Failure makes us succeed.
Coming up short should force us to work even longer.
If you talk to someone and they tell you they have never failed, then you can deduce that they have never really tried.
The drive of a person is infectious to those around them, so start yourself up and don’t let yourself stop.
Successes that are not improved upon can be our real failures.
Do you want to be stagnant or make yourself into something that only you believe can happen?
Be your own guide, do what you want to do and go where only you can take yourself.
Build Your Dream,
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Have you ever heard someone say “Wow, they are really lucky to have that position/pass that test/be Lebron James? “
Every time I hear this I chuckle a little bit. Obviously, we all have the talents and strengths that we were born with, but only WE choose how these talents are optimized.
A marketing agent has used their artist ability, combined with their drive and acquired business sense to present the best necessity for their product. Lebron James works and studies more about his game and the overall game of basketball as anyone in the league, turning him into a more efficient and lethal scorer these past two years. Don’t believe me, just take a look here.
Instead of getting lucky, those who are in the right positions are there because they have planned to be. When a new venture presents itself to the planner, they take it. The planner may not know everything about the position they have
“lucked” in to. The planner DOES know that there skill set and ability to adapt their skills will, with the right amount of continued preparation. allow for new successes.
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
We prepare ourselves to be in the position for opportunities to occur; placing us in the best possible spectrum to secure and triumph when these opportunities arise.
I was speaking with a friend the other day who has earned an amazing opportunity to work on blockbuster new movie. She didn’t get lucky. She wasn’t given the job, she prepared her career for this opportunity took it. Through hard work building up to this opportunity, the job was hers before she even accepted it. Making her own path in life through desire, willingness to adapt, and the innate ability to continually fail and get up a better person earned her this spot. (http://productiondreams.com/ Check her out. It’s full of amazing reads)
We can all do this. I’m a teacher and will not be working on a gigantic movie in my future. My blockbuster will be making it to high school, then a university, and every step in between.
What’s your blockbuster?
There is not one path that will “luck” us in to our dreams. If there was, would it even be worth it? If we knew exactly what was going to happen to us in the future, would there be any reason to keep striving for something better? Life would be boring.
The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.
Continue to prepare yourself for your blockbuster. Don’t sit and wait for something “lucky” to happen. Rather, find your passion and dive in head first. Meet people and don’t be shy with where you want to go. ‘Luck’ (opportunity) will have a hard time presenting itself if those in the positions to facilitate don’t know your path. Talk to everyone…it is impossible to know to many people, have too many opportunities, or learn too much from others.
Go out today and make your own luck, don’t wait for it to pass you by.
What is happiness?
Personal wealth… Owning things that others want….Loads of friends….A nice house….A job that makes others envious…
Now, hear me out on this one, but I’m going to say none of these things can define happiness, only ourselves as individuals can. Happiness is an inner feeling, not something we can buy, touch, or see. Yes, when someone is happy we can see it on their face and it can be contagious…or it can be a burden to others around them.
Who has ever been speaking with someone and all that person can focus on is what someone else is doing and making a negative connotation to how, why, or where they are doing it? I bet we all have and if we really think about it, it happens more than we would like to realize. Situations like this are the exact reasoning behind the statement we choose our happiness.
Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. -Author Unknown-
I am as guilty as anyone in saying that there are times when I allow something to steal my inner smile. Happiness is not perfect and our feelings, now matter how well intended, shift from time to time. To me, true happiness starts with having the mental ability to get ourselves “back to neutral”. We’ve all been there..Something happens and our attitude shifts, then it somehow gets worse and we allow ourselves to spiral downhill. The next thing we know someone asks what we want for lunch and we snap back at them for being nice enough to ask…What a jerk for asking what I want for lunch, right?!!
Happiness is not just a smile on someones face. If it was, we would be at our happiest when we are hiding our disdain for the actions of others (c’mon, I know I’m not the only person who forces a smile when I don’t agree with someone, but am so thrown back I have nothing to say). Happiness is a feeling we allow or prevent ourselves from having.
There are a lot of ideas running around in my head that will take shape over the next couple of months. I found myself driving home on the highway last night and caught myself smiling. I didn’t know why, but I knew that my heart was solid at that particular point. Thinking as to what brought this on, I realized that I was content with the exact place I was at. I was allowing myself to be in the moment and not worry about the things I couldn’t control immediately (the past, the future, money, jobs, tests). All that mattered was where my mind was at that exact moment.
Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.
- Dale Carnegie
Pushing the worries of our everyday life away from us is not going to help us be happy. Instead, being able to handle these with a steady mind allows us to think logically and plan for what is going to happen by using what has already happened. No Worries is a staple in my everyday speech, but I realize that this doesn’t mean push everything aside. If we do that, things will ball up and then explode when someone asks us for our lunch order (Again, what kind of scum asks us what we want for lunch?!!). Rather, we can take each part of our day for what it is.
Are you still breathing? OK then, at least we have that going for us. Now, let’s find our neutral and move forward. Breathe…
Happiness is a choice in our daily lives not a feeling that happens when things are going perfectly. If we wait for the perfect situation, we will be running after happiness our entire lives.
Enjoy today for what it is…The best thing we got going for us at this very moment.
“Being Happy” by Unknown can be found here
Dale Carnegie can be found here
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it – Michael Jordan -
What drives us to want to get better?
The intrinsic feeling of needing to improve is in us all, but tapping that drive can sometimes be tricky for all of us. It’s easier to skip things, ignore the details, or just not try…but that only puts us right back where we started…talking about doing, instead of doing.
My students have a way of keeping me frustrated and proud within the same 5 minute span. We are less than two weeks away from our state standardized testing. Now, I don’t have to explain the “importance” of these tests to anyone with a pulse. As for now, my pay is not related to these tests, but I want it to be. Not because I have a secret formula for getting my kids to do well or a magical way to cheat and make sure they succeed…Because I know my kids are improving and furthermore they believe in me as much as I do them. Small failures will happen, but the overall success will be there because of our preparation and credence in each other.
No matter the work we are doing, there is always a shift from uncertainty to realization that you can and will do it. The moment when you go from utter disarray and confusion with what you are doing to that “ah ha moment”. I was reminded of both the beginning and end of this pendulum swing yesterday. My students have turned the corner in their understanding of how to persevere through a problem, a test problem. They have worked and pushed themselves to get better. I am on the other end of this spectrum.
I will be taking my own exam in a few weeks and upon opening the text book to reteach myself topics from the past, the text looks like it is written in a language other than English. That immediate, overwhelming panic kicked in. That rush of heat went through my body accompanies having a plate piled 10 feet high with things to do.
What was I getting myself in to? How was I going to ever get through all this?
What was my next step…simply, to START.
I had to start reading and that feeling began to gradually fade. Now, if the comprehension of the ideas in this book is Mt. Everest, I am somewhere near the hotels at the bottom with all the people in hot tubs looking up and talking about how they ‘want’ to climb the mountain. We always find ways to put off the start of something when we know it is going to be a battle to finish…I was guilty of it. All of a sudden I needed a hair cut, had to read what everyone was doing on Facebook (having kids), and clean the kitchen.
Wherever your drive comes from, let it take you. You are smart enough to figure things out as you go, but you can’t even reach these forks in the road if you aren’t moving forward. Whatever the intrinsic reasoning’s are behind your will, let them push you through the muck and the other side will feel that much better.
Keep that motivation in front of you, learn from each failure no matter how big or small, and BE STUBBORN with yourself!
Build Your Dream,
Michael Jordan quote, along with many others, can be found here
Choosing our battles can sometimes leave us feeling defeated without even being in the fight.
“Choose your battles wisely”. We’ve all heard it and we all know it is a must, but how can we conceptualize this idea to ourselves during times of frustration?
Recently, there have been observations going on in districts around the valley. I have colleagues that I speak with in all levels of education and there are a few that shared some interesting stories about these observations. The most interesting involved an abrasive, older administrator that came in to observe a class as part of this teachers professional evaluation.
Quick summary: . This teacher explained to me that the observer came into the class 20 minutes into the lesson, after which the students had already covered and repeated the days standard. Furthermore, the topic of the lesson was covered by the teacher throughout the lesson by stoppage of student work to have a quick verbal, choral repeat of what the students were doing and why. Seems like good teaching practices from my vantage point.
The instructor thought the lesson went very well, had tight transitions, and the students were completing a project that was outside of the textbook, but inclusive of the curricular standards. Perfect, right?! ERRRRRhh (this is my buzzer sound).
The administrator who had quote “only known where my (his) classroom was because they walked past it on their way out of the school” now had this teachers entire year in their hands after a 15 minute view of instruction. The teacher received a sub-par observation. The points lacking were areas of representing the standard being covered. Wait, what?! He then went into a tangent that can only be described as Bobby Knight-esque, but without the chair throwing.
After he had calmed down, I put myself in this person’s shoes and asked him what his reaction was to his administrator. Nothing…He didn’t fight it. He explained what the administrator had missed at the beginning of the lesson and throughout, but as for the evaluation, he signed it and moved on.
When you bite your tongue, all you get is a mouth full of blood – Fruit Bats ‘When You Love Somebody’
I was shocked. I knew my colleague was not the least bit shy and had no problems sharing his opinions, but he responded with a simple reason to his madness.. “It didn’t effect my pay this year, so why let them see me drive myself crazy about it (except for the 25 minute rant of a phone call before)?”
We’ve all been in this person’s shoes. We don’t agree with a business proposal, how things are run on a kids soccer team, or the amount of cheese given on our nachos at the ballpark. Sometimes biting our tongue can be the best idea, but why does it still feel like we have been defeated when we do this?
I understand the lesson’s we can learn from this. If the proposal of someone else is wrong, shut up and make a better one. If the kids coach is incompetent, then become the coach or move leagues. Don’t buy the nachos!
Our frustration can only be cured by our beliefs in ourselves. Sometimes, these beliefs may be lacking and we find ourselves getting upset with others and letting the negative around us swallow the person we really are. I’m guilty of this and those who say it has never happened to them are either lying or so mentally disconnected I’m actually jealous of their tranquility.
What is the line for picking our battles? Is there a checklist we can come up with or is it a case by case, inner feeling that tells us what the best actions are with the knowledge we have?
Please share your ideas or thoughts about how we choose these battles below. I’d love to hear what others have to say.
Build Your Dream,
The path is the area between your present and your goal; you decide how you get there.
What is it that you want the most in your life right now? A new career, a promotion, to find love…
…any and all of our goals are important, but what will separate you from those around you is the inner drive in your character and your willingness to handle the distress through the process.
I have had some times over the past few weeks where my creative inner has been asleep, but I realized it was because I was letting other aspects of life take over.
There are always going to be a plethora of things on our plate in life, but we can’t forget which ones are the most important in making us the individual that we have worked so hard to be. We can use these positives, no matter how blind we are of them at times, to push us through the voids (either mentally, physically, or both).
Take that leap and don’t have a back up plan. In Steven Pressfield’s book Do The Work, he discusses how successful people don’t have back-up plans. At first, I didn’t understand the concept, but in reality he is correct. Why give ourselves an excuse or an ‘out’ for not reaching the pinnacle of what we want to be?
Pick yourself up,
Dust off your soul,
Set your path for success, and most importantly…
Keep your inner you intact. A cloudy mind can distort what we want to accomplish or what is most significant.
Find your drive and never relent, only persevere.
Enjoy the beauty that comes with the path. We can’t be so overwhelmed with the end that we miss the greatness that we encounter throughout.
Build Your Dream,
Time to Discount Double Check your undies.
Being that it is conference week, I needed a laugh. This definitly helped this morning AND I have never reblogged one of my stories so it is one of my something new‘s for the day. Two birds, one stone…
It was my second year teaching 4th grade in Phoenix. Let me catch you up with my class. I had a room of 17 boys and 6 girls. Although this ended up being my favorite group of students I have taught, the boys appeared to only think about their actions AFTER, way after, they did something. Luckily for them, I was their perfect ally in an instructor . I, too, had grown up a child of do then think. It was a constant challenge for me to keep a straight face when I knew I had done the EXACT same thing, or worse, at their age.
This brings me to a test day and my favorite story from the classroom thus far. Students were spread around the room in their individual desks to cut down on chatting. Freddy, the ever present class clown (which in this group is an accomplishment since 14 of 17 boys were cut out for Ringling Bros…He deserved a title belt!) was apart from the class and directly left of my desk. I always kept an eye on Freddy, not because he was trouble, but for his ability to turn a mundane Tuesday morning into Letterman’s’ ‘Stupid Pet Tricks’ in under 4 seconds. Obviously, I immediately loved Freddy because of his resemblance of myself as a do-laugh-retreat 10 year old annoyance.
Scanning the room, the kids were on task, everyone was thinking and writing. My life was in complete peace. Then, I noticed Freddy. He had that look on his face. You know, the one you get when your body is forcing a push out…THAT LOOK! Time slowed down and I was frozen in stone with anticipation. Over the silence that was my testing classroom came a slow, violin-like shriek that could only be made by a 10 year old with the intent to kill those around him with sulfur infused gas. The boys laughed, cheered, Oooooo’d and Ahhhhh’d like July 4th. The girls gasped, were repulsed, then immediately began to laugh with disgust. Freddy had done it! He proved he was top dog to the boys AND he grossed out/grabbed-the-attention-of the girls. There was only one problem….
…My eyes never left Freddy. Once the escape of confidence building gas was charismatically released, Freddy’s face went from ‘Super Bowl victory’ to ‘Last second, half court shot’ defeat. This could only mean one thing..
“Mr. Matt” (I had sweat rolling down my forehead from forced, arrested inner laughter) “I think I pooped a little bit!!!!!”
I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I pointed to the door, waited for what seemed like a decade for Freddy to shut it, then put my head on my desk and exploded with eye watering laughter. My day was shot, the kids were lost, but who cared! I had just witnessed one of the best moments of my teaching life!