Students and Self Esteem

This is the abbreviated version of a Saturday Night Live skit (Basement Karate – Bryan Cranston). What was so striking was the little boy’s reaction to getting shellacked by his old man. I have heard some of the exact same phrases out of my GMAT students….

I know, I know, I shouldn’t laugh . . . but the lines the kid gives at the very end . . . about his performance . . . priceless.

We have all sorts of words for talking about processing events and justifying self esteem. When are we done Competitionprocessing and ready to move forward? How do you balance reflection with action? But more importantly, can we admit when we absolutely stink at something?

It seems difficult to improve if you look at what you just did and can declare that you did everything well. If you did, why did you get your butt kicked? Is there ever a chance that the world will be “fair?”
Is it “fair” that your competition signed your former client at 75% of your price? No. But yes too…. Without that tension, you wouldn’t bother innovating. You wouldn’t bother getting up early, cranking out new products and services, you just wouldn’t bother. And that’s what great about America. If you do bother, you have a chance (in most industries) to out-maneuver your competition. You have a chance to create something of value for yourself, your family, and your community.

So, the world isn’t fair, and you don’t always have an answer for the punch-in-the-face. Surprisingly enough, that’s what’s so great about this big ride.