It’s finally over. I’ve finally climbed my Everest. All three of the CFA exams over and done with. I’ll never have to spend a whole day sitting at a desk in the middle of a huge hall at the Singapore Expo and finish two papers that have a maximum duration of three hours each.

The journey hasn’t been easy though- I’m not the smartest fellow in the room nor the most disciplined. I had to take the papers a total of seven times (L1 twice, L2 thrice and L3 twice) which puts me squarely in the average camp because that’s roughly the probability of passing each level in any given year.

I seriously thought of giving up many times. After all, I’m not working in finance where the designation would probably lend some weight towards a better posting or a job opening and knowledge is knowledge, what matters most is how we use it and not whether we can pass a written exam. Make no mistake, the knowledge gained from studying the CFA  syllabus is extremely useful, I learnt a lot but what I mean is that how that knowledge is put to use is more important than passing the exam and getting the credentials.

However, I remember telling a close friend that this is my Everest- a challenge I set for myself and one that I need to see through no matter what. It really felt good to get the positive news and I think it’s affirmation that someone average like myself can do above-average things too.

That’s going to be my reminder for any future challenges that seem to big to overcome- hang in there and do your best. You may stumble and you may fall but you must never give up.

In the words of the fictional hero that I let my students listen to every semester, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning it done!”

If I can do it, you can do it too.