YPM blog

My Kindergarten Report Card

When you were born you were made just the way you are. You had no control of being born blonde, brunette or red haired. Just as we do not control what natural abilities are placed in us. Don’t you know it when you witness natural talent.

Have you ever watched a sporting event of young children or adults for that matter and you can see right away some who have the natural talent to move the ball down a soccer field or hit the tennis ball over the net with such ease in beautiful form? This is simply the way that child or individual was designed. They did not create the ease in which they could perform the sport. They did not put their body together to move with such ease. They simply are executing the task using the natural gift.

The same is applied with intellectual gifts or creative gifts. Some of us have a mind for math and some of us struggle with numbers. Some of us can draw, paint or write with tremendous fluidity and some of us are in awe of those who can do so.


What I find so confounding is that even though we clearly are given these talents that come so naturally it’s because they come so naturally we tend to deny the fact that they are talents at all. Have you heard anyone (even yourself) say “oh that’s nothing it was easy.” Why is it that we adopt this thinking that doing anything of meaning or significance has to be difficult instead of seemingly effortless?


Why is it when someone lifts up our natural talent to give us the gift of encouragement that we too often respond in denial than acceptance? Do we believe this is humility?

Sometimes our rejection over and over of encouraging words can create a belief within that the talent simply does not exist and that we must continue to search for something that is hard to do so that we can someday get pretty good at that and then chalk that up to accomplishment or success. You see, that accomplishment then may make us pause and say I’m pretty good and even successful at this so why does my heart not feel filled by it? Crazy huh?


We are each uniquely made with our own set of gifts. The word unique means only one of its kind; unparalleled; remarkable, worthy of notice, extraordinary, uncommon. Nowhere in the definition does it say perfect or the best – better than all others.

Sometimes we can deny our natural gifts or creativity because we might not see the product of our own creativity or talent as enough. Maybe that is because we compare our creativity with another’s creativity or maybe because we have a vision within that we did not satisfactorily execute. You see, we are each uniquely made to contribute our gifts and talents to this world. We are all remarkable. That is right. We are all unparalleled as there is no other just like you or me.


This example comes alive for me in the rediscovery of my Kindergarten Report Card a few years ago. The comments written on my report card by my teacher were recorded with humor yet with an astute observation of my gift set which could have clearly been overlooked due to my behavior.


Only over the past 5 years did I really engage in a journey of intentional personal growth which involved a lot of natural gift discovery and evaluation. As I grow along this intentional journey path, I feel the desire to share with others lessons I have learned in my career and life to help them in their careers and life. I was realizing that this sharing, seeking, writing, presenting, teaching was really filling my heart.

I began to realize that what I was sharing was helping others discover their gifts and talents. People said to me “you are an excellent teacher.” I denied it because I felt that the delivery of my sharing was not perfect. When I re-discovered my kindergarten report card and the insightful comments from my clearly gifted Kindergarten teacher I felt so affirmed.

She stated in my report card, “Robin arrived the first day of kindergarten and said I am here to teach!” Then her comments continued, “so we thought we would give it a try and it worked…as long as we channel her bossiness into leadership.” As I rediscovered this card many decades later, I thought that this commentary was not to be taken lightly given the rest of my life journey. It still gives me great joy to share, seek, grow and teach.

It was the timing of the re-discover of this report card that was so significant to me. The message is an affirmation that I was born to be who I am. My gifts at age 5 remain gifts. My confidence in kindergarten apparently was something that perhaps I can learn from today. Apparently I thought my insights were worthwhile even at the age of 5 years old. I think God has a great sense of humor.


Now certainly, I am not endorsing that all kindergarten teachers are equal or right for that matter but this teacher wrote insightful comments about me and about each of my siblings that remain true about us all to this day. THIS teacher had the gift of recognizing and encouraging the natural gifts of very small children. Teachers like this are an important and special gift to our society.


We may not actually get to choose the gifts that are inside us but we can choose to recognize or deny them. We decide whether we use them solely for our own self gain or if we use them to lift others. We get to choose to share them or not. Our path in life can be filled with to-dos and projects that create a better life for ourselves or we can choose a path that leads to sharing our gifts with others, adding value to others lives and therefore adding to their hearts. It is by choosing this path that fulfillment has the opportunity to grow within us. This is what I believe leads to living an ALL IN life.


It is my hope that as you read on you will begin to discover your very own definition to living an ALL IN life. Just as you have your very own set of unique gifts that cannot be compared to mine or others, you have your own set of choices to be made as you go through your very special life.

Your journey in life is meant to be shared with others not to be taken solo. There is a unique significant path that you are meant to take. That path is not meant to be perfect or flawless. The path you take is anything but flawless. It is in the flaws we find opportunities for growth and greatness. Thank goodness. I’m grateful that all my imperfections lead me to a better place. What a relief.


Do you ever wonder what does my life mean anyway? Is there more? I continue to seek more answers to these questions. I yearn to understand more and more what life is all about. Living an all in life comes from a place of contribution not a place of comparison or society’s answer to the definition of success.


We were each born with our own unique set of gifts or talents. As children, we naturally display our gifts for all to see…before others tell us we “can not” or that we “are not.” We step out in joy and confidence because we do not have any idea that judgment exits – yet. This vision to see the heart of a child requires more of us than quick judgment of an action or reaction. Would you agree? Do you remember ever being judged knowing in your heart you were misunderstood?


When you witness the growth of a child you observe that they have strengths and natural abilities. These strengths, natural abilities, gifts have nothing to do with what the child has created but what was created within that child. You once were that child. You are still that child. You may be grown up. You may be growing up. You may be in your later years. No matter what stage of life you are in the gifts you were given when you were born remain in you. It is never too late to tap into those gifts to make important contributions in this world – contributions to make a difference for others.


It is up to you what you chose to do with those gifts. You can deny they exist. You can embrace them. You can hone them. You can share them so that they multiply through others. The choices you make every day make a difference. It’s not just the big decisions that matter. Each choice you make can impact your life and others’ lives.


Scientific research reveals that the natural chemical serotonin is excreted in our brain when we commit an act of kindness. This is the chemical that brings on a lifted or “feel good” response in our being. Amazingly, not only does serotonin get released in the person who initiates the act of kindness but also is experienced by the person who is the receiver of the act. The final wave of this experience is that serotonin levels also increase in the individuals who are witnessing the act. Just imagine how much impact you can have by committing consistent even if random acts of kindness. (be sure to footnote – kevin hall, aspire or his source)


Your gifts are different than my gifts. Your choices are unique to you. Only you can decide if those gifts remain untapped, hoarded even or if they are cultivated, revealed, shared and multiplied. What good is a skill or acquired knowledge if it is not shared? You see when you begin to generously share your gifts with others you begin to experience what it feels like to live an All In life. Sharing reveals a belief in yourself. It reveals also a focus beyond yourself. It reveals an outward interest to contribute something that makes a difference. The contribution you have to make is something that you already possess like kindness, teaching skills, a warm heart, creativity, financial acumen and so on.


Sharing can create a movement. Just imagine, your choosing to live an ALL IN life of intention can begin a movement from where you are right this very moment. The words “All In” come from an ancient Aztec word Ollin. Ollin means intense and immediate movement with all your heart.


From the beginning of time through this day and always each child is born with their very special gifts inside of them ready to be nurtured and encouraged. They do not know about judgment, control or fear until we teach them. Yet, they do have an innate understanding of joy, love and comfort.


This child is you.


What gift might have been recorded on your kindergarten report card by an astute teacher who saw your heart not just your behavior?


How can you use this gift today?


How can you share this gift (a generous heart, a loving spirit, musical talent, mentorship, a teacher, gardening, leadership, creativity, financial manager, math wizard) to make a difference for others?