I still believe that every student can be a winner. A winner is someone who shows up every day and works hard, caring about achieving results, even if they don’t often succeed. You can get Cs and still be a winner.
But too many of you are comfortable being a loser. Being a loser has nothing to do with talent or even results: it has to do with maturity as evinced by discipline and effort.
Some of you may think it’s rude to label someone as a loser, but I know that honesty can be a higher virtue than immediate kindness. It’s a sign of a greater caring, a devotion to guiding you to success, even when you don’t care enough to improve.
This truth leads to even more important truths: being a loser is a bad thing. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does make you a bad student, and being a bad student isn’t good. If you have chosen to be a loser, you should feel bad about that. You should want to change it and be a winner.
I don’t know why so many of you are losers, or why you’ve become comfortable being losers. Is it fear of failure if you try harder? Safety in a community of losers? Laziness, as you see no immediate reward for the hard work of winning?
Honestly, I don’t blame you. Our society gives you no incentive to sacrifice fun for the work of school, or real life itself, for that matter.
But I know there are better things out there than fun, and habits of hard work are necessary to get to them. There are better things in you than what you get from fun, and you only find them through quiet, sustained effort.
I can’t change you. All I can do is call out rampant, conscious failure when I see it. Then I can show you how to be a winner. But you have to choose to do the work, to become the person who wins.