When my daughter was very young, around 4 years old, she would color in a picture like any other child: outside the lines. Being an artist myself, this wasn't acceptable to me -- not even to my mother! Now while I didn't tell my daughter that she was a bad artist (I do have some mercy in me!), I did tell her that she needs to learn to stay in the lines. Yes, I'm telling a 4-year-old to stay in the lines! Why? Because she has shown artistic potential at a younger age by drawing pictures. I wanted her to maximize on her skills.
Today, at almost 7 years old, she could color some beautiful pictures! And she's proud of her work!
Speaking of my children, I am not ashamed to tell them when they are being bad or disrespectful and that I'm downright disappointed in them. I could be very blunt with them. But because of my frankness with them, they are VERY respectful in public, always saying Thank You, are always helpful, and are very well-behaved in church. I am confident to tell anyone who watches them that they will not give them any problems -- and they never do.
Sometimes, you need a little tough love to help you be a better person.
But in our society, we are afraid of hurting people's feelings. We don't want to hurt anyone's self-esteem. We want to say "Great Job" to everybody who gives MINIMUM effort, give awards to those who simply show up, and make everybody feel that there is nothing wrong with them.
- It's okay to be obese as long as you love yourself.
- It's okay to let children have meltdowns because they are learning to express themselves.
- It's not your fault if you can't succeed because the government are ran by idiots.
- You are poor because the taxes are too high.
Well, sorry to say this, but if you want to be the BEST, you need to be told that YES, it IS your fault. No, you DIDN'T try hard enough. Yes, you COULD have done better. No, you DON'T care enough.
One time, I was told by a woman that I received a B in one of my classes. I was PROUD of that B! She wasn't! She said, "Now, you know that you could do better than that." What the heck??? It wasn't as if I was slacking off in class. Hey, a "B" was a good grade.
Or so I thought.
Actually, a "B" isn't as good as you think it is. When you get a "B," what does it indicates?
- You didn't complete all of your homework
- Your class projects were B material
- You have a B average on your test scores
- You probably missed a few classes
Is a "B" really all that good? No, a "B" is a score you settle for when you didn't try hard enough to get an "A." Getting a "B" in class shows that your work was just a little above average, but not enough to show your true potential.
So, that woman was right: I could have done better. But I chose not to put anymore effort than I cared to. So, I was going about my life thinking that a "B" was good, when really, a "B" shows that I didn't reach my full potential.
One time, I was working in a place that was 45 minutes away from me. I would frequently arrive late or arrive right on time. My supervisor got on me for being late, but I pointed out to him that I live so far away that I'd have to wake up 2 hours early to get to work on time. What was his response? "Then wake up 2 hours early!"
Well, he was right. Hey, if I chose to work 45 minutes away, I need to be responsible and make the necessary adjustments in my life rather than making excuses.
You see, excuses keep us where we are. In order to move forward in life, we need to be told that what we're doing is no good and that we need to step up our game.
- We cannot be okay with being obese. We could do better.
- We cannot be okay with being poor. We could do better.
- We cannot be okay with having misbehaved children. We could do better.
- We cannot be okay with getting C's and B's. We could do better.
- We cannot be okay with having a bad habit. We could do better.
- We cannot be okay with "just enough." We could do better.
If you live your life doing "just enough," then your life would be "just enough."
- The spouse you chose was just enough.
- The way you raise your kids was just enough.
- The amount of money you make is just enough.
- You only lost just enough weight.
- You only work-out just enough.
- You developed just enough good habits.
- You love your family just enough.
- You only do just enough on your job.
You know what happens when you only do "just enough" on your job? You boss will keep you just long enough until he or she finds someone better. You won't get that promotion, because you haven't done enough to earn it.
Kids who earn full scholarships to college aren't the kids who have done just enough. They did MORE than enough.
Don't simply "get by" in life. Don't be satisfied with "just enough."
Now, am I talking about getting riches and fame? No! I'm talking about being all that you can be. Doing all that you could do. Reaching your full potential -- and even surpassing that potential. There is more in you than you realize. But you will never know how awesome you are unless you decide to get past the just-enough mindset.
So, if you're doing just enough -- then it's time to do more! There is greatness within you! But you'll only bring out that greatness by pushing yourself to do better.