Are you squeezing your orange enough?

Learning to cope with disappointments, setbacks, challenges and failures is an essential life skill to develop.

Few people have meaningful achievements, lasting success and life satisfaction without a fair degree of mistakes and mess ups.

My eldest daughter had set her heart on going to Durham University to read Classics and knew that they would probably require her to achieve three A grade A Levels.

She duly sat the AS exams for two of her three A Level subjects (these are interim exams taken after the first year of the two-year course, which count towards the final grade).

Results day arrived and she had achieved……Bs in both subjects – a complete disaster.

My daughter was distraught at her results and was completely deflated.

I comforted her and explained that these things happen and that she had two choices.

She could collapse into a heap, withdraw into her shell and give up trying to get in to Durham.

Or she could take a deep breath, look carefully at what she did wrong in her exams and devise a plan of action for fixing the problem.

Over the next few weeks, with the help of her teachers, she did just that.

She decided to retake two of the four interim papers and do additional work to ensure that she excelled in her final exams the following year.

In the meantime, she applied to Durham and was fortunate to receive an offer which was conditional on achieving an A grade in each of her three subjects.

Every night my daughter would immerse herself with her books, papers and exam guides.

She still saw her boyfriend and other friends and cared for and rode her horse, but the bulk of her time was spent studying.

One day earlier this year I said to her that, whatever the result of her exams, I was proud of her work ethic and self-discipline.

And that’s when she reminded of the life advice I gave her when she was nine years old.

“Dad, you told me that life is like an orange and you can decide how much you get out of it.

You can squeeze it a bit and leave a lot of goodness inside, or you can squeeze it a lot and extract every last drop.

So that’s what I’m doing, I’m squeezing my orange to give it my best shot to go to one of the best universities to study the subject I love.”

And that was the inspiration for my new book – Squeezing the orange: Simple ways to live a full life – which has just been published and is available on Amazon.

I’m pleased to say that my daughter did get the three As she needed to go to Durham and the book which she inspired me to write was published on the same day as she got her results.

For a limited period, the book is available for the specially discount price of £7.99 including delivery.

You can find out more about what others are saying about the book here.