The High School Albatross That Successful Executives Must Shed


Navigating Beyond High School

There is a fable of a highly successful executive returning to address the graduating class on the 20th anniversary of their own graduation. This person had had a fabulously successful 20 years and was asked to speak to the graduating class about what it takes to truly succeed in life after high school. So here is what they did.

The students were asked to simply watch while the speaker engaged with the parents and other guest adults. That, as you might imagine, put a bit of tension in the room. The adults were invited to recall when they were back in high school and the tension grew a bit more. The speaker then explained that they were going to ask about just three thoughts that the adults may have had during their own time at high school. If they, at anytime, back then, had a similar thought  they were asked to please raise their hand. Some shuffling and nervous laughter and a few moments later the Speaker began again.

Unveiling the High School Albatross

Raise your hand if, back when you were in high school, you had the thought ‘I’m not good enough’? A murmur  rolled through the audience and then, slowly,  one hand after another was raised until almost all adults made a show of hands. “thanks for your honesty”, offered the Speaker.

Statement number two, raise your hand if you had a thought something like, ‘everyone else is smarter or better looking or more popular’. This time the hands went up more quickly and the group started to giggle a bit.

Statement number three, please raise your hand if you thought, ‘I’m the only one who feels this way’. The room erupted in laughter as nearly every hand was raised. The students realised that their own thoughts were  normal stuff. The adults realized that, for many, they were still carrying these three debilitating thoughts, even now, well into adulthood.

The most successful adults no longer carried the albatross. The graduating class more easily shed the high school albatross and were now aware of one vital thing that it takes to truly succeed in life after high school.

Joseph Seiler MCC 2011-2020

Ready to shed that albatross? Connect here.

(from a recording by Natural Hypnosis)