Gormley's "Ten things I wish I'd known earlier"

John Gormley spoke at the College of Law's Graduation banquet and wrote about his speech in his column this week. The column was titled "Ten things I wish I'd known earlier" and in it he shared the then things he shared with the graduates.

My Favorites:

1. Lady Macbeth was right: "What is done is done and can't be undone." Learn from your mistakes, personal and professional, and then move on. Regret and dwelling on what you cannot change will strip your soul;

Somehow this past semester I missed calling a parent whose child's mark had been steadily dropping since midterm reports. I try to call or email parents at least once before report cards if there is a concern (there was no concern before midterms with this particular student) and I ALWAYS call parents of students who are at jeopardy of failing my class about a month before final exams. This one particular call got missed and the student ended up failing their final. I felt awful. I had made a mistake. Would the phone call have made a difference? Maybe. . . maybe not. Regardless, this mistake ate me up for days. It didn't matter how many times I told myself that I didn't do it on purpose. Nor did reminding myself that I am human and humans make mistakes. Moving on and doing better is all I can do.

4. In a world of "to do" lists - always start the hardest stuff first. Do the one thing you really don't want to at the beginning of your day. You'll amaze yourself with the results;

I read this article on Friday and when I got to school I went directly to the photocopy room. I HATE photocopying. It was amazing how motivated I was when I got back to my class when I didn't have my most hated duty hanging over my head. In the spirit of Gormley I got up on Saturday morning and did all of my marking before 10 am. I often leave school work until Sunday night. This weekend I was able to enjoy my Sunday a little bit more, because I didn't have marking hanging over my head. 

8. Attitude is everything. How you plan, prepare, persevere and face your day will usually determine the kind of day you're going to have;

I still call myself "Super Mom" in my head and under my breath. It helps me to remember the reason I am doing the task - I love my kid and I love my husband. They are totally worth it and I like doing "Super Mom" things for them. How did I get supper ready last night when I had company coming and ball practice from 3:00 - 4:30? SUPER MOM!

9. You cannot make other people do things or be a certain way (even if you did get a legal injunction). All we can do in life is decide how we will respond to what others do;

I can't make people who think I should, "Get over Tripp" understand. I can't make people who are late, arrive on time. I can't make parents whose kids don't have manners, teach their kids manners. I can't make people driving slow in the left lane on circle drive put a bit more weight on the peddle. I can't make people follow through with what they are say they are going to do. I can't stop people from throwing cigarette butts out of their windows. 

The last week when dealing with a couple of different situations I have found myself constantly repeating, "You can't control other people, you can't control other people."  Whether I like it or not, I only have control of me. 

If you read this in the morning and do the hardest task first today, let me know. I am interested in other peoples results! I will be entering grades bright and early. Not nearly as much fun as making up an exam. Seriously. Making up an exam is fun :-) Happy Monday.


  1. Jordan,

    I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog as soon as I got to work this morning. I took your advice and did the hardest task first. Payroll - I hate payroll...it is a Friday job but I usually procrastinate till the last minute (has to be in by 10am Monday). Rather then waiting till 9:48 to get started I did it at 7:48 and have felt much better this morning. And not as guilty heading down for coffee at 9am.

    Thanks for the tip - I plan to stick to this.


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  3. Thanks for sharing, Kim! I am loving that piece of advice as well. I am really going to try to use it at home! I hate folding laundry - but I have to do it, so I might as well get it the heck out the way!


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