My effort. My results.

5:30pm May, 1989.

We had just finished dinner and my father says to me, “Matthew we need to chat about your report card.”

“Yes Dad.” I knew it wasn’t going to be a good chat. I hadn’t seen my report card but I suspected it wasn’t up to the same standards as past report cards.

We went into my bedroom and sat on my bed. Dad opened up my report card. Each subject had a separate page with my percentage, the average across the whole grade and my ranking across the whole grade.

“German.” Dad started. “Eighty-six per cent. Third out of twenty-seven.” He announced.

I nodded.

“Not bad, but you’ve always scored I the nineties and your mum and I really expect you to top that class.”

“Yes Dad.” I knew he was right. It was only the second time I hadn’t been first in that class.  Dad flipped the page over, “Mathematics.”

This was always one of my strong subjects. I found the numbers subjects fairly easily.

“Eighty-three per cent. Twenty-ninth out of one hundred and fifty one students.” Dad was very matter-of-fact.  “Matthew, can you honestly tell me that there are twenty-eight kids who are better than you at maths?”

“No Dad. I can’t.”

“Well then.” He cleared his throat and flipped over the page, “Physics.” He shook his head. “Matthew can you tell me there are thirty seven people better than you in physics?”

“No Dad.”

He flipped the page again, “Can you tell me there are forty-six kids better than you in Chemistry?”

“No Dad.”

Dad kept going through each subject one by one and arrived at “Geography.” He paused and looked at me. “Matthew, I know you’re not so interested in geography, but are you really in the bottom half of the class?”

“Well…” I didn’t really have much to day at this point.

“Matthew, I want to see your marks above average for geography. Is that fair?”

“Yes it’s fair.”

“So are there any good reasons your marks aren’t what they should be?”

“No good reasons.” My head dropped. I knew I had failed my parents and more importantly I had fallen well short of my own potential.

“What do you need to do to get those marks up?”

“Work harder. Pay attention in class. Do my homework.”

“Well, when your end of year report comes in I want to see the results we’re accustomed to. Fair?”

“That’s fair.”

For the next six months I put in the work that was required, and sure enough my grades had recovered to five A’s and 2 B’s. Needless to say there were no more frank conversations.

I was just fifteen when this happened but I learned the lesson young, that my future is in my own hands. Whatever I expect to get out of life, I need to be putting in the required effort.

My effort. My results.

It’s a motto I try to live my life by. That’s why I have no regrets.

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This entry was posted in 7 Criteria, Be Inspired, Educated, Personal Coaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My effort. My results.

  1. Tina-Louise says:

    I think your writing is great! I wish more people would take responsibility for their actions as well as their destinies. It’s all in our hands!

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