Study Tip #26: Going the Distance
|As I was thinking about a subject for this blog, which is the last one before the June – July exam window opens, it occurred to me that some of you might be getting a little tired of studying for the exam. You might be feeling that you’ve put your life on hold for far too long. Or maybe you’re even beginning to question the wisdom of taking the exam. All of this is understandable considering the amount of time and personal commitment it takes to prepare for and pass the CTP exam. And so, as I was thinking about all of this, I recalled a short story by Jack London titled, “ To Build a Fire” that might be apropos to this subject.|
This story takes place in Alaska during the great Alaskan gold rush, as many of Jack London’s stories did, and it concerns a man who is lost in a snow storm. Perhaps he is one who came to Alaska to make his fortune in the gold fields but in his current situation he is simply trying to stay alive by desperately trying to reach shelter. He can’t remember how long he and his dog have been hiking through the snow storm but he is keenly aware that if he doesn’t reach the village very soon that he believes lies ahead, he will freeze to death.
Finally he reaches a point of exhaustion where he feels he can’t go on, so he stops to try to build fire as a last attempt to save his life. After many failed attempts and with his last match, he is able to start a small fire. The heat that rises from the fire lifts his sprits but also loosens a large clump of snow resting on a branch above him which falls and smothers the fire. He sits there in the snow staring in disbelief at what has just happened as hypothermia starts to slowly set in.
Some time later the dog senses that his master is dead, so he turns and trots off in the direction that they had been heading. And, just over the next rise, he starts down toward the village that lies in the valley below.
Well, if there is any lesson to be learned here, it might be “when you think you’ve gone as far as you possibly can, go a little farther”. So, if you think you’ve gone as far as you can in your efforts to prepare for the exam, you might consider the following suggestions for motivating yourself to go just a little farther in order to earn your CTP designation:
1) Make a list of the reasons why you want the CTP designation. What are the benefits to you? How bad do you want it? What got you started on this journey in the first place?
2) If something has recently come up in your life that is placing new demands on your time such that it conflicts with your study plan, try to arrange, if possible, some balance between these conflicting priorities. Because being proactive in this way, puts you back in control of the situation.
3) Take a break! Don’t do any studying for a whole week. Yes, this will eat up precious time that you could be using to prepare for the exam, but the break might be just what you need to re-motivate yourself, re-calibrate your study plan or in general bolster your resolve to pass the exam.
4) And finally, when you go to the testing center to take the exam, be sure to wear your “failure is not an option game face”
Good luck to all of you who are scheduled to take the exam in the June- July exam window. And I commend you for your decision to enhance you professional standing in the treasury management profession by committing yourselves to attaining the CTP designation.
- George Schilling, CTP