I could have a lot of fun listing questions teens love to ask. In fact that may be a great topic for a future post. Teens are full of questions from the ridiculous, to the obvious and beyond the embarrassing. But one question that would fall consistently within the top three is, “Why me?”
Why are you asking ME to do that?
Don’t you see all these other kids doing nothing?
Look at them goofing off!
Why aren’t you asking THEM to do anything?
Okay. Sue me. Life isn’t fair. The truth is, “Yeah I see those other turkeys goofing off.” I’m not blind. Look at their body language. Everything about them says, “Don’t even THINK about asking me to do something.” The classroom unfortunately mirrors life. Here comes a life truth I’m slinging at you.
5% of the people breathing air are doing 95% of the work.
This isn’t a pretty thought. Actually it is disconcerting and maddening. It is blatantly unfair. But it is the truth. You’ll find it in the work place. You will find it in the home. You will find it wherever you go. I’m not sure if it is a universal truth; I only possess the American experience. Open your eyes and look around you. You’ll be giving me a high-five for my astute observational skills.
But There is Good News
What can be the good news about you always picking on me and asking me to do all the dirty work?
What is fair about that?
Answer that question.
I dare you.
Okay I will. Here comes another life truth you probably also don’t want to hear. We often have to work a job before we are actually offered the job. When you have an entry-level job your boss will always be asking you to do extra things. He (or she) will look around and see others goofing off and then will ask YOU to do something no one else wants to do.
“What is the good news about that??!!”
You have already been identified as a leader. Your teacher already sees it. Your attitude has placed you in that 5% that will always be asked to do more. While it seems like the slackers are winning momentarily, you are winning in the long run.
Why? Whenever you do something extra… willingly, you are proving your leadership potential. You will be the one your boss thinks of when a promotion opportunity happens. YOU will frequently be promoted over someone with more experience, skills or seniority. YOU will have already demonstrated your ability to work at the next level, because you will have been performing a supervisor’s responsibilities and demonstrating a management attitude.
Yep. Short term, the slackers seem to be winning. I’ll grant you that. But that is the attitude of the 95%. Believe me there is a price to pay for passivity, just getting by. The cost? Lower self-esteem, acceptance of mediocrity, lack of pride in accomplishments. Long term? Regret.
When I ask you to do something no one else wants to do I’m really calling you a winner. Congratulations! Now say, “Thank you,” and just do what I asked you to do with a smile. 🙂