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You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

When I was a teenager, I used to make some of my clothes. My aunt had taught me basic sewing, and I used fairly simple patterns since my skills were limited.

One day I cut out a dress, white as I recall for high school graduation, and cut out all the pieces with the little notches and following the grain guides. Okay, I thought, this is pretty simple, and I began to sew. I decided that the pattern was straightforward enough that I didn’t need to consult the instructions.

I did the front and back, put in the sleeves and facings and finally the zipper and the hem. Great! Dress was done in one sitting; how hard it that?

I wore the dress and felt a constraint in the sleeves and wondered why. Later I looked at the construction and found that in my haste I had put the sleeves on backwards. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but trust me, it does. So I had to rip the out (not in anger — but with a ripper) and put them back on correctly.

There is a moral to this story that shows my personality and my weaknesses. Sometimes I am impulsive, and sometimes I am overconfident and take risks that I haven’t thought through as well as I should.

I chided myself for my foolishness, and know now that it is better to take one’s time, follow instructions, listen to suggestions, and have a clear idea of what I am trying to achieve. Shortcuts sometimes lead to a more circuitous and time-consuming route, and it’s harder to undo wrongs than it is to have done the task properly in the first place.