Competing May Not Be As Hard As it Looks

Story time……

My little girl, when she was at school, was worried about how to get good grades and compete with her peers. It was all getting a bit over whelming.

She mistakenly believed everyone worked as diligently and hard as her. She was also more than a little peeved at the geniuses who seemed to naturally, without effort, gravitate to the top seemed to be super competitive just through luck.

Like all dads you just want to fix it, so I had a go.

I conducted a business analysis on her competition.

I asked “How many kids is there for whom maths (the topic in question) was just not their thing? Maybe they were good at other stuff, other subjects, music, netball, soccer, boys, frocking up and even talented partiers?”

“Around 10” she answered.

I asked are any of these kids were really putting in the time and effort, taking sufficient and the right actions to become good at stuff that is not their natural thing. She said “No.”

OK they are just not in the maths game. Let’s count them out.

I asked “so who is just lazy?’ She named the individuals. I said “do you reckon you have the metal on this lot given the work you are putting in verses their inaction?” She thought for a moment and said “probably.”

OK they are not in the game. Let’s count them out.

How many kids are disruptive to the class, come late, wag, don’t hand in assignments on time or at all, spend a lot of time just being annoying to the school system. She thinks and comes up with another half dozen. I asked “are they playing the game of maths hard enough to beat you.”

“No chance” she says.

Out of a class of 30 or so we were left with less than 10 students. In this group were a couple of naturals at maths and she was more than happy if they did better than her. Indeed if she kept up with them she regarded this as a real victory.

Of the eight who were left who tried as hard as you. “Maybe half” she says.

I pointed out we are down to running neck and neck with just 4 persons. The odds of being in the top 20% of the class (her goal) were very good as long as she kept up sufficient action.

Reassured she went back to tedious world (my interpretation) of maths homework secure in the knowledge that she was set up, taking sufficient action and working well towards what she wanted.

Story time finished now go back to work.

Seamus O’Brien
Small Fish Business Coaching

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