Former U.S. Army General George S. Patton’s legacy has survived not only by his accomplishments in combat, but also by his penchant for delivering motivational and inspirational quotes to his troops. Some of his well known ones include: “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer” or “Success is how you bounce when you hit bottom”. But after reading the many handfuls he offered to his troops, one struck a deep chord with me: “Pressure makes diamonds”.
A multi-layered quote, “Pressure makes diamonds” has the obvious literal meaning; diamonds are formed when exposed to extremely high pressure. On the other hand, the quote also has a few figurative meanings. Throughout my life I’ve always played sports, and with sports come tremendous pressure situations. Those who thrive under pressure (or those who make diamonds) have an innate ability for delivering in the clutch. The quote is also applicable to schoolwork, where I’ve long been a chronic procrastinator, waiting until the last minute. However, I still see good results at the end.
Perhaps the finest example of someone making diamonds under pressure in the sports world is Reggie Jackson, also known as Mr. October for his spectacular postseason play. He’s most known for hitting three consecutive home runs on three consecutive pitches in 1977 World Series. But overall he’s performed extremely well on baseball’s biggest stage when pressure is mountainous with a .357 batting average in 27 games, 10 home runs and 24 runs batted in. Reggie Jackson, the first iconic clutch athlete, personifies pressure making diamonds.
For a more personal example, I’ve had a procrastination problem as long as I’ve been in school. I would rather play now, work later. Even so, I still see good results and good grades. I’ve made the Dean’s List a few times, all while waiting until the last minute to do the majority of my work. I’ve had numerous late night cram sessions the night before a final, and my grades didn’t falter at all. As for test-taking, I remain calm under pressure while I can usually look around a room and see other students nervously shaking. My academic techniques and record are a testament to making diamonds under pressure.
General Patton has always been revered as one of the most influential people in the armed forces. But he’s also influenced me – by reinforcing existing personal actions – with his quote “Pressure makes diamonds.”
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