I am a Mechanical Engineer, working in top tier software firm. My dreams were different. To be an Electronics Engineer. I don't know what I would have been doing if I would be Electronics Engineer probably the same thing I am doing now, but yes, I wanted to. This dream was shattered when I didn't get admission to Electronics branch as I missed admission criteria by 1 mark. Admission closed at 280 out of 300 and I was having 279 in my hand. So I chose to go to Electrical Branch.
I studied hard in first year of engineering and got highest marks in my class so I was eligible to get branch transfer now. I filled in the form of branch transfer with 2 options. First option for Electronics and Second for Mechanical Branch. And to my bad luck only one seat was allowed for branch transfer and ironically a guy with 1 mark more than me got this seat. Wow !! Second time I missed it with 1 mark. Who else than me can understand the importance of 1 mark!!
Days passed, I came out of college with a degree of Mechanical Engineer and offer letter from one of the reputed Software company in Pune. I joined company, and after successful completion of my training I joined a project. And then I appeared for some certifications for knowledge growth and for compulsory (mandatory) requirements of project. Yes, you guessed it right I couldn't pass them and every time I was 1 mark short . (You may think if I am dumb enough not to pass these exams but imagine how should I judge my self when I got 59 in every exam I appeared when it was required to get 60 to pass). And then I stopped, I stopped to appear to exams as my certification page was showing 5 exams with 'Fail' remark and 59 marks next to it. I even became paranoid to think that developer of that exam has set default marks against my name.
Days passed, I jumped to a different company. And last week only I decided to appear for another (external) certification. Yet again I failed, this time with 59.5 Marks. Well, seeing improvement in my marks but not well enough to get that 'Pass' remark against my name. As soon as I saw my marks, I could feel the importance of 1 mark more and more. All these instances where I was short of this 1 mark tumbled in front of my eyes. I could feel the starvation for 1 mark, the starvation of a win over this mental block of 1 mark.
I was watching single and double trap matches on TV (Olympics) the same evening. (If you are not aware about this competition then here you can read about it: Trap Shooting). 6 players were shooting clay targets. Michael Diamond who equaled world record (which can't be broken as record is of 125 out of 125 targets) and qualified for finals. In final, unfortunately he missed few and his score tied with Fehaid Aldeehani. So bronze medal match came to a breathtaking tie breaker. And Michael Diamond missed one shot, he lost and couldn't get any medal. It's irony that a person scoring world record didn't get any medal that day. I could imagine nobody else than Michael knows importance of that one target. He must have thought if he could have shot 'that one missed target' to get one more chance, one more opportunity.
And I thought of 1 mark agony. And I was happy for the first time on that day that I didn't miss any medal due to that 1 mark. I didn't miss anything which I could have got with that 1 mark. I am having many other opportunities to appear for exam and Michael was not having any chance now. And I smiled for the first time on that day .. with a hope to do better (at least by 1 mark) in that exam whenever I will appear for exam again.