The school principal calls Luigi’s parents.
Mr. Luigi, we have great news. The school will be presenting Luigi Junior an award, and we want you to witness this special event.”
“Great! Why the award?” Luigi’s dad asks.
“Because he is a brilliant kid!” the school principal says.
“Did he achieve anything?” Luigi asks.
“We want to praise him because he’s a bright young kid with a bright future,”the principal answers.
“I knew it,” Mr. Luigi says. “This little guy will be a rocket scientist. I don’t expect anything less from him!”
As soon as the school principal ends Luigi’s call, he picks up the phone to call Mario.
“Mr. Mario, I have bad news. Mario Junior is a slow learner. He’s lagging behind in classes.”
“What are you doing to help him?”asks Mario.
“Well, we have been pushing him, but he’s not responding as we would like to expect,”says the school
“Maybe you should take him to a doctor.”
“I’ll talk to him,”says Mario.
Three days later, Luigi Junior receives all kinds of recognition because he’s a bright kid. Junior feels good, he feels proud.
Mario’s kid on the other hand, receives negativity from his teachers — he arrives home crying and feeling depressed.
Mario immediately jumps in,“Son, listen to me! Look me in the eye! You are NOT what these people say.
“Yes, Dad,”says Mario Junior hugging his dad.
“Do you want Luigi’s award?”
“Yes, Dad, I want it,” says Mario Jr., wiping tears from his eyes.
“If you want it, you will fight for it son. In life we EARN awards — if you’re willing to pay the price, you will most certainly get it.”
“Yes, Dad… I will fight for it until I deserve it!”
A couple of years later…
Luigi Junior’s parents, teachers and even his fellow students expect excellence from him.
Luigi Junior grows and faces more and more challenges. Luigi Junior starts to struggle.
“Hey, Luigi, you ARE the BRIGHTEST kid in school. You shouldn’t be struggling.” Luigi’s dad is clearly disappointed.
Luigi Junior is relying on his natural talents… it’s all he has ever learned — today they’re not enough anymore.
Slowly, Junior starts to struggle.
Luigi Junior grows confused,“What’s wrong with me?” “What’s wrong with me?” “What’s wrong with me?”he continuously asks himself.
Mr. Luigi is disappointed.“I expect MORE from you Junior! What’s wrong with you? Why are you not excelling in your classes? You’re agenius,you know it, now, you pick up those grades before someone else wins your awards.”
Junior is confused and frustrated.
Meanwhile… Mario Junior is pushing his limits, growing, hustling daily… putting in the hours, with discipline, hard work and full determination.
Mario Junior has a clear vision, he sees the target and knows he’s slowly getting closer and closer — the more he works, the closer the award is.
Now, to answer your question, how do you teach children that they can do anything that they put their mind to and succeed?
Don’t ever give them recognition for what they don’t deserve. Instead, teach them to fight for what they want, teach them to set difficult goals and help them understand the power of discipline, hard work and persistence.
In life, nothing worth having comes easy. Successful people are not necessarily gifted, they just work harder and smarter than everyone else.
You can spend twice as much time as somebody else on a project, and still get lower marks. Some people are naturally good at things, and for others it takes a long time.
But also, often, it’s about a lack of focus and planning: spending 20 hours writing blog posts is not going to be as successful as if you spent half of that time to make it better. Put another way: it’s better to do something wrong once, then review it and do it better second time, than do it wrong 10 times without reflection.
If you want a good mark because you want a good degree classification, then you should be using your time effectively and reading feedback from previous assignments.
The marks are only a signpost along your journey through education.But here’s the thing: given the choice between a great mark and a great story, I think you should go for the latter.