Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Expect More of Yourself
I think differently.
People say this because when they come to my house, they see that Aiden's toys are neatly placed in the correct bin, that his shoes and clothes are neat and in their rightful place, and that his bed is neat. They also see that Aiden is the one who is expected to keep those things neat, in order, and in their rightful place.
People say this because, whenever Aiden and I are getting off the bus at our bus stop, Aiden is expected to say to the bus driver, "Have a good day." If he doesn't, I give him a gentle reminder.
People say this because, whenever we enter or leave our apartment building, Aiden is expected to greet our doorman, and greet the neighbors getting on and off the elevator. If he doesn't, I give him the look. (Y'all know what look I'm talking about.)
But, most of all, people say this because, whenever Aiden is working on something that's not particularly easy for him, I expect him to keep going and keep trying and keep pushing... until he succeeds.
I expect him to give his best effort. I let him know that it is not acceptable for him to not try. That's not an option. So he tries and he struggles and he stumbles and he fails (sometimes). And he has to get back up again and try again. Something new, something different. I help him realize (or sometimes he comes to the realization all by his lonesome) that what he did before didn't work so he has to try something different.
He learns from his failures and uses it to help him succeed.
And, in the process, he learns the beauty of perseverance and grit. He builds character and he begins to see why it's important to expect more of himself.
Of course, I model these things for him by doing them myself. I expect a lot from myself. All. The. Time. I always try to give more today than I gave yesterday. If I gave a 7 yesterday, then today I give an 8. So that tomorrow I can give a 9. Because the ultimate goal is a 10.
I fail at some things, of course. I'm only human. But the expectation remains high.
We have to always expect more of ourselves. We have to always keep trying and pushing and trying something else if we stumble.
That's the only way we're going to go beyond where we think we can go.
That's the only way we can be great in whatsoever we choose to do.