One time I read a poll on my iPad that looked something like this: Would you rather be fat and happy or lean and mean?
I would hope to be lean and happy, and not fat and mean, because that would just be a dreadful combination. But anyways, I was thinking of a question like it: Would you rather win at everything, or win some, lose some, and have some fun along the way?
I would choose the latter. It's not like I'm an insouciant fool who parties all the live-long day. It's just that we are all on the same path to whatever goal we are hoping to reach - probably college for my general peer group - together, so why try to go for the gold every single time and miss out on living life?
I think that there is an equal amount of things to learn in school and out of school. I've learned a bunch of these things by going to other countries (not that traveling abroad increases your life lessons knowledge, but for me it just made me think a little more about things I might not think about if I was in America). And some people I know who are so narrow minded (not necessarily in a bad way) and focused miss those things along the way.
I'd say I'm a happy and cheerful person when I walk into school every morning, no matter how much stuff I have to do or how late I stayed up doing something for school. Some people, and sometimes my friends, come in and dump their bags down and complain about all their thousands of problems. But you don't have to complain about them - you can just move on. You don't have to forget about them, just don't dwell on them.
And most of the time they are distraught because of school and not being able to get an A+ on everything. You can only do the best that you can, and there is no use in trying to be perfect. Just live life with a little bit of zest and you will go further.
Speaking of zest: would you rather eat a plain, non-marinated chicken or a flavorful one? The flavorful one might have more calories, but it tastes better.
That's like life. Instead of taking the "means to an end" short cut, try taking the scenic route. It's not about the destination. It's not about the single moment of elation at the very end that follows with a "what's next?" feeling. It's about the whole process. The whole path.