By the numbers
August 14, 2019
I have a confession to make. I don’t want a big belly. My father and I are the same size. He is an ordained deacon, but he has stolen my clothes several times. Suits, shorts, shirts, shoes, you name it. A few weeks ago, after he had mowed the lawn in the hot sun and after I had eaten breakfast and lunch, we weighed ourselves. He had not eaten, and he was sweating from his hard work in the yard. I weighed 196 and he weighed 194. He was so excited. I didn’t think it was funny. I also didn’t think it was fair because he had not eaten a meal that day and I had eaten two.
Have you ever met a person that says they have lost weight, but they don’t weigh themselves? How do you know you are losing weight if you don’t weigh yourself? How can your business or organization know it is doing a good job if there is no quantitative measurement? Sports are the greatest at measuring success because it deals with statistics. Although wins and loses are not the true measure of a successful program it is an important indicator. After a game everyone knows who won and who lost.
In education we measure success on how many students pass courses on grade level. The government has come up with several different ways to measure our schools and our students. Some of these measurements are not fair, but this article is not focusing on those inequalities. We want to focus on improving our individual lives and come up with a way to measure our progress.
Quantitative measurements deal with a concrete number while qualitative measurements are ways of gaining a deeper understanding of a topic. Both are complex methods of research however, qualitative measures typically deal with textual data or words while quantitative measures analyze numerical data or statistics.
G.O.A.T. is an acronym for Greatest Of All Time.
Why do I believe Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T.- look at the numbers. Why do I believe Seinfeld is the greatest show of all time- look at the numbers. Why do I believe Michael Jackson is the G.O.A.T.- look at the numbers. Numbers never lie, but they can deceive.
I used to say my priorities are my faith, family then football in that order. However, the numbers say my priorities were football, family then my faith. Most of my time was spent on football which happened to be my job, but I told myself that my faith and family were bigger priorities. If you want to know what your true priorities are monitor where you spend your time and money. Your bank statement will tell you a lot about your priorities.
Are you saving money? Find a way to measure. Are you spending quality time with your family? Find a way to measure. Are you monitoring your health? Find a way to measure. Are you making a difference in the community? Find a way to measure. What about home improvements? Visiting loved ones in a nursing home or hospital? Writing letters or visiting relatives who are incarcerated? Are you drinking too much? Smoking too much? Swearing too much? Missing church too much? Not smiling enough? Not exercising enough? Not reading enough? Measure! Measure! Measure!
If measurements weren’t important, recipe books wouldn’t exist. Companies rise and fall from data review. Some people don’t like reviewing the numbers because they find it boring. The numbers should give us a bolt of energy not bore us. Dr. Christopher Blair is Superintendent of schools in Bullock County Alabama, he said data doesn’t put him to sleep it wakes him up.
I encourage you to set goals, measure your progress, and improve in one area of your life. What gets measured gets done.
Willie Spears is a teacher, coach, author, minister and motivational speaker. He has been awarded teacher and coach of the year. He speaks to thousands each year through his business The Willie Spears Experience. Willie may be reached at www.williespears.com