Find your brilliance: Undoing the conditioning of grades

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Finding not just what you’re good at, but what you’re brilliant at, takes work.

Brilliant comes from a Latin word for a gem stone and means literally to shine.

Our job as adults is to find the work that we shine at. It’s our responsibility to help students find the work that makes them shine. I know Life Coaching for teenagers is a tool that high school students and their parents can use to help young people find their passion and talent.

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One problem that students face is the conditioning of grades. Every week, students get graded on their work and the academic system is designed to focus people on what they aren’t good at. If you came home with an A in English and an F in Math, the obvious response would be to spend more time studying Math and getting a passing grade. You have to pass to get through school.

Once you graduate, the game changes. Instead of focusing on what you’re not naturally good at, the game instead becomes finding your innate talent and focusing your effort and energy on getting really good and becoming an expert at what you do.

High School Academia rewards well-roundedness. The 4.0 student is rewarded and celebrated.

The rest of society rewards expertise. The focused expert is understood and celebrated.

Those who can navigate both sets of rules are the people who are most effective and find fulfillment in their work. The challenge is to understand both sets of rules and to undo the conditioning of grades.

As an adult, we have a responsibility to find our brilliance and model it for our children and the children we work with. If there’s something you know you’re not good at, model resourcefulness and find someone who is.

For all of their complaining and seemingly nonchalance, teenagers pay a keen attention to how their parents spend their time and energy.

What’s your brilliance?

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