I love listening to Zig Ziglar. It may be a little unorthodox to regularly listen to him on podcast (I don't know anyone else who does), but being different has never stopped me from doing anything before. I recently heard him talk about positive thinking. As a natural born pessimist (I used to refer to it as being a realist, so you can get a glimpse of just how pessimistic I was), I never used to buy in to all that positive thinking nonsense. As the years passed, especially these last few years, quite a few positive people have come to be a part of my life. You know what they say: you become just like those people you spend the most time with. To make a long story short, I got sold on the whole positive thinking idea after watching their lives over a period of time. I learned that any idiot can point out the obvious - i.e., why something can't be done. It turns out I wasn't nearly as clever as I thought I had been all those years I went around pointing out every imperfection I could find.
The smarter people are those who choose to be positive. It takes more courage, more creativity, and a big-spirited person to look for the positive and then choose to focus on that. As Zig says: "Positive thinking won't let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will." I love this statement because it is so true. Positive thinking isn't about losing your grip on reality. No 60 year old is going to get into the NFL, no matter how positive they are. But if there is something you can achieve through hard work and dedication, positive thinking is only going to help you in your pursuit.
In the same respect, positive thinking can be a wonderful tool in your bar exam success kit. The magnitude of the bar exam, the hundreds of hours of hard work you put in to preparing for it, the effect it has on your future - it is all too great to dismiss the potential power that positive thinking can have. Positive thinking, specifically, visualizing your success and anticipating positive bar results, will help keep you energized as you prepare. When you hit a wall or feel like you will never master the material in time, you need to prevent yourself from taking the downward spiral of negative thinking. Don't be defeated by the bar exam before you even take it! Choose to place your focus elsewhere.
When I took the exam for the second time, I came across someone who had posted a screenshot of bar results on a blog. (I have since been unable to re-locate that blog post.) I decided to copy that image and edit my info into it. I changed the year, the name, the applicant number, everything. I made it look like what I wanted to see when it came time for results. At first I felt ridiculous. It seemed too corny, and I thought I would die of embarrassment if anyone were to find it. I put it with my study materials, but wouldn't even look at it for a while. But then I got used to having it. When I was at the library, exhausted and not wanting to study, I would pull it out and look at it. It reminded me why I needed to keep going. I thought, if putting in another couple of hours will get me this, then I can do it. Just looking at that paper and thinking it could be WOULD BE real, got me excited and helped me push through the rough times.
When it came time to check bar results, and that little made-up piece of paper became a reality, I couldn't wait to print it out. I was so proud to replace my fake results with the real one. I'm not going to tell you that I wouldn't have been able to pass if I never made that piece of paper and visualized a positive outcome. But as Zig says, it helped me do it better than negative thinking would have.
In that spirit, I took a picture of the real bar results that I printed out that fateful night. I edited it to say 2011, and took out my personal information. Put your own information in there. Print it out. Look at it as often as you find it helpful. Visualize your success.