About a month ago, Keri took the kids for their annual eye exam. Eliana has worn glasses for years, and she needed to know if her prescription needed updated. Kya’s eyes were suspect as we had gotten her a +1.00 pair of cheap reading glasses from Walmart to see if they’d work. It was likely time she needed a prescription pair. Everett had never complained of not being able to see the chalk board at school, but we were curious what the doctor had to say.
Fortunately, Eliana’s prescription hadn’t changed, so we didn’t need to buy her new glasses. (Yeah! Money saver! Says the financial advisor in me.) Kya, sure enough, needed a prescription pair. And while she was trying on options, the doctor was examining Everett. Keri was with Kya as she tried different pairs on. All of the sudden, the doctor came out of the office and motioned for Keri to come in to where he was examining Everett. The smile on the doctor’s face revealed nothing was wrong, but she was certainly curious what the excitement was about.
Walking into the exam room, the doctor said, “Hey Everett, read this line.” Everett, with his face up against the eye exam contraption, read it with ease. The doctor, lowering his finger the the next line repeating his instruction, “Now this line.” And Everett read it with no issue. The doctor looked at Keri and said that line was the 20/20 line that was just read. Lowering his finger once more, the doctor said, “Now Keri, watch this. Everett, read this line.” And Everett rattled off the letters with no issue at all. Looking back at Keri, the doctor revealed, “That was the 20/10 line! I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, and there’s only been 1 other kid that has been able to read that one! Everett makes the second!” Pulling the eye exam contraption away from Everett’s face, the Doctor poked his finger through the eye holes revealing there was no glass in there that was aiding his reading. Needless to say, the doctor was amazed…and hence, we were too.
I came home from work that day to hear the story that happened. My mind immediately asked…Scholarship? Certainly, there’s some sort of college scholarship for students with good eyesight! After the family laughed a bit, I couldn’t help but think about the events of that day. My son could not only read the perfect vision 20/20 line, but his eyesight was better than perfect at the 20/10 line.
Did you know that about 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction? Whether it be eyeglasses or contacts, 3 out of every 4 of us need help seeing things. It turns out that typically around age 10 (Everett’s age), your vision peaks. So, at some point down the road, even Everett may need vision correction.
Do you sometimes catch on to an idea or belief, and fight for the ‘perfect’ viewpoint you’ve crafted? Our tendency then, once we’ve perfected our view, is to anchor to the belief…even if it’s wrong. What we believe should be seen as 20/10 vision by others, can be categorically incorrect. Try as your friends or family may to talk you out of your situation, your tunnel vision focuses on the topic in an unfaltering way. Outside counsel is of no use to those who hold too tightly to a belief, and that soon leads to downright misplaced conviction.
Politics. Religion. How to raise kids. Vaccines. Trump. Cancel Culture. All are polarizing topics…and we’re convinced our position is right. We become anchored and unwilling to engage in healthy conversation and debate.
On top of that, if/when you do find out you were wrong, it’s human nature to blame others or some outside force. “This isn’t my problem, he caused it!” “If it weren’t for them, this would’ve never happened!” On and on the blame spiral continues. In its worst form, this leads to no one wanting to be around you for fear they’ll be the source of your blame and negativity.
While we’re tossing fractions around, there’s a set of numbers I use to teach my kids and my Team Members at work when dealing with life and situations. It’s called “100/0”.
Its definition is simple: Take 100% responsibility and make 0 excuses.
In life, the easy way out is to blame someone else, or the weather, or how you were raised, or the government, or ______________. In the end, no one cares. The situation simply needs resolved. Exercising 100/0 allows you to move past the mistake by taking responsibility and making no excuses. There’s absolutely no reason to live backwards by blaming others. Rather, take a forward-looking view by accepting responsibility and moving on.
I’m sure someday Everett will need some sort of vision correction. But he’ll also have instilled in him the idea of 100/0. I’m hopeful he’ll take 100% responsibility and make 0 excuses. And in so doing, he’ll get out of tunnel vision and see the beauty of the periphery.
We each are created on purpose, for a purpose. Each uniquely crafted to fulfill humanity’s mission. To thrive and survive. We may have different viewpoints along the way, that’s ok. Let’s learn to appreciate each other’s differences. And love one another simply because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s a beautiful world out there. Our mindset matters. Today, I choose to view it through the eyes of Everett…
20/10…better than perfect!