This entry came to me as I was reading a something from another individual who always adds to my capacity to perceive and think. She had commented on a post from James Altucher and it started me thinking because of its value to a larger conversation concerning life and our ability to live it fully. It is fantastic and I offer a link to it in its entirety at the end of my post!
I found it really fits with my mantra of Be Purposeful, Act With Integrity, and Build Your Character. That coupled with what I experience every day led to this post. I realize it doesn't follow my normal set up, but hey that's how things go sometimes. I have italicized the quotes from the post and then placed my thoughts after them to lend the most credit to the post for provoking the thoughts. Enjoy…I did.
1. "It’s how you view the life inside you that creates the life outside of you. Every day. Don’t get locked in other people’s prisons they’ve set up just for you. Personal freedom starts from the inside but ultimately turns you into a giant, freeing you from the chains the little people spent years tying around you."
· We spend way too much time worrying about other peoples thoughts, beliefs, actions, and how they reflect on us. We need to identify and know who and what we are so that we are able to respond to situations rather than react.
2. "Push instead of focus. Push is the ability to get up every day, open up the shades, and push through all the things that make you want to go back to sleep. Compound life is much more powerful than compound interest."
· When you look at success it is never one giant leap. That one moment of triumph is the piece we remember rather than all the failures it took to get us there. The vital piece to success is the willingness to keep pushing through all the obstacles.
3. "The average kid laughs 300 times a day. The average adult…5. Something knifed our ability to smile. Do everything you can to laugh, to create laughter for others, and then what can possibly be bad about today?"
· As a society, we are actively taking the laughter out of our lives at a younger and younger age. Our children are being forced to grow up at a quicker, unhealthy pace at which they are given large amounts of leeway to act with very little responsibility to help them succeed. The result is an increased amount of social/emotional issues based in an inability to manage feelings or cope with hardship that grows as the child ages.
4. "Getting out of your comfort zone frequently and randomly is a way to boost your anti-fragility. Do something that might not work. Be around people who challenge you."
· You don't grow unless you stretch. The greatest solutions in history have come from disagreement, argument, and debate. If you want to get better at anything in life you must be with people who are better than you. It’s the only way to increase your skill level. If you aren't pushing yourself, you're coasting.
I consistently talk and write about some very important issues that continue to arise in society today; specifically, mental toughness, perseverance and resilience, responsibility versus accountability, and character. My position affords me the opportunity to view the existence (or not) of these traits in both students and adults on a daily basis. My fear is that we are moving more and more to a default position where students are taught that:
· What we think of ourselves is secondary to what others think of us. This results in an inability to understand the vital role morals and ethics play in a fulfilling life. Therefore, we let others define who we are and what we may become.
· Success comes from getting lucky or that one big break that someone else provides for you. This type of thinking makes any failure (real or perceived) much more damaging and permanent. Success is only achieved by learning from and pushing through our failures. The age old saying...fall down seven times, get up eight.
· They are ready for adult situations and decision making. Kids need, want, and succeed when they have structure. This structure needs to be restrictive early and loose later when kids are able to exercise responsibility. We need to be more comfortable with "no" and let kids do and worry about kid things until it is developmentally appropriate to take on more. I just reminded my 7 year old the other day that I am not his friend. I am his parent and therefore, responsible for his growing into a good, responsible young man.
· If it isn't easy, find something that is. Too often I hear people upset about someone else's success. This is voiced through claims of it being "not fair" and "I deserve it more." What ever happened to looking at someone who is successful and saying; "I want what they have. Let me go find out what I need to do to get there." We need to put more emphasis on acting rather than being entitled.
The good news is that this can all be fixed or improved with the right mindset no matter a person's age or position. What follows are the points in the post that stood out the most to me. Yours may be different. Either way...take the time to read the post here.