In my world, I hear a lot of concern for students who don’t recognize what seems the obvious consequences that will result from their actions. Why can’t that child see that lying is going to get them in trouble? Why doesn’t that teenager see that skipping classes is going to cause them to fail the course? How can people not make these simple connections?
But is it really that simple?
Going through the job hunt process myself in the past few months, it hit me how easy it is for us to lose that cause and effect thought process. We create a resume that makes us shine; we prepare the answers for the job interview that we think people want to hear. Our focus is only on landing the job.
But what happens when you get the job? If you have fudged your way through the hiring process, what’s the logical consequences of getting into a job that you can’t handle?
Being the mother to two teenagers of dating age, this struck me again. You meet someone you really like, and you want to put your best foot forward. You put your best qualities on display, and you try to hide the things about yourself that you think might send the object of your interest packing.
But how is this going to work out? You end up in a relationship built on lies? How much more painful will it be to break up after you have both invested so much time and energy?
It’s actually quite easy to fall into these traps, and not consider the long-term consequences of our actions. Perhaps we really aren’t that different than those students that concern us so much.
The good news is that there is a freedom that comes with being true to yourself. Walking into a job interview knowing that I have a lot to offer, and that if it’s a good fit with what they are looking for, things are going to work out is much less stressful than trying to be something that I’m not. Same goes for the dating game.
Helping our students, as well as ourselves, to look inside and be true to our beliefs is key in effective decision-making. It’s amazing how often the answers to difficult questions become obvious when we look inside ourselves instead of focusing on the immediate external prize.
For the child who is lying – instead of thinking about avoiding trouble, what do they believe about honesty and responsibility?
For the teen skipping classes – instead of focusing on getting out of a boring lecture, what do they believe about the importance of education and their future goals?
When you make decisions, are you looking to the outside world, or considering who you truly are inside?