A Powerful Life Lesson: Learn to Make the Bounce

At the end of my sophomore year in high school, three other students (Kara, Randi, and Wendy) and I were still in the running to be valedictorians of our senior class.
My least favorite class that semester was Botany, and you could tell because I was hovering right on the line between an A and B for my final grade.
Needless to say, I was beside myself when my final grade at the end of the semester was a B+. I cried elephant-sized tears for days while begging my parents to talk with my botany teacher, Mr. Zwerner, hoping they could convince him to give me an A.
"Starla, did you do the work to earn an A or a B+?" they asked.
I'm a terrible liar. I can't lie to save my life, so in between sniffles, I said, "B+," to which they replied, "You earned a B+, not an A. Why would you expect us to ask Mr. Zwerner to give you something you didn't earn?"
From there, a conversation ensued about:
  • Not everything in life will be easy. There will be times you work extremely hard, and you still don't succeed. And then there will be times when you don't work hard enough, and you let yourself down. In both instances, you will have to deal with the consequences and quickly bounce back.
  • You might as well learn now (the earlier in life, the better) how to persevere, be resilient, bounce back, and keep moving forward because the world doesn't owe you anything – you're entitled to nothing except what you work hard to get on your own. A sense of entitlement will most certainly ensure that you never reach your full potential.
This powerful life lesson created the foundation upon which one of my Core Values developed and strengthened over time. I place tremendous value on being resilient and persevering. Making the bounce and getting stronger is what life is all about.
There are times that I even look forward to the bounce because I know, on the other side of it, I will be bigger, better, stronger, and wiser, having worked through all the challenges that came with it.

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