The Danger of Underestimation

He's Right.
Today, something I thought very interesting has happened. It was so interesting in my opinion that I decided to write a post about it. It has something to do with the header image above. That's right... It's about underestimating something. There are many sayings that imply that underestimating things eventually lead to a negative outcome. Those sayings have been proven. However, despite many concrete evidence (one of which is Napoleon's defeat against Russia in around 1812), many people still underestimate things, let it be subjects, work, tasks, etc. I myself am no exception.

But be warned, though. This is just a personal opinion that I decided to write as a blog post, and I have no intention to offend anyone through any meaning. It'll be just a blabber from me, so if reading other people's opinion isn't your cup of tea, then I'm afraid this isn't right for you. You're welcome to read anytime, though.

So, I guess you guys know the reason why this blog has become quite inactive compared to when I was still in high school. If you don't, then the main reason is the busy life of a university student. There are projects, tasks, and assignments all around the block. There are times when we are allowed to relax, but I mainly spent those precious times recovering myself... and I only had little to no time to check the blog.

I don't know why, but I'm interested to read this book.
Anyway, in my 3rd semester, things have gone hotter and more intense. I had this project to create a program that utilizes database, based on a system that my own group designed. So, basically, we need to come up with an idea, design the best method to deliver it, and make it happen. At first, designing the system and program flow, wasn't that hard; in fact, I enjoyed it. The trouble comes when implementing the design into a single piece of working software. To be honest, I lack expertise in Visual Basic language, and that was enough to drive everyone in my group crazy. We stayed up all night and for the last two nights, I didn't have enough sleep. By yesterday, I felt like a zombie: I couldn't concentrate on lectures, I couldn't really think how a program works, nor create one. But I assure you, despite that miserable condition, it wasn't the reason why I wrote this post, as you probably would have known.

This morning, having good quality night sleep (although I was screaming for more sleep), I woke up feeling slightly refreshed. I was ready for lectures and I got a little bit of excitement (compared to the previous day, when I planned to skip the day). However, that excitement soon turned into despair. It's not as frustrating as despair... but I couldn't get the right word :p

This evening, I had a practice on Data Structure, a subject that teaches you about various data types that exist in computer programming. My lecturer assistants (senior students hired to teach in practices) had given me homework to make the game of Tower of Hanoi the previous week. That's the game where you move a set of 5 blocks into another location by stacking a shorter block on top of longer ones. If you want to know, this might be a good example. Originally, I had done the homework last Sunday, so that I would have a plenty of time to work on the final project.

The algorithm to create the program is actually pretty easy in my opinion. That's when I started underestimating it. I recklessly created the program without any careful calculations, and didn't test it thoroughly. Today, I found a very serious bug in my program. That bug, combined with little time left to fix and work on the main task, made me panic; so panic that I couldn't think straight and planned to abandon the homework. Fortunately, one of the assistants gave me a second chance to fix it, in the cost of half the points. I accepted that chance, of course.

Funny that it coincided with me being in the state extreme exhaustion. It actually made me think that maybe my fatigue caused me to overlook this mistake, as well as not being able to think logically straight. But then I realized that I might have underestimated that homework. Frankly, I had more than enough time today to thoroughly test my program and fix it. However, my overconfidence blinded me... and caused this. I guess this could be a lesson to anyone, including me, to never underestimate something.

I don't mean to brag, but unless it's something that is ridiculously easy, I've never underestimated it no matter how simple it is. But this time, it's different. I was so focused on the final project that it led me to underestimate this homework, that I shouldn't have underestimated in the first place. The project didn't end well (although it could've been worse), but it really opened my eye. They say that overconfidence makes you careless, and it's absolutely right. However, more importantly, underestimation precedes overconfidence, which makes it even more dangerous.

So, does everybody get the lesson here? If you don't... I don't blame you. I think I've told too much. But I'll reiterate the lesson for you: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ANYTHING! It never leads to anything positive. Well, it's fine if you want to pump your confidence a bit by thinking that it's easy, but know your limits. Because underestimation leads you to overconfidence, which leads you to carelessness.

I hope this piece of story proves useful to all of you readers, and I hope that no one suffers the same incident like me earlier today. Well, if I write too much, I apologize. Because just like this blog's title says: 'Be Inspired and Write', I just got something I thought was interesting, and I wrote it down. In the end, thanks for reading and/or coming by, and I'll see you Folks in the next post. Feel free to drop in some comments, and I wish you have a great day forward! :D

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