Do you challenge yourself to do your best or have you become complacent to do the minimum? The only measure is yourself and not others. The feeling and strength that comes from mastering the challenge is hard to explain, it needs to be experienced. Remember back to a time when you finally achieved something you were stretching yourself on. Riding the bike without training wheels. Diving off the high dive for the first time. It’s a feeling you never forget.
An excerpt from Obama’s speech to students in Sept 2009.
“There is no excuse for not trying. This isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.”
My parents immigrated her after the war and did not have the chance to finish grade school. So my siblings and myself learned to navigate through school on our own. And our parents raised us with their good morals and ethics. We were held accountable for all our actions and did not get away with anything. They did their best at everything they did, work, cooking, cleaning. And they expected us to do our best.
I remember my last year in high school. I wanted to take our native language in school, since they finally introduced the class, which would require me to take a non-honors class in French, since class schedules conflicted. The French teacher said I would be very disappointed in taking a normal French class, since honors class was doing so much more. She was right. I was unaware how much more we were doing. I remember thinking that this class was boring and not stretching my potential at all.
I raised my children with the same high expectations. I remember one incident. One of my children graced through school without much effort. Think of the absent-minded professor. He got A’s and B’s without any effort. So when he came home with a C, I grounded him. He didn’t understand, since a C is passing in school. I advised him that he got A’s and B’s without trying, and a C meant he wasn’t turning in his homework, and getting an A on a test and not turning in homework was not the right thing to do. One could argue his point, and he tried with the teacher and lost. I wanted him to understand that when he works he needs to do what is required and not just worry about the end result.
I’m proud to say that they are all exceeding expectations at their jobs. And to them, just like me, they struggle with others not wanting to do the minimal to get by. I believe that if you want to move on to other opportunities, you need to get your house in order in the current opportunity first.
“You cannot enter the next season of your life with joy unless you exit your present season correctly” Mike Murdock
The balance is between setting expectations that are unrealistic and setting high expectations to stretch ourselves and grow. I’ll give you another example. I have a grandson who had been diagnosed with a form of autism. At times I found that my expectations on being truthful was causing frustration for him and me. So I needed to set my expectations lower for a time until I could understand what was going on. Luckily I came across a company called Brain Balance, which he is attending at this time. They took an assessment and helped explain that his brain currently cannot recognize what he wants versus what is fact. Glad to say that after completing one session, his brain is now recognizing the difference.
I want to thank Lisa at punkrockpsychic blog for bringing me to write this post when she wrote she is a “perfectionist working on recovering” .