Tag: #WednesdayWisdom

Waste not Wednesday

I am not like most people, I believe. My husband tells me often I am not normal. I rarely turn on the television and prefer to read. In my time of reading and in his time of turning on the television, I have heard about potential food shortages as the next fear on the rise in our country.

As an educator for 25 years, I know children do not always eat all the food prepared at school. We often prepare more than we need because, like in restaurants, it is better to be over-prepared than under. So what happens to all of the food in all places food is prepared and not used? It is thrown out is the answer, I believe!

Just a little food for thought! (Corny pun!). What if we could organize within our communities a way to gather the food not used and enjoy having pot lucks at local churches, parks, civic buildings, or other locations for anyone and all to come until the food was gone.

I would hope we would not have scenes of fighting or chaos but opportunities for those who need a little extra help to gain a free meal, engage in community spirit, and enjoy a few moments of being part of neighborly love.

We need each other now. Step up, speak up, show up and be the solution daily in a community that needs you to be part of it!

Your voice is important

Please share a comment, like a post, and share. Everyone creating a message needs a little encouragement to continue to develop, and it is always great to take a step forward by getting your voice heard. Your like, comment or share could be the one that helps another person!

Thinking-we all need to see it

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12

Thinking is what we need more of today! In whatever job you go into, you need to problem solve, think critically, and make connections between different areas. There is not just one way to believe, but many ways. When looking at a problem, we need to see the different ways we have to think to solve it.

Yesterday I posted a quote. It makes you stop to think about how you listen and speak. Do you have those eager to talk to you because you listen? Do you have others who always want to hear what you have to say? Do you think about what you say and hear?

As you move through your day, pause to see and watch; what are people thinking? Can you see thinking? How do you know? What does it look like? Would you be able to describe it? What are you thinking now?

The world moves in many different directions and at a swift pace. I think at times, so fast, we do not give enough time to the process of thought. If we are allowing time to think through issues, looking at all of the possible solutions, and asking all of the questions, it will take time to find the correct answer. If we do not allow the time for thought, mistakes will be made, opportunities lost, discoveries missed, and ideas overlooked.

Take some time to think about these questions and discuss them with your group. See what you come up with and share some thoughts for all of us to ponder.

  • Cancer is a broad subject area. I just finished my radiation treatments, and during my time, I found myself thinking about many things. My first thought was about how many people have died of cancer, fought the battle and won, survived one cancer, and then it returned. We donate money to continue to support cancer research and finding a cure. Has there been any cancer that has been cured? What is the progress with curing cancer?
  • Daily driving to my treatments made me realize how much construction and road repairs are needed and being completed. How do they go about determining this road construction? Why are so many roads torn up at the same time? Can’t they focus on one area and complete a job before moving on? Have they worked on creating a better formula for the materials used for the roads, so it does not break down so fast?
  • Help wanted signs with advertising sign-on bonuses made me pause to think. What is happening? We have teacher shortages, soon principal shortages, no one to work in the restaurants, nursing shortages, and the list contiues. Are people choosing not to work, not working because of the vaccine, or something else?
  • I was thinking about the future. My thoughts and thinking are about what are the things I can do today to help the future be brighter for others—sharing my thoughts, sparking possible solutions, adding value to others, and inspiring all to bring all of the opening quotes to everything they do.

Listen, speak, love and spark the qualities for great thinking!

Hidden Blessings Lesson 3-Obstacle

Lesson 3: The obstacle is the way.

Blessings find us when we are ready to see them. We often miss them because we are busy looking in the wrong places or focusing on the “problem” we see. Danny and I find we have things in common, but we are not alone. Many leaders face similar obstacles, issues, problems, or challenges. Danny took a year to discover how to release from his issue, and it took me three years.

“It took nearly a year to flip my mindset from seeing Houston as a failure to counting it as a blessing. I was obsessed with proving my supervisor (and those pressuring her) wrong. I felt like I had something to prove. Somehow I had to even the score. I was wronged. I wanted to make things right somehow. What a terrible burden to carry for a year, and I am lucky to have put that burden down after a year!”-Daniel Bauer

Danny shared this story of two monks who were on their way back to their monastery. As part of their religious training they vowed to never come into contact with a woman.

“And on their way home to the monastery, they happened to come across a woman who needed assistance crossing a river.

The two monks were headed in the same direction, so the older of the two monks asked the woman if he could assist. He did so by picking her up and helping her cross the water.

The monks continued their journey in silence …

Hours went by and their journey was coming to an end. The monastery was on the horizon. The younger monk was visibly irritated and broke his silence.

He said, “Brother, how could you violate your vow to never touch a woman? I am so disappointed with you and don’t understand.”

The older monk said, “Brother, I put the woman down hours ago. Why are you still holding her?”

Grudges, vendettas, and other burdens do not serve you.”

Carrying negative experiences forward with you from the past is never healthy. After reflecting, Danny could see how this negative event closed a door for him, but another one opened. He would never have taken the chances he did, written his book or accomplished all he has if he had not been pushed to a different path.

My journey was a little different, I did resign, but it was three years later. Our bodies react to the stress in our lives. When it is compounded and not resolved, significant changes can occur. I was at that point in my life.

After inquiring with my teacher retirement system per my doctor’s request, to ask about reducing hours, the boss takes action, but not the kind you expect. I had attempted to speak to my boss about my issues, but communication with me was not a priority.

A few days later, in my office entered, my boss and one of her assistants relocated my secretarial staff, closed the door, and began to ask questions. My boss speaks, the other takes notes, then tells me I will need to work from home. I am told to gather up my things, and they walk me out.

Now to those peeking out the windows, the message sent to all is that I was walked out of my office and sent home. People believe in their minds I have done something wrong. In my heart, I am feeling the same way. I do not hear any words spoken, only my heart beating faster. Five days later, I received a letter that the Board of Education had placed me on medical leave. Wow, I thought in shock again. No one has asked to talk to me. Why? There is nothing on file to indicate I was not doing my job. My accident happened in 2010, and my unexpected departure in 2018. I am so sorry to those I left with no goodbyes or explanations. Three years passed, and no contacts.

My health has improved since leaving the position, and my diagnosis will never change from 2010. The label I worked hard to overcome, they placed on me without a blink of an eye. The leader decided to handle this situation in this manner, their way. Like my post on September 28, 2021, called Hook, line, and sinker, they bought it with fractions of information and not complete facts.

We move on until we are reminded—a story in the paper, a post on social media, or a picture. Sometimes it is a date on the calendar that takes you back to the day life changed for you and those close to you. Then you remember “what matters most” is helping others, sharing, lifting, listening, and always finding the time to be there when they need you the most! Be the solution daily to change the negatives to positives as you are the light to brighten the darkness. You can move on no matter the circumstance. You always have the power to control the action steps you take. Remember, you do not have to prove anything to anyone, be happy with yourself. Moving on isn’t always what it seems to others, but the truth is all you need. Always move forward with eyes lifted and praise the one who guides you through.

“As you care less about what people think of you, you will care more about what others think of themselves.” -Stephen Covey

“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of course, things can hurt us physically or economically and cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. In fact, our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well.”-Stephen Covey

Perfection, Doubt and Fears—-Oh My!

Understanding the concept of Success

If you ask someone to define success, you will discover different definitions. People define success in how they believe it should look.

Is Elon Musk an example of success?

He sure has received a great deal of attention in the news after announcing his bid for Twitter. He is the richest man in the world.

Does money define success?

The President of the United States is the highest office you can achieve.

Does title or position define success?

Success is determined by measuring the outcomes of projects you do, job performance, and other things you do. Your definition of what success is may vary. Many people might define it as being happy, safe, healthy, and loved. It is the ability to accomplish your goals in life.

Does emotional well-being define success?

Have you ever made a list of goals for your life? My high school teacher Mr. Bob McMurray asked our Senior English class to complete this task. I was a kid who took things to heart, so I did it and kept it. I completed everything on my list as it was written. On my list, I said I wanted to write a book. I did. I have not had it published yet. Why? All of the reasons we will discuss in understanding the concept of success. I have been enjoying the learning journey I have been on and waiting for the right time. Plus, my goal list did not say anything about publishing. This is the fear talking!

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

I ask others if they wait before making an important decision. Many have told me they do if they are allowed the time, but in many cases, you need to act quickly. The world we live in today requires a fast pace. The world’s race can be intimidating to all who want to make a difference.

You do not want to find yourself left behind or forgotten in a world that will continue to move forward with or without your input. The population is multiplying. We can look at it through the lens of doubt or influence. There are so many people; how can I be seen or heard? There are so many people I have a chance to influence to make a difference! We can question ourselves with doubt or how to do it. Action is the active part of working towards success.

Chained by our own thoughts

Preventing ourselves from success is found by looking in the mirror. We are chained by our thoughts of perfection, doubt, and fears. We utilize many excuses to prevent us from moving forward, taking a chance, or taking any actions to gain our footing as we reach for success. Let’s look at the list of ways we can begin to work on helping ourselves break free from the chains of our thoughts.

  • Do not be defeated by wrong choices you have made in the past
  • Refuse to get discouraged
  • Problems from others and yourself shout for your attention, prioritize
  • Do not play the blame game
  • Your words and actions align
  • You have the power to choose
  • Build up with facing fears
  • Accepting responsibility and criticism
  • Show integrity at all times
  • Understand and forgive
  • Persistence, instead of giving up

Perfection, Doubt and Fears

These are three words with a great deal of control over our thoughts. Our lives or those around us will never be at a level of perfection. As my faith teaches me, we will have imperfections in the world we live in. When we feel the doubt and fear enter our thinking, we know we need to face them and push forward. Our choices in the past we have no control over, nor should they control us today. It is our choice to let go and choose today a better way.

We will choose our words and actions. The power we have in our words is supported by our efforts building trust with others as they know we have integrity. We are accepting responsibility for our actions. Leaders do not look for excuses or people to blame. Understanding and forgiveness is something leaders need to do for others, but most importantly for themselves. Many times they do not allow for understanding or forgive themselves for mistakes.

Problems have loud voices. The noise level drowns out all other sounds needing to be heard. Leaders have to prioritize the sounds and limit the amount of time they are given. The leaders today have persisted through challenges. Giving up and being discouraged is something that we all face as challenges continue to develop.

Learning More

We have more to learn as leaders. I will continue to provide more information, thoughts, ideas and resources to continue to grow. Share your thoughts and ideas.

Feedback or Advice? What wisdom do you need?

Have you noticed plenty of words float around telling you this is the most effective way to support staff, students, and others?

  • Please provide feedback to your students in a timely fashion so they can make corrections.
  • Please provide staff with advice on what instructional practices to utilize for better outcomes.
  • Give feedback, so they understand the mistakes they made.
  • Students need advice on what classes they need to stay on track for graduation.
  • Teachers need direct feedback on the areas needing improvement.
  • Advise your daughter on the groceries she should purchase to have a balanced nutrition plan for the family.

What do we need if we want to get better?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the differences in the two words we are looking at Feedback and Advice.

Workplace feedback is defined as a process of giving constructive suggestions. Feedback is generally provided by supervisors, reporting managers as well as peers aimed at improving performance. It can also be for reinforcing good behavior and improving employees’ morale and dedication to doing their jobs. Classroom feedback for students is defined as a pocess of giving constructive suggestions by teachers and sometimes peers to improve in areas of performance in learning. They also are reinforced with feedback on their behavior and focus on the tasks before them. Feedback to others can be positive or negative. When looking at feedback, one word comes to mind, evaluation. Feedback seems to be a judgment on the performance of an individual. It depends on how it is approached.

Advice is guidance. It is defined as an opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem. It is more critical and directed to action steps. The focus in advice is to specially direct actions and changes to bring improvement. This is the same in the workplace, classroom, and home.

When I reflect on the separation of the words and their meanings, I feel like I have used them both simultaneously. Have you? I believe when working with educational staff, I have utilized feedback and advice for professional learning. I used feedback to help with the understanding of our progress and to reinforce our practices. Example: We had a new program we were implementing that required further training and procedures called “Target Teach.” I needed to provide feedback on understanding the process of where we were, how we were progressing, and to reinforce the need for the integrity of the practices to keep us on track. As we continued to grow and improve, these practices became part of our classroom strategies. Students and Staff were both engaging in feedback and advice. Peers provided advice to each other in their learning and growth. Teachers visited other classrooms to advise on action steps to take and feedback on the lessons.

Wisdom

It is the wisdom we gain from the experience of understanding the importance of the usage of these words in our daily interactions. Wisdom is the ability to use your knowledge and expertise to make good decisions and judgments. We can help others gain wisdom daily by providing them with these experiences, understanding the purposes of these conversations, having these conversations, and most importantly, listening.

I certainly hope to gain a little wisdom as I grow older! Each experience provides more knowledge and a deeper understanding. At times I believe individuals are not in the season of their journey to open themselves up to feedback, advice, or gaining wisdom. There are times when some think, “I’ve got this, I know, I do not need help,” until…..they don’t have it, don’t know, and need help!

What’s Next? Where do we go from here?

A new season brings with it changes! So what is next? Where do we go from here? It is April and a new season is fast approaching so what is next?

In one of my principal groups, some are discussing interviewing for new positions and the possibilities of moving to the next leadership level. What kinds of things do they need to know to prepare for the interviews? Another group is discussing issues they are facing with multiple conflicts within their buildings, toxic cultures, parent conflicts, how to provide professional development with staff to address student issues better, and the list continues.

Prepare for Next

Everything we do today prepares for what we do next! This is how our lives work each day. We wake up in the morning and constantly prepare for what is next. You get dressed to prepare to go out. You check the weather to know how to dress. You check to see what you need before you leave. Can you think of all the things you do to prepare for what is next?

Each week we make a list of the items we need to buy at the grocery store to prepare our meals for the coming week. I have friends who meal prep and prepare meals ahead of time. There is a great deal of preparation in our day-to-day life. Why do we find difficulties in preparing in other aspects impacting our lives?

How are we unprepared?

We are not prepared for the situations we find ourselves in today. How did we get here? Why are we not prepared? Where are we going from here? When will we see things improve?

What are your thoughts? I invite you to join the conversation on how to prepare. What’s next? Where are we going from here?