Top 20 Blog: Life Looks Different Above And Below The Line
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:20 PM

(Note: This is an occasional series of Top 20-related articles written by Principal Rathke)

Becoming a Top 20 School
Convertiéndonos en una Escuela Top 20

Everyone has potential. Some people's potential remains dormant and undeveloped. Most people's potential develops at a commonly expected rate, achieving reasonable goals. But some, their potential explodes. These people are what we call Top 20.

Top 20 is not a comparison between students, between teachers, or between parents. We are all Top 20 and Bottom 20. When we are at our most effective, we are Top 20; when we are less effective or ineffective, we are Bottom 20.

Living Top 20 means to be the best version of yourself, to live up to your potential by eliminating roadblocks, and to make a positive difference in your own life and in the lives of others. Is Living Top 20 worth the effort? Complaining, blaming and waiting for other people to change are dysfunctional habits that lead nowhere. It's going to take a little awareness, commitment and effort to hang out in the Top 20 stratosphere, but it'll be worth the investment!

LIFE LOOKS DIFFERENT
When people are thinking Top 20 or Bottom 80, they will see everything differently: their family, friends, classmates, co-workers and other activities. When children are operating as a Top 20 or Bottom 80, they will see their siblings and parents differently.

If you are not aware of this concept or if you forget the impact that thinking has on your experience, it will look like it's the event that is the sole source of whatever you are feeling or experiencing. Remember the outside event is only a small part of your experience but the much bigger source is your inside reality.

Let's prove it. Think of a family member. Imagine that your thinking is working in your best interest, you are in your Top 20 mode. Describe that person mentally (generous, clever). Now think of that same person again, but through your Bottom 80 lens. I'll wager that you see this person differently (selfish, manipulative).

When you realize whether you are operating as a Bottom 80 OR Top 20, you are accepting responsibility to maintain the power you have to lead, direct and create your own life. Awareness cures. With awareness you can make things better; without it you can't. It is easier to change your attitude than it is to change your outside life (parents, teachers, bosses), but if you change your state of mind you will change the experience you have in life. So you can invest your time, efforts and energy into changing the weather, changing your in-laws...or you can realize that much of your reality is being formed in the six-inch space between your ears! Change your thinking, change your life.