Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Not Gifted? Work Hard Anyway

This was a gut-wrenching video to watch. 

The aviator who was killed was not an exceptional pilot but he was a hard-working one. Here's the money quote from the video:

Often natural aviators are not the best ones. They work less hard than less gifted ones to reach the same goals. 

I've seen this in my Greek classes for 45 years. Students who have a high level of language aptitude tend to work a lot less than your average student. Yet both talented and not-so-talented students can succeed. It really doesn't matter whether you get an "A" in the class or a "C." If you have done your very best, that's all that matters. When I run a marathon, I finish way behind the "A" runners. My best grade is about a "C." I am a lot older and slower than most of my fellow competitors. Yet I refuse to stop thriving, striving, and seeking new challenges. Why should I? More than ever, I need high (but realistic) goals and I continue to set them.

If you're a student who is struggling, learn to adjust your expectations. I call this "adaptive excellence." This means you don't stop trying even when others are far exceeding you. Continue to pursue excellence. Keep climbing the mountain even if it's not as high or as steep as the ones you've climbed in the past. Never stand still. Always keep moving forward.