them determines how often we are tested. Let me explain.

I travel to and from work over an hour and 10 minutes everyday, five days a week. Everyday, I ask the Lord for traveling mercies. On my way back from work and still about 45 minutes from home, OnStar tells me my tire pressure is depleting. I got a flat tire. I called AAA and they said because my mother (whose name it’s registered under) wasn’t with me, they couldn’t help me. They transferred me to Turnpike assistance, I told them where I was, and they said someone would be out right away.

There it was, right in front of me, a pop quiz. No one ever knows when a flat tire is going to happen. Would I be upset at myself for running over something that punched a hole in my tire? How would I react when AAA says they can’t help me out, be angry or upset? Where would my thoughts go while I was awaiting the arrival of the towing company service, positive or negative? How I chose to react would determine: 1. how long I’d be inconvenienced 2. and when the next quiz would be. Then, all of sudden, I just started laughing.

I knew it was the day’s test that I had to pass. I passed because my reaction to the situation wasn’t “Woe is me,” but instead “It could have been so much worse.” My point is this: No, you can’t prepare for life’s pop quizzes, but you can, however, determine your reaction. Life’s pop quizzes can be few and far between if you only react with a mentality that looks at the positive in the situation and not dwelling on the negative. That is the ingredient to determining whether you pass or fail.

I encourage you to react positively instead of negatively to your next “surprise inconvenience” and see how quickly you are delivered from the situation. Then, when you do react positively, think back to the last time you were inconvenienced and I bet it will be difficult recall. Good luck on passing your next quiz!

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