Your productivity system is only as good as your habits.

Setting Appropriate Expectations for Success

Some people don’t have realistic expectations for life. Kip sent me this joke today that fits what I’m talking about…

Reaching the end of his job interview, the HR manager asks the fresh young engineer, “what starting salary are you looking for?”
The recruit replies, “$125,000 and a full benefits package”
The HR rep replies, “how about 5 weeks vacation, 15 paid holidays, full medical and dental, 50% match on retirement, and a company car.”
The engineer says, “wow, are you kidding?”
The HR rep says, “yeah, but you started it…”

One advantage teens have when they work is understanding what things cost.

However, I often think that many of us forget what things cost:

  • Relationships take time to develop
  • Schools take time to build a legacy
  • It takes time to build a reputation
  • A tree takes time to grow

In today’s world of instant this and instant that, people want a “just add water” success formula. Guess what? It doesn’t exist.

Success can take time – even if it looks fast, it typically takes time. Practice. Hard work. Sacrifice.

Sometimes we expect things to be easy and they’re not.

Decisions to Pursue Excellence Always Cost Something

Even now. I’m exhausted. I had a tiring day at school and had gate duty tonight. I came home exhausted. Kip fired up an old movie and I’m ready to watch.

However, I made a commitment to write once every day for 80 days and only to take off Sundays.  You might wonder why I’d do that – well, it was the result of praying, but honestly, I’ve been blogging so much about my podcast, that I had gotten out of the habit of just writing.

And it seems to me that I can’t write about excellence to you if I’m not willing to consistently work at it myself.

So, today’s challenge is this: Ask yourself what you’re taking time to build? Your health? What relationships? What dreams?

You are what you do consistently over time. So, examine one area where you are eagerly pursuing success and look at the habits you’re doing to help build that success. And then, expect that those habits will cost you something and prepare to pay the price.

Excellence has a price. Make sure the type of excellence you’re pursuing is worth it. And make sure that you expect that it won’t be easy. In fact, succeeding is often very hard.

This post is day 17 of 80 days of excellence. I've created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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