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Making Decisions is Educational: The Proud Choice

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Although most of us dread taking exams, there are some major benefits to going through the process of completing a Multiple–Choice and True-or-False test. Aside from the understanding we gain from reflecting on our subject knowledge, the serious task of choosing the correct answer may prepare us for the mental and emotional skills that are necessary in making real-life choices.


To be able to choose between a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is never as easy at is sounds, especially under the pressure of a time constraint. Even if we understand the test question, know the content, can synthesize previous and present knowledge, and know how to apply them, landing on that ‘yes’ or ‘no’ also takes emotional intelligence.

But then again, human nature always makes things more complicated than necessary. To look at test-taking from a brighter perspective, the more we do it the better we become at choosing decisively between two alternatives.

And we certainly get to practice taking exams a lot during our lifetime. Starting from as early as Primary 1 our teachers and parents train us for how to prepare for exams and how to sit through them. We also get many opportunities to present the best version of ourselves through exam results. And by persevering until the very end, we get to be proud of that accomplishment in itself, no matter the result.

The proud choice is not the easier choice

Looking back at the test-taking process, all the choices we had to make in between, all the hard work we exerted, the challenges we conquered, the emotional rollercoasters we endured, and the courage we brought forth to accept and face the results, makes riding out exams something to be proud of. Therefore, next time we have to face an exam, it would certainly be considered a proud choice.

Similar to real life, there are many opportunities for us to make choices that challenge us and make us proud. And the experience we’ve gained from taking all those challenging exams throughout our childhood and young adulthood, will certainly help us gain the right attitude, the right perspective, and the appropriate skills to make decisively proud choices in our daily living.

The proud choice is not the easier choice; the proud choice is undeniably the more challenging choice. We can expect that the more challenging path will cause us some pain, struggles and suffering. But the difference between choosing A) The Proud Choice, versus B) The Easy Choice, is not only in the quality of the final result, but in the learning that comes from the process. Therefore, in the end, we will always be proud that we took the journey.

‘The Proud Choice’ also means we have to be precise in identifying the goal, know the strategies that it takes in planning how to get there, have the practical and emotional know-how to make adjustments along the way, and then have the courage to accept that the outcome may end up being a far cry from our expectations.

Choosing ‘The Proud Choice’ will call for us to elevate our level of effort, insight and passion. It will require that we present the best version of ourselves every step of the way in order to commit and persevere through the rough patches. The good news is that while we push ourselves to work at our optimal level, it will accelerate the process of our incremental learning. And that “result” in itself would be worthwhile.

Of course ‘The Easy Choice’ may be much more predictable, but if we keep choosing ‘The Proud Choice’, we will quickly become more confident, more capable and more skilled. And ultimately, we will gain the knowledge as to how to take ownership of those learned qualities to improve every aspect of our life.

Moreover, once we are in our proud state we will emit positive energy, which will attract like-minded people and help us accumulate a wealth of good company. And that is certainly the type of people we want to have around to sustain us in all our minor and major life endeavors. At the same time, we could contribute to others by being a positive influence.

So, the next time we’re put to the test, whether academically or in real life, the smart choice would be to choose ‘The Proud Choice’ over ‘The Easy Choice’. Because ‘The Proud Choice’ will boost our life skills, help us gain deep learning, expedite our journey of progression, and help us take control over the quality of our destiny. Now that should make each and every life decision an easy choice!

Flora Chan

Flora Chan was born in Hong Kong and raised in Boston, USA where she pursued a dual career in television and teaching..

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