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This week we take a look at Asset #15, High Expectations. According to the Search Institute, youth are more likely to grow up healthy when their parents have high expectations.
This Asset scares me a bit because sometimes we can become so data driven that we can’t see a good result as a result of being too focused on the number.
There are so many things that create a successful life that we need to be mindful of all the potential held by each and every child.
If we look at standard measures of success, they are quite often beauty or financial measures. If we only use those measures of success, we miss a lot of opportunities along the way.
There are reports generated on sheer data, but often another measure called qualitative highlights some attributes not demonstrated by numbers.
That matter stated, we should have equally high expectations, not just for numbers on a grading scale or a sporting field, but for integrity, service to others and respect.
There are so many students in the community who are outstanding in their service to community and to others, but their efforts don’t always garner the spotlight. It looks nice when applying for a scholarship, but should also be heralded throughout the community.
Our high expectations shouldn’t just apply to the youth of our community, but the adults, too. We need to pay attention to how, when and where we model good behavior. Do you have a public face and another behind closed doors?
Do you act one way in church or synagogue on the weekend and then refuse to carry the message in your heart and demonstrate it in your actions during the week?
Do you talk rudely about others if the topic seems justified or meets your needs?
The better question is do you talk poorly about others in front of your children and skew their opinions of those people or does it not matter if the ends justify the means.
We as a community, as a culture, as a society need to rise above the petty diatribe of the past and set new high expectations for ourselves. Politics and social status be damned, full steam ahead.
As the title of the Spike Lee movie states, “Do the Right Thing.”
Do the right thing not because it looks good to others but because it feels good to you.
Set your own high expectations and don’t feel the need to tell anybody so you don’t come across as trying to be better than the average bear. Only tell someone if you need a friend to hold your feet to the fire.
It’s been said that when you try to lose weight; you need to do it for yourself. Perhaps when you want to change your life, you need to share a portion of that philosophy.
When you have expectations of yourself, you can begin with setting a goal, one that you can measure in some way, even if it is with baby steps.
A new local program aimed at ending smoking doesn’t recommend that the person goes cold turkey.
Help establish small measurable goals, like cleaning your vehicle with special attention to the ash tray.
It is recommended to pick a date a few weeks ahead to give you time to prepare.
Then when you begin the effort, they follow up with you to aid in your success.
One local young couple is having great success with intermediate steps. The high expectations came from within with the success of their endeavor perhaps not visible for many months or years to come.
So it doesn’t matter what good expectations you make for yourself, set them high and seek out others who will have the same high expectations of you, too.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets In Action Coordinator sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. You can hear her Mondays from 9-10 a.m. on AM 1490, KRSN. Listen this week as she interviews Marc Clay and Sharon Stover about the Leadership Los Alamos and Los Alamos Youth Leadership programs. Also hear the results of the Mrs. New Mexico pageant ,which take place this weekend.