Your life’s report card
Remember when you were in high school or even elementary school you used to get a report card every few months? If you behaved, did your homework and studied, you might have received a B or even an A.
But if you slacked off in some or every way you most likely had to explain to your parents why you got a D or even an F.
Basically, your grade was your teacher’s opinion or rating of how they felt you were doing with your responsibilities, actions, and behaviors.
Think you are still getting report cards today when you are in your 30’s or even your 60’s? Oh, the teachers have most likely retired or have moved on to new classes and different students but trust me, life is still giving you a report card- every day, every month and yes, every year.
It might not be a piece of paper with a bunch of letters or numbers on it but believe me, you are still getting reviews on how the people in your life believe you are doing?
And who are these people? They are your; customers, bosses, spouses, kids, fellow employees and often even some of the strangers that pass through your life like; flight attendants, restaurant servers, mechanics or your physicians.
No, they all don’t give you a written report, but they do evaluate – who you are, how you act, what you believe and even how you may treat them.
So, If I still have you, what kinds of grades do you think you are getting from; a spouse (not referring here to counselling sessions) , your boss (and I’m not talking about your annual reviews), your kids (and I’m not talking about the grades they are getting in school or on the soccer field), your customers (and I’m not talking about how much money you might be making from them) or your family physician (and I’m not talking about your annual physical or check-up)?
Unfortunately, most people (and I’m including myself in this group) wait until they are failing at something or something just stops working before they make changes, attempt improvement, modify behavior or just admit that what they are doing is or will some day give them an F.
Let me give you an updated grading system that is a bit more relevant to life than the report cards you used to get. I call it My Life as it is Report card.
You are getting an A -
Notice I didn’t include an A+ in this group? It’s simple – none of us are perfect, we all have flaws, we all make mistakes and sooner or later we all fail at something. An A means you are exceeding life’s expectations. You are learning, growing, maturing and recognizing life areas where you need further improvement. Your ego isn’t running your life. Your arrogance is under control and your patience is not demanding you do something or everything faster, better and/or easier. Your need for control is under control. Your stress is not killing you. And your spiritual life is ruled by humility, peace, giving and compassion. Yes, there are a few more items that are contributing to your – A - grade but in the end, the ones above are the primary factors that are saying to you - you are on the right path, keep going. But, be careful you don’t lose the above items, or the consequences could be dramatic.
You are getting a B –
Take all of the above-mentioned items and just reduce the definition, for example.
You are learning, growing, maturing and recognizing life areas where you need further improvement, but you are not doing as much as you could or need to do. Your ego isn’t running your life, but it has its moments depending on the person or situation. Your arrogance is not a serious issue, but it could be. Your lack of patience is often demonstrated by your hurrying or need to do something faster, better and/or easier. Your need for control is not under control. Your stress is not killing you yet but is having a negative impact on some area of your health, relationships or life in general. And your spiritual needs more time, attention, effort and/or better awareness.
You are getting a C –
A C means you are average in all of the above areas. You are not in serious trouble anywhere yet, but you are also not moving in the right or best life direction. If you don’t make some changes soon – you could very quickly find yourself in the D or even F categories. It’s time to wake up and recognize that life isn’t easy, fast, accommodating or revolves around your needs, expectations or desires. It’s time to grow up and it’s time to let go of your “the world owes me” and/or your “selfie mindsets”. This is a life crossroads where you can change direction in a positive or a more negative way and destructive way. You can begin to move into B territory and start getting better, stronger, wiser or healthier or you can wake up one day and realize you are failing, and it could be too late to change.
You are getting a D –
A D means you are heading towards disaster and time is running out. Make some changes soon or before you know it life will give you an F. And believe me an F can be costly, uncomfortable, painful and even deadly. A D says you still have some time to fix some things, but life is gradually losing its patience with you. It says, “I guess the only way we can get your attention at this time is with some kind of jolt, disaster or circumstance (a divorce, a bankruptcy, a heath attack or getting fired).” Don’t wait too long – the pain of turning a life around at this stage can cause many people to stop trying or just give up entirely in life accepting the consequences of the next and final grade – an F.
You are getting an F –
An F means – you have failed and will spend a lot of time and your remaining life; alone, afraid, in regret, angry, resentful etc. It is now time to pay the price of all of your mistakes, failures and poor choices and behaviors. Can you recover? Of course. Can you rebound? Yes. Can you begin again? Always. Can you get a second chance? Yes. But at this stage, it will require a great deal of; humility, effort, surrender, admission, time, patience, hope and help and guidance from others. And, it will require accepting letting go of control of what life brings to you and the willingness to trust God during your return to sanity.
So, give yourself a grade today in; your finances, your marriage, your career, your business, your health, your social life, your relationships, your family and your spiritual direction and its beliefs, values, and actions.