Students are always being told to do their best and that there is intrinsic value to putting in a hard day of work, regardless of whether they achieve what they set out to do. Students are also expected to achieve results from their work. After all, there seems to be little value in working so hard if goals aren’t met in the end. All students must balance these conflicting expectations throughout their lives and figure out their own way to define the value of their efforts.
Enemies have a way of bringing out the worst in us. They make us act and think in mean ways. When we mimic the behaviors of our enemies we get revenge on them and feel a fleeting sense of accomplishment. But, in the process, we feel badly because we stoop to their level. Maybe resisting anger is a better way to respond. That way, we maintain self-control and draw attention to our enemy’s negative behavior and are able to preserve our own integrity.
So many of our students feel pressure to be the perfect athlete, student or friend. This feeling is accompanied by a pervasive fear of failure and the possibility that they might let others down. When they fall short of perfection, students have important decisions to make about whether to keep pursuing it or be okay with something less. The decisions they make shape their sense of self-worth and draw the contours of their future relationships.
Fear is an emotion we can all identify with. Fear causes stress and discomfort, and makes us do things we would not otherwise do. People react to fear in different ways. Some remain calm; others lose control of their mind which causes even more distress. Dealing with fear in productive ways is an important life skill that helps us manage stress.