You are not bestowed this honor because you were born smart, you earned it. You worked hard to get here, never stop growing. Growth is the most important thing, grades are secondary. Keep a growth mindset and you will continue to excel.
That was the message delivered last night by Franklin Middle School Principal Bryan Thanner. He gave the keynote address at the Induction Ceremony for the National Junior Honor Society. My daughter Sophie and more than several of her good friends were inducted as one of the 7th grade inductees. I bring up her friends, (and sorry don’t have pictures of all of them here), with good reason, you get what you want in life by working hard for it, but you also need to surround yourself with the right people. About a dozen other of Sophie’s friends were also honored. If you want to grow in life, that matters. Hang with great people, attend great events, work hard on being the best you can be and choose the right relationships along the way.
We are so proud of Sophie and her accomplishments, but it doesn’t end here, it can’t, it won’t. If she truly wants to live life and experience the best, she can never stop growing. The true joy of her existence is in the journey. For Sophie, for all of us.
A growth mindset is the key. Sophie is learning that, heck I’m still learning that. Work hard on your job, focus on your responsibilities, live your dreams and work even harder on yourself to reach those dreams. Leadership guru and best-selling author John Maxwell says he owes everything, everything in his life, to his focus on personal growth. It’s the joy of the journey, not the destination. Maxwell lives a life of wealth and fulfillment because he maintains a disciplined approach to growth every day. We all can do it. You can, I can. Focus on getting one-tenth of one-percent better each and every day. The smallest of steps lead to the greatest rewards. It’s all it takes, to be better than who you were the day before. Never stop growing.
Vice-principal Thanner based his remarks on a concept and a book by Stanford University Carol Dweck. Through study and research, Dweck has found that teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education and sports. (www.mindsetonline.com)
I love it. I love to hear words and ideas like these shared with young teens still finding their way through a noisy world filled with endless distractions. It’s not easy for our children to stay on target, to focus on what they need to do, to focus on growth, but when they do, honors like the one bestowed upon them last night are possible. Not just possible, they are destined.
The National Honor Society pledge: I pledge myself to uphold the high purposes of the National Junior Honor Society to which I have been selected. I will be true to the principles for which it stands; I will be loyal to my school; and will maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, service, leadership citizenship and character.
The great path of life lies in front of these children. And just like Vice-Principal Thanner reminded them, the path to success is lined with failure, so never get complacent. And never ever believe the “hype” about yourself because if that happens you will become fearful of failure. Yet the greatest success stories come from those who have tried and failed, but never gave up. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.
I hope all of those honored continue to make the most of their options. Continue to grow, and congratulations for a job well done.
And to Sophie, thanks for making us proud. I love you for being you.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.