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Doing things with an attitude of extreme seriousness

In memory of my grandmother.

How many times have you been asked something like this?

"You don't need to do it with your full effort, just as long as the manager accepts the result. You will be fine."

I found it odd. Where I grew up, there were competitions everywhere you go. A Score below 90% in the final examination was a failure; only 100% was acceptable. This upbringing environment has created the most disciplined and hardworking generation in China. Yet, the wrong side of this educational strategy was that most of us had lost our happiness and life purposes. After realising it, we coped it with being a "just so so" person.

If we can live with a "PASS", why do we need to get an "ACE"? This philosophy has been common and acceptable in our current life. I am not criticising or being judgmental of those who were satisfying with what they were doing. Everyone has their way of find happiness and being happy is the ultimate goal of our lives.

Let me tell you about an enlightenment that has been buried in my memory. It has been influencing me in every aspect of my life. I didn’t fully understand what it was, but I uncovered it when I tried to find out what was the right thing to do in my life and how I could achieve it.

It was the attitude of extreme seriousness.

My grandmother was a math teacher for a high school. She decided to quit her job and homeschool me when I was 7. I was a naughty kid with ADHD. Not only was she good with homeschooling a kid such as myself, but she was also the “Math Genius”. I believed; no math quiz was difficult enough to take her down. Enough said, her efforts made a difference. I successfully qualified to go to high school in Shanghai.

I remember it clearly. One day, I brought a stack of math quiz papers home, it was about geometry. Goodness me, I had a tough time solving those quizzes, but I wasn’t worried. (Because I had the “Math Genius” to support me.)

To my surprise, my grandmother also struggled. That was the day I realised, she was no longer the incredible math teacher who could solve all the mathematic problems. The story does not end here. One night, I found out that she was sitting in front of the desk, flipping through math textbooks and my test papers. Studying hard. She didn't give up. She treated the subject which she loved, with an attitude of extreme seriousness.

Do not hold back if you enjoy doing something. Instead, ignite your fire into it and make it as good as you can. These were the words my memories delivered to me. And it told the truth that we could not achieve something without commitment and effort.

So, when somebody asks,

"Why do you try so hard and set yourself such a high standard?"

“Because I can."


In the end, unlike the other blogs I have posted, a friend of mine wrote a few short words for this particular article for this week, and I would like to share this to all of you:

“To those great people that left us too early,


You lived far, far away from me. I wished to hug you tight and show you how much love lived in my heart. I couldn’t.


Feel what I feel and see what I see. Love easily.

You are

Here within me

Your legacy lives on through me.

That is one way of remembering. Legacy.

Carrying on your legacy, your standards, your strength, and myself which you made.

Fly on,

Fly on. ”

---- C.W.

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