High, higher, highest.
Hard, harder, hardest.
Good, better, best
Do you remember doing this in elementary school? We learn to name comparisons between words, organizing them from least to greatest.
Yet this represents an interesting phenomenon to me as a social coach.
For some reason, many of us, when faced with a suggestion or challenge to go farther, climb higher, or work harder, assume that our starting point must then be “bad.” We become defensive or withdrawn. We feel depressed, or resent the thought that our efforts should be “better.” We might be tempted to give up. The results can be crippling to our relationships and our personal progress.
What strategy can we use to overcome this tendency, so that we can still experience success?
1. Recognize that each of these comparisons represents a continuum. None of them starts at a “negative.” Instead, each has a starting point that shows that we’re on a journey, and looking forward.
2. Define your goal. Where are you headed? If we think we need to be THE farthest, highest, or best, it may seem overwhelming. However, if we focus on the middle word, always striving to go farther, climb higher, work harder, or do better, we may find that we’ve come farther than we ever have before, we’ve climbed higher than we thought possible, we’ve worked harder than we knew we could, and we’ve made the best use of our time and abilities.
3. Don’t look back; look forward! Whatever your starting point is, keep your eyes on your goal, and keep putting one foot in front of the other to make sure we’re moving forward on this journey.
Regardless of how you feel about yourself as a spouse, parent, grandparent, teacher, student, therapist, friend, sibling, etc., I hope you’ll challenge yourself and those around you to be the best you can be, striving in 2012 to go farther, climb higher, work harder, and do better!
Happy New Year!
Laurel Falvo, CFLE
Certified Family Life Educator
Executive Director, The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding