22 Feb “Are You Sure You Want To Put That Story In Your Book?”
Have you ever taken a college readiness assessment exam? In 1997, when I was a junior in high school, I took the American College Test (ACT). I don’t actually remember physically taking the test. I do remember, however, receiving my composite score of 19 out of 36 in the mail. I was embarrassed, plain and simple. In fact, until today, no one outside of my parents, high school guidance counselor, and my friend who had asked, “Are you sure you want to put that story in your book?” knew my score. This is the first time that I’ve talked about it.
When I arrived at school the next day, everyone was talking about their ACT results. Eventually, someone asked me, “Hey, Derek, what was your score?” I dishonestly and sheepishly said, “I didn’t get mine yet.” Unfortunately, I could only say that for so long. A few days later, that same person, who’d been boasting about his score for days, asked me again, “Hey, did you get your score yet?” My off-the-cuff response was, “I got a 25.” Yes, I had felt the need to lie to him again. I mean, everyone else was talking about their scores of upper 20s and lower 30s.
A couple of months later, I retook the test. Soon afterward, while I was watching a Saved by the Bell episode on a Saturday morning, the second round of results arrived. My composite score was 20 out of 36. WHAT?? I was devastated. This time, I actually read the entire report.
I Flunked . . . Badly
My Mathematics, Science Reasoning, and English scores were all average or above average; however, my Reading score was 11, which was in the bottom 10 percent. Basically, I flunked reading . . . big time. Below the scoring, the report went on to say, “If you feel your scores are low, don’t be discouraged.” Yeah right. I felt entirely hopeless.
My high school guidance counselor, Mr. Greg Schmill, knew my pain. Thankfully, he flipped over the results page. On the other side, it read, “Remember that test scores do not guarantee success or failure in college. Other factors count, too.” After Mr. Schmill showed me that, I had to ask, “What other factors count?” He told me to think about my positive attitude toward basketball. “Nobody has a better attitude than you. What if you applied that same positive attitude toward college?”
Mr. Schmill was right. Before taking the second ACT test, I had changed nothing, and what was basically my non-effort, clearly showed. To go from where I was to where I wanted to be, I’d have to adopt a positive mindset.
Your Most Basic Need
In order to live, your body’s most basic need is water. Similarly, if you want to grow, the most basic prerequisite is a positive attitude. Your attitude is easy enough to change, and big enough to matter. According to Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment, while the other 40 percent is up to us.
Without a positive attitude, you’re on the track without a vehicle. When you become positive, you create momentum toward your vision or preferred future. You can’t truly Move to Grow or make any forward progress in life without accepting full responsibility for your attitude.
REFLECTION: To go from where you are now to where you want to be in the future, where in your daily life, do you need to adopt a more positive mindset?
ACTION: If you want to learn how to adopt a more positive growth-oriented mindset, Click Here to pre-order my book, SHIFT: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled. In chapter five, you’ll work through 17 mental activities that will quickly SHIFT your mindset from negativity to positivity.
BONUS: If you order SHIFT between now and March 15, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win over $5,000 worth of the following gifts:
- 1 of 10 seats to my inaugural SHIFTING Gears Team 10-week group coaching experience
- 1 of 20 audiobooks
- 1 of 10 signed books
To be eligible, please email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each book that you purchase counts as a separate raffle entry.
SUPER BONUS: I’ll be speaking live at my book launch party on March 15th at Wisconsin Lutheran College. During the event, I’ll be giving out another 10 seats to my inaugural SHIFTING Gears Team 10-Week group coaching experience (Value = $5,000). Click Here for details.
Sign up yourself or a friend for more of Derek’s insights!
Check my availability to speak or facilitate at your next event.