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What I Learnt From My Most Outstanding Learner

18 Aug 2017 at 09:08hrs | Views
While doing an analysis of my class' performance, I realized that the most outstanding learner in my class had an average mark of 77% in her subjects for the tests they had written. I got concerned as this was below her usual standard of 90% and above. I asked her the reason for the decline in her marks. She smiled and innocently replied, "Aaah sir, my marks are better than everyone's. I am still the highest!" I got furious and wanted to discipline her for justifying her mediocre performance. But before i could do that, a thought struck my mind.

'I am at times guilty of the same mentality', I thought to myself. This outstanding learner didn't perceive that there is no way her performance would be justified just because she was still 'the best.' I didn't want her to compete with her classmates, i wanted her to be one of the best in her grade (all classes combined). She was very capable of that, but she was quite comfortable in her mediocrity because those around her were lower than her, yet by her standards, this was a very worrying mark. At times we get comfortable with our mediocre performance and below standard achievements and console ourselves with the fact that we are still doing better than some who are even worse.

When i was at primary school my granny was concerned about one thing when the school closed. "What position did you get?" she asked. It didn't matter what my performance was, as long as i was position one in my class, she would be excited. Well, gone are those days. We now understand that being position 17 in a class with average marks of 90% is better than being position one in a mediocre class with an average mark of 40%.

Being worst among the best is better than being the best among the worst, although being best of the best would sound even much better! Raise the standard, don't reduce yourself to the average performance of those around you. When Michael Jordan( the greatest basketball player of all time) was asked about the secret of his success, he replied, "I hold myself to some ridiculously high personal standards. I demand more from myself than anyone can possibly expect. I don't lower my performance because i am better than those around me. I strive to raise the bar every single day. I have a personal standard i demand from myself despite how other people are performing."

At times we justify our mediocre performance because we are comforted by the fact that those around us are worse. We are happy that we are late for work once a week because the majority of our colleagues are late everyday. This is vanity of vanities says Gwizi The Motivator. We are happy with our 77% because we are still 'the best'. Rabson Shumba says, "It is easy to mistake mediocrity for excellence if excellence remains absent in the sphere of your exposure." Step out of your mediocrity. Run with giants, swim with sharks, outrun the cheetahs and outclass the best. Raise the bar. You are not a 77% standard student, you are more than that. Don't let the average achievements and mediocre achievements those around you reduce your standards.

Raise your performance to masterclass!

(Gwizi is an inspirational speaker and author. He has written over a hundred articles for various newspapers and magazines and spoken on a number of radio stations.) To get a free copy of Gwizi's inspirational book, send your request to

Source - Mthokozisi Gwizi
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