My third worst day ever in my life was when I was a freshman in high school. I was often late for my first hour class in the fall of my freshman year. I went to a large high school on the south side of Chicago, in the suburb of Park Forest. My high School was Rich East. The teachers when I went to high school were tough as I can remember, they followed the rules by the book, they didn’t take any nonsense, you never argued with them. The kids today would have a difficult time following the rules we had to live by. I’m sure many of you remember dress codes, never arguing with your teacher, you never chewed gum in class! You would get sent to the principle if you got into any trouble, no second chances. We didn’t have all the things kids have in our schools today to get us into trouble.
Today’s kids have cell phones, twitter, text messaging, I-pods, etc. You have high school programs for gifted kids, athletes are starting to get looked at in their sophomore year by top college coaches. You can start taking college courses as a junior or senior, times are a changing for sure.
So, getting back to my most embarrassing day in high school. I was running down the hall when the first hour bell sounded that September morning. My first hour class door just closed when the bell stopped ringing and I was outside the class, looking in the window of the classroom. As I opened the door my teacher turned and looked at me and said “Mr. Brooks, you are late again, so what’s your excuse this time?” I looked at Mr. Frendt and my fellow classmates sitting at their desks, then said, that I had no excuse and was sorry for being late.
So began the lecture from Mr. Frendt in front of all my classmates why being late and how my tardiness caused the other students precious learning time, behind me I could hear the snickering of some of my friends. He said if it happened again, I would spend two weeks in detention after school. Well that thought caused even more fear then I realized. My dad being a army colonel expected our family to live by discipline including school rules, and the other fear was my freshman football coach Mike Hundley, if you missed or were late for any football practice, you would run laps around the football field for the amount of time you were late, plus 15 minutes. Friends, I will tell you, I hated any long distance running. I was built for speed not distance. After school detention lasted for 45 minutes, equal to one class period, I wasn’t about to be running with the cross country team dressed in football gear for over an hour.
Mike..MIKE..I heard my name being called, it was my dad saying “your going to be late for school”. I looked at the clock, and was shocked, my class started in 20 minutes, then my dad said take a shower before you go to school. I protested telling my dad if I was late I would be going to detention, he said not my problem! I rushed into the shower, was in and out in less then 3 minutes, and dressed quickly. I ran to school which was about 125 yards from the house, took a right turn down the hallway and just made it to my seat as the bell rang!
Mr. Frendt was just finishing up the home work assignment he had written on the chalk board, I was sitting in the front row, proud as could be for making it to class on time, then he looked at me and stared at me for sometime, making me feel very uncomfortable. I could hear some of my classmates whispering and laughing behind me. He walked closer and said Mr. Brooks, do we have some unfinished business to take care of? I was wondering what he was talking about! I said “what do you mean sir?” He suggested that I go to the boys locker room and wash the shampoo out of my hair. In my hast to make it to school on time, I failed to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. The class burst out into loud laughter for several seconds. My face became very hot from embarrassment and anger for being so stupid. He excused me as I went to rinse out my hair. I was the laughing stock that week at school.
So, what do you think I learned from that valuable lesson from Mr. Frendt? I was never late again for any class, high school or college. I show up to meetings on time, and usually way ahead of schedule. It was a hard lesson learned, but one I will never forget. If you learn from your mistakes and don’t blame others you are ahead of the game. So many will blame others for their own mistakes and not take responsibility for their actions. Do you take responsibility or pass the buck on to someone else? Here are some excuses people will use to get out of being responsible for their actions:
1. I don’t have time
2. I didn’t think it was my job
3. He didn’t tell me I had to do that
4. I do have other commitments you know!
5. I can’t read his mind
6. He should have told me
7. I can’t handle stress and she knew that
8. I speak my mind, and not everyone likes it, too bad for them
If your excuses keep you stuck in an excuse driven life, and you want to have a plan on how to deal with them, call me. I can help you through the process of taking back control of your life. Check out Mike’s blog and share some of your stories or help some of the people who need encouragement. The blog e-mail address is Blog: https://applicablecoaching.com/blog/
If you would like some help in dealing with stress issues in your life, you can contact Mike at 303.456.0555. If you need more information about the Professional Accountability Partner Program, call 303.456.0555 or go to contact Mike link to set up a free consultation appointment. My website is www.applicablecoaching.com
all calls are confidential and your privacy is protected.
Posted on July 15, 2009 by Dr. Mike Brooks
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