"My Fair Lady" would be a good example of the Pygmalion effect, Steve said (with hesitation). I was preparing for my first 10-kilometer run, and I imagined to be running behind Mo Farah. I wouldn't see myself to be way behind him, but I was in the middle in the pack. I would have second thoughts about "My Fair Lady", as the final scene teased the viewers. Hollywood loved May-December affair. Eliza Doolittle showed that the more you hated someone, the more you loved him. My roommate was unable to think of another example.
It was our first week in the university when we attended a lecture about tapping into our potential. The members of the faculty have great expectations on the students, the speaker pointed out. There was a difference between aspiration and expectation, he added. This was where I learned about the Pygmalion effect and its opposite, the Golem effect. I studied "Pygmalion" (during my first year), where a sculptor created a beautiful statue. He fell in love with it, which the gods noticed it. They might have fell in love with it as well, as they turned the statue into a beautiful woman. I surmised that it won't be as lovely as Aphrodite, but I was pulling a leg.
I met my tutor, who was kind to guide me in tapping into my potential. They would expect the current students of the English Department to launch another literary genre, but there would be rejections. Moreover, there could be a crossroad. (All students won't be fortunate to pen bestsellers, and it would be unfair to expect on this one.) These were the five things that I kept a mental note:
Think big. It would seem impossible to think that I could be as good as a Victorian author, even a writer who penned a landmark science-fiction book. But this would be the first step. It would test my limits, such that I have to get out of my comfort zone. And I experienced it several times. (I almost missed the deadlines.) The same thing applied to my first run, as running ten kilometers seemed liked a daunting task. I almost panicked the first time I ran eight laps around the track oval, but this was the only way to create a growth mindset.
But be realistic. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they said. Everything would take time. The faculty (at the English Department) knew that students couldn't pen a 2,000-word essay in a day, but there might be someone who could do it. He might be following the footsteps of James Joyce, she might have Virginia Woolf as her muse.
It's important to have a support group. My friends teased me that I was a spoiled kid, which made me defensive on a number of occasions. I was lucky to have supportive parents, and I rather looked at it that way.
It will be better to do it early. It's not a case of an early bird (who gets the worm), but self-doubt can creep anytime. It can happen as early as you can expect. Steve thought I was crazy to prepare for the 10-kilometer run, but I couldn't think of a better way to give me confidence during the rest of the term. Besides, I might not have the time (for training) after Christmas.
There's a different between aspiration and expectation. Why not reach for the stars? You won't lose anything. As long as you keep your head up, then there's nothing to keep you from going further. It's all about attitude, not to mention the right mindset.