93 vs 7

My son is currently going through his 12th board exams. As a Waldorf child, this is literally his first exam of his life (thanks to COVID, 10th grade didn't happen).

I am proud that he is taking it really well despite everything else he has been grappling with for the past year.

I guess he took the physics paper 4 days ago. I asked him curiously, "How was it?" He came and sat next to me, and his heart was pounding faster. I could hear it from outside. He said that it was a tough paper and he is still recovering from it. Despite being tough, he did well. He was so authentic when he said, "I might lose 2 marks here and 5 marks there, but overall I did really well given how tough the paper was." My first instinct was to ask why he did not catch the 7 during the revision. I held myself back and stopped being me. I gave him a hug and told him that I am really proud of him for coming this far and handling the toughness.

But that 7 was lingering in my head. As a competitive spirit, I couldn’t digest it. It showed up in my morning pages for two consecutive days.

It is funny that we disregard the 93 and catch the 7 and dwell on it for days together. I do this in the office as well. We would have done some incredible work, and there might be 2 things that I want to push so that we are 💯.

In this chakkar, I forget the incredible work we have done and focus on those two things that are bugging me. I forget the highlights and dwell on lowlights in the name of priority and correcting for the future. That is a recipe to kill the morale of the team, your partners and your executives as well.

It is not what happens. It is how we handle what happens.

Where we put our priorities and energy determines what we highlight.

I learned this lesson as a mother and as a leader this week: appreciate the highlights first and work on lowlights slowly and steadily.

Focus on the 93 and celebrate it. We will fix the 7 slowly in the days to come.

It took me a week to resolve this inside me. If it helps anyone out there who beats themselves up with lowlights, this post is for us.

If we don’t appreciate the bright spots, no one else can even see them, including ourselves.

Start there. Focus on what is working. Appreciate it. Slowly, we will fix the rest.

What will happen if he loses 7 marks? Probably his marksheet will be dinged a little. But if I encourage him with love and support, in the larger scheme of things, these 7 marks are equal to dust particles. Our hearts are more important than some paper telling us who we are isn’t it?

Subscribe to Karthi's Blog

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.