I venture to journey back to my school days. It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that I was pursuing my Master’s Degree. When you are in school, no matter what level of school you are in, you are graded by letter grades. Some earlier school grades give you Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grades. If you do really well and stay focused throughout the semester, quarter or what ever time frame your school used, you would be rewarded with an A. If for some reason you didn’t do so well or at some point you were a little slack and didn’t turn in perfect papers or turn in all your homework, you would get less than an A. Perhaps a B or a C. Whatever the length of time, you will always have another opportunity to get a better grade next semester. You have an opportunity to start over, a fresh clean slate.
While you are in school, the way you are motivated is by getting that A. Each time you get an A you feel good about yourself and you are motivated to get the next one. This happens until you reach 12th grade and you graduate. When you graduate and move out on your own, what do you now have to keep yourself motivated? This question is what plagues many young teenager when they move out. They don’t seem to have a grasp on life yet. It is still our job as parent to coach our children to become upstanding citizens. If they go on to college right away, they still have a structure to follow. If they don’t and they choose to start a career or perhaps just go to work, they still need to have a goal. A goal now becomes their motivation.
Zig Ziglar says, “If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time.” I remember one of my family members that has done exactly this. He stumbled his way through high school not making it to that A. Now that he has graduated, he seems to still stumble through life. He has no goals and he has no plan. He is hitting nothing everyday. Is this the way it was planned for him? No, I don’t think so. Does it mean that he is a failure? No, it means he hasn’t set the right goals yet. I remember a time that I was playing some 1 on 1 basketball with him. He wanted to become a professional basketball player. That was a goal. That was something that we can strive for. While he was going through school, he did not apply himself to meet that goal. He also did not apply himself to get that A. As we train up our children in the way that they should go, we try hard to teach them how to make their own decisions and hopefully they are the right ones. In this case, the decisions were not right.
How do we now accept the fact that when our child does not make the same decisions that we think they ought to make? At this point, they turn 18, get out on their own and do what they want to do. As parents, we have to learn to accept that this is how they choose to live their life. It may not be the right way but is their way. When I was 18, I remember very distinctly what it was that I did.
I remember graduating High School. I went to work at a local grocery mini mart. It wasn’t very exciting. I needed a little more of a challenge for my life. I graduated in June and by February i was enlisted in the Army. I set a plan, and had a goal. It is a significant difference to the plan that was mentioned above. So during school you are evaluated. Depending on what you do specifically after school, you may or may not have an evaluation process. In order to move ahead properly, the only way to grow is to set goals for yourself. We must be willing to write down goals that are objective and that cover the most important steps in our life. We need to make goals professionally, personally, and spiritually. Then we will be able to know how we are actually doing in these three areas. This will be our evaluation. We are now involving our character. What people will evaluate us by. So if you don’t have goals, like the person in my family, You will Aim at nothing, and hit it every time.