Tag: #decisions

Know yourself- Do you?

I have written about growth several times. It does not matter what age you are, where you are in the process toward “retirement, or if you are retired. As an individual who is getting up each day to be part of the glory of the day, you are growing!

No, I am not talking about the scales for your weight or the tape measure for your height! Although, my granddaughter has set the goal to be 5 feet tall. I hope she makes it! The growth I am referring to is in your mind and spirit.

We are constantly doing things in our lives to enrich ourselves daily. We use the intention to focus on the things that enhance areas we desire to improve. Longevity of life is sought after, but it is the quality of the life we live that matters the most. What are we doing in the time we are blessed to enjoy?

What are the strengths you have? What are the areas you would like to grow in? Is there something new you would like to learn?

Know Yourself

“In Ancient Greece, the philosopher Socrates famously declared that the unexamined life was not worth living. Asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: Know Yourself.”

Understanding ourselves is a first step in avoiding mistakes in several areas of our lives and is also essential in our abilities to establish goals. If we cannot identify our strengths and weaknesses, it isn’t easy to move forward. When we are true to ourselves, our relationships and work improve—getting to know ourselves better increases our growth over time.

The answer is hidden in the question!

Do we take the time to get to know ourselves? Are we so busy in our lives pleasing others, taking care of things, and doing tasks we forget to take note of ourselves?

Begin or end each day with a question for yourself. Keep a journal with the answer to the questions. This is how you begin to understand who you are and to get to the why of what you do. Being self-aware is critical to the success of life.

  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite color
  • Do you like cold, hot or warm days?
  • What is the biggest mistake you have made?
  • Who or what comforts you?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • If you had only one wish, what would it be?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Name something you like about your job?
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • What values do you have?
  • What do you believe in?
  • Where do you feel the safest?
  • If you were not afraid, what would you do?
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What matters most to me?
  • What short-term goals do I have? Long term?
  • What is my favorite food?
  • If I am feeling stressed, I_________?
  • When am I angry I_________?
  • Who are my support people?
  • I am ashamed of_______?
  • Am I a night owl or a morning person?
  • Am I passionate about___________?
  • I like being around people, or I’m not too fond of it.
  • My thoughts tell me I am not good enough or can do it.

Keep adding to your questions to dig deeper into who you are as you get wiser in understanding how to continue to grow.

Pull back the curtain-Pay attention to the man behind it!

Growing up, our family tradition was to watch The Wizzard of Oz! It captured my heart from the first time I watched it, and it still does! One of the best parts is when they reach Emerald City. They finally get to make their way to see the Great Wizard of Oz when: Toto rips the curtain to the side; the Wizard of Oz realizes he’s been found out and tries to cover it up by shouting over his loudspeaker, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

No curtains were involved at the Oscars, when the most disgusting view aired for all to see. I stopped watching these shows a long time ago for many reasons. However, everywhere you turn the video of this scene has overshadowed anything that took place on this awards night.

I am sharing the article from Brian Dodd as I feel it perfectly captures the points I agree with when thinking about this display of actual behavior. The curtain did not have to be pulled back, nor did someone need to say pay no attention to that man; in fact everyone is sharing and saying look at this! However, the need to not only look at this but to take a step back and realize what it means.

We continue to provide platforms, reward behaviors like this, and accept them quickly to move on. Will Smith received a standing ovation after this display of behavior. His wife laughed after he hit Chris Rock. Then we wonder why?

  • Why are people so angry?
  • Why do people yell at each other?
  • Why do people escalate so fast and act out in violence?
  • Why do people think placing hands-on others is okay?
  • Why do our children think it is okay to………..

The role models in the world we are living in are not what they seem to be when the curtain is pulled back or not. I think we can do better!

Decisions-How do they look?

When we make decisions, do you think about how they impact your health? Depending on your position and the level of decisions you make, it is not just the impact on yourself at risk.

Leaders have to lead. Decisions have to be made. What are the ways, strategies, and thoughts in decision-making? It is easy to evaluate after a decision has been made and speak up, saying, I would have…..

Thoughts? When I die, I think I will look like me.

Snap judgments or decisions

Making snap judgments and quick reactions seem to happen more often than I realized. Our society works at a fast pace, and it continues to speed up. I know I am getting older, but it is still speeding up no matter what age.

It should come as no surprise to me that we are working faster with the advancements we have made with technology. However, our human bodies and minds are not going to change. Our processing speeds and reaction times will remain the same on the trajectory of our life spans.

When we make a snap judgment, we are evaluating something or someone. We look at an individual and determine many things quickly. Our snap judgments tell us if they are trustworthy or not, safe or dangerous, friendly or mean, and can you think of more?

Growing up, we accumulated many experiences which provided us with a basis to influence us in how we view the world. Can we change our minds? Our environments and experiences affect us a great deal, I believe. What do we consider our environment? Our home life, education, community, media, church, and society in general. So as we move through our life journey, our environments change as our relationships change.

Have you made a snap judgment or decision? Can you remember being told this advice: “You want to make a good first impression at your interview.” What did or does that mean to you?

During the past decades of work in the educational world, I can tell you what I advised students what this meant by talking, modeling, and listening.

Every day I wore a suit to work, dress pants, a blouse, blazer, and heels. Sometimes I had flats depending on the suit pants length. (Yes, I could run in those heels if I needed to do so.) I dressed for success and modeled for others what I expected. I respected them and the work I did.

Next, I did every job. There was not something I would not do or ask my staff to do something I was not willing to do. I was visible to everyone picking up trash, serving lunch, riding the bus, covering a classroom, coaching a game, and the list goes on. We are all part of a team working together to serve.

Communication was vital as I spoke to everyone and by name. Saying thank you, excuse me, you are welcome and modeling the character we want to see and hear. Repeating my famous phrase of “You can be part of the problem or part of the solution; the choice is yours to make.” Maintaining a positive communication environment helps to keep the environment positive.

The best lesson came when I was able to go to school with most of my teeth missing, black eyes, and around 50 stitches. “Does the way I look now change who I am?” Students could see my willingness to stand before them, looking like a different person, a pretty scary look. A great lesson is to not judge a person by the way they look but to take the time to get to know who they are first. Standing in front of middle school students takes courage in the first place; try doing it with a name like Yoho and with most of your teeth missing. It’s okay if you just laughed out loud. It happens.

It is my hope as you start back to school, back to work face to face or if you have started a new position, take some time to learn about the place you are and the people you are with before you make a snap judgment. Think about these things as you start to compare or judge:

  • Accountability more than Ability
  • Character more than Color
  • Brains more than Beauty
  • Quality more than Quantity
  • Effectiveness more than Effortlessly
  • Humble more than High Achiever

The list can be expanded to include more things to consider. The critical thing to remember is to pause and not to use snap judgments. You could miss out on important people and things by not waiting.

My concern after working so hard with students on the importance of not placing judgments, including all individuals, and being kind to all, we are taking steps backward at a faster pace. The conversations being held about possible curriculums seem to place students in positions to judge others, just as our society is doing this daily. As I have stated, our environments influence our thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Take a pause and reflect on what is currently happening by exploring all aspects of the places I indicated influence us: homelife, education, church, community, media, and society in general. A solution-focused mindset allows for positive ideas to guide changes, where a problem-focused agenda fills the minds with negativity and not allowing solutions to move forward.

Leaders are essential in leading this fast pace environment. Thank you for being the solution daily.