I always wonder when I see great pieces of art about the conditions that were necessary for this mind and body to create such a thing. Time, Space and freedom to choose what to do with it are a must, right? I am trying to imagine how much time went into the paintings of Vang Gogh. He produced a lot of beautiful works of art. I created this piece on Saturday evening while visiting my wife's family. I wasn't doing a lot of visiting. But, I was comfortable, focused, well fed and had the most beautiful image to inspire me.
BUT, which thoughts do we cultivate? AND, which ones are the weeds? That’s for you to sort out for you. For me, if a thought isn’t moving me towards somewhere / someway / someone I want to be closer to, then I try the best I can to prune it as quickly as possible. Easier said than done.
My personal challenge for myself is to pause more and listen. To listen to the context of my thinking. To listen to the thoughts and challenge their perspective.
Too often we process thinking, let it drive our feelings and, subsequently, our actions without thinking much about whether or not the thoughts, feels and actions are moving us in the direction we want.
To cultivate the kinds of thoughts I want and move towards any goals I have, I aim to surround myself people’s ideas that are in alignment with those goals. I seek to learn more about what others do who are doing the things that I want for me.
What you think is what you get. #mindsetiseverything #motivationstrategies #mindset #liveyourpower
Photo Credit: @b3njamin
“Weeds are just part of the garden of thinking. We need to actively cultivate to grow the stuff that we want.
I wrote the following Leadership Philosophy while completing the IB Leadership Workshop Series. As I see it, this is a working and adaptable philosophy. I have already made so many changes since its first draft. I aim to capture my beliefs about school leadership and who I would strive to be as a leader.
International schools are communities and communities are about people. I know that international school leaders need to hold people (students first) at the centre of their guidance in their role. And, because school leaders have a meaningful impact on students’ day-to-day learning experience and on the wider school community, I believe that a school leader’s role is to strive to align, inspire and influence their school community towards a shared vision in trusting, considerate, optimistic and solution-oriented ways. I believe that school leaders must strive to know how to adapt each step and use the right foot that fits best to achieve outcomes.
When I think of leaders and what leadership means to me, I think of people who make decisions and take actions that are known to have been made or done with the best possible intentions considering the circumstances. They’re trusted. I trust people (and school leaders) whose words and actions give good reason to believe IN them and the values they represent. When school leaders’ values are in alignment with putting people and learning first, trust is built. Because trust is at the centre of all human relationships, it is at the fulcrum of the role for international school leadership. School leaders must be actively mindful of the context of their interactions with others and when making decisions so they can be informed guides who are trusted to lead the way.
We need to embrace those who know more we do. We are limited by our experience with the world. We only know what we have derived from our path which led us to now. And, of all the resources along the path that we're surrounded by on the walk of life, it's people who are the greatest asset to our learning and understanding. It's people who we need the most in the process of learning new things.
Others' experiences in the are different from our own. The more we listen, the we get to know what we do not already know. The challenge, actually listening to what others are saying.
Because I believe that review, reflection and revision are essential to success in life, the following posting, originally drafted in March of 2014, has been culled and refined.
GRIT = strength of character. Being gritty is not 'chickening out' of things. Some time ago while walking to a colleagues' house for some holiday beverages I listened to a TED Radio Hour talk titled Success. It was great! It took me twice the time to walk there as I kept stopping to take notes.
"Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint." Ph.D. psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth.
Among several great interviews, Angela talked about her success research which focuses on human grittiness. She concludes that, above all other human character traits, that people with grit - growth mindset thinkers - have the most long-term success, not the talented or clever. Yes! I kept thought and noted. Yes!
I'm a firm believer in small wins theory - the idea that small ongoing actions and thoughts add up to great achievements and influence our life in profound ways. It's absolutely true. There are universal energies and we’re all connected. We need to leverage the universa forces in our favour.
It is the smallest things in life, from bits of appreciation for the things many take for granted to the bits of personal learning that can be done daily, that really do matter the most. The things we think and do move us towards great achievements. With grit (resilience, persistence and focus) the small things do add up to GREAT BIG results.
"Grit is sticking with your future — day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years — and working really hard to make that future a reality. In fact, in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent." Angela Duckworth.
The key is that it's just not being exceptionally clever (having high IQ) or about being innately awesome and incredibly talented. Yes, smarts and talent are a bonus. But, success has proven itself to be much more about being an incredibly hard worker who is persistence in moving towards their commitments. As Angela says, "There are many talented [and clever] individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments."
Take a moment to think about the most successful people you know or have heard of in whatever field, form, realm or professional niche. Go ahead, think. I bet that the majority of their success was leveraged on determination and relentless perseverance crafted daily. People who challenges head-on and move on forward through the most difficult barriers with optimism succeed.
I do not believe in blind luck. I believe that when preparation meets opportunity luck forms.
How much grit do you have? Angela’s survey can be found here.
Because I believe that review, reflection and revision are core elements to improvement on all levels of life, the following posting, originally drafted 11.1.2014, has been culled and refined. Enjoy!
Open your eyes each morning with the mindset that possibilities are abundant, opportunities exist in all forms and that potential needs to be pursued. Walk through your front door and find more doors. When you step through new doors, other doors form. Fact. Do you pursue potential doors? Are you actively looking for new ones?
Chester is PERSISTENT. He never gives up trying to get through doors. He knows very well that we don't want him to go out. The moment we try to redirect him, he turns back as if nothing ever happened. This process repeats many times before Chester decides to (a) take a nap or (b) reflect, revise and move on to Plan B - seek other approaches to open door opportunities. However, there are times that we just close the door.
Take comfort in the fact that planned, goal oriented hard work that challenges your limits and comfort zones will move you forward. When a door is jammed, put some mental muscle into it. Always have a Plan B. Doors can and do close. Have you written down your outcomes? Do you have a plan? Are your steps too challenging or not challenging enough?
Chester is PATIENT. He always takes his time. He never rushes to get through the door. This surprises me. He decides that balcony exploration is his goal and he moves gracefully towards that goal - not too fast and not too slow. Chester always appears to have a predetermined plan for each step along the way.
Take your time, pause and think carefully. Visualize in detail how fantastic it will be to living a life having already achieved your goal. Really feel it. Work hard but work smart. There is no sense trying to jump or run when all you need to do is walk. Plan steps that are attainable, baby steps. Whatever you do, just keep moving forward. Re-visualize and feel it already achieved in great detail. Small actions add up to grand results. Are your steps too big or too small? Are you making daily motions towards your desired outcomes?
Chester is FOCUSED. He knows his goal and keeps it at the front of his mind. He almost never looks back or gets distracted when we try to discourage him. He knows what he wants and all his energy is zoomed-in on that goal with laser beam focus.
The Law of Attraction is idea that I firmly believe in. It's all about the power of your mindset. Check it out. Know what you want and keep it in your head - hone your energy in that direction. The mind is incredibly powerful. If you don't believe in universal energy, you should.
Chester knows SUCCESS IS POSSIBLE. He has been on the balcony before. He's confident he will get there again. We've caught him a few times strolling back in looking proud and satisfied.
Know success is possible. Of course it is. Fact. Look around. All things around us are created by humans no different from you. Don't forget it.
Thankfully, unlike Chester, we open our own doors and walk through them. The first doors each day are those on our bedrooms, bathrooms and the fronts of our homes. Yes, of course, it's important that we get up each morning and walk through doors to perform the daily motions to live - grooming, eating, working etc. However, to just sustain life is not living, it's existing.
I believe that to really live we need to have goals, define our outcomes, visualize them and review them regularly. It is most important to carry the right mindsets to craft our own successes. Remember, knowledge is only potential power. Action is everything.