— Patricia Papernow (@ppapernow1) March 5, 2016
I am just like any other mom of two children, constantly nagging my children to pick up stuff, to keep their rooms clean, to eat healthy, to stop squabbling, and the hundred other things that moms need to keep repeating – with limited success. And all these constitute the everyday mundanities in every mom’s repertoire.
But then, when I am not playing referee to a sibling fight or yelling to be heard, I do have those moments of clarity. Moments where I see my children in the future as responsible adults, facing life’s challenges. And it is in these moments that I make these ‘simple mental notes’ that I would like to share with my children. The list keeps growing, but here are a few of my favourites.
#1 – Try
My first note would just have this one word. Keep trying, the results are not in your hands, but…
View original post 103 more words
What about the letter A. The letter A, stands for the positive attitude you must always strive to possess. It should be noted that one is not born with a positive attitude, but this is a quality that a person must cultivate.
To achieve in life, the success we pursue, it is crucial that our mental outlook be backed by a positive attitude.
An optimistic attitude, fuels your mental outlook. As you move toward your life dreams, a hopeful attitude can carry you through, when life throws at you some unexpected situations or you meet with a brick wall appearing in your way.
The question though is, how do you develop a positive attitude? Some persons are constantly exposed to environments which are emotionally toxic; a place where negative people congregate to listen to each other’s sermon of sorrows.
This environment can manifest itself in your work place or maybe it is in your school. Sadly, sometimes it may be in your home. To overcome such negativity, we need to create our own atmosphere of positivity. How do we do this?
Firstly, we need to seek out and listen to the suggestions of persons who have a view point, that in spite of what life throws at them, they will succeed. And that, in spite of the many failures that come their way, triumph is just around the corner. They function as if to indicate, their achievement is just on the horizon, success is but an arm’s length away. These are the people to draw close too.
Secondly, we also need to be mindful of ourselves, in order to create positive attitudes. We can bring a negative outlook—a thought—from within our minds, to bear on our current life experiences, which may have little to no relationship. While that previous thought or experience might be useful, as all our life encounters should be educational ones, that particular experience maybe out of place. Therefore keep such thinking in check.
Thirdly, it has to do with the language we use with ourselves when seeking to create a positive atmosphere to thrive. This has to do with negative self talk. We can say to ourselves that it is not likely that we can accomplish our goals. We may vocalize to ourselves that our endeavours can be done, but they can only be accomplished by someone else.
Sometimes a person can look at their abilities, whether they went to university or to college, their socio-economic status and use these to make judgments about how much of a contribution they can make in life. And so a person may say to himself, that he should not take that step or that action towards his dreams, for it is not possible for him to succeed.
Negative self talk; a self defeating trait which can rob us of the things that matters to us, making us avoid the path which leads to success. And so you must say no to negative language which can ultimately affect your thinking. This can manifest failure in your life, even before effort is made, or prevent you from trying again if failure visits you temporary. Your attitude therefore, must be goal oriented, to see life and all that it hurls at you, in terms of challenges, as part of the experience towards a greater good.
We now want to look at the letter L. The word that the letter L symbolized for me, was a word, that at the time I was not willing to accept as part of the vocabulary of someone seeking success. I said to myself, how could I say this word to these young minds.
The word is limitation.
As I prepared this presentation for those youths, I started to recognize that the word limitation, based on how it is viewed or understood, can indicate success or failure, triumph or despair, achieving your dream or losing all hope.
This brings me to a story involving a classmate of mine at the university I attended for my undergraduate work.
He was a friend and thinker, and really motivated to achieve. Yet this student had but one challenge, one limitation, and that was to write research papers. He had the ideas, he knew where to get the information, he knew how to discuss, critique and synthesize the information, but strangely, when it came to putting it down on paper, he just could not do it.
What I found amazing, was that my friend understood his limitations and sought assistance from students who had mastered this technique of writing and editing, to a significant degree.
He had his dream of becoming better at writing some day. But it was his limitation at that present time. He understood that he needed to move on to greater things in his life, and was not willing to allow his limitation to prevent him from doing so; he was determined to graduate.
He therefore sought the necessary assistance, moved on and now for a few years has been working with young children and their families as a school guidance officer.
Think about a recent problem you had in which it was difficult to find a solution. Recall how you felt when it seem you tried everything. Think about your anxiety level, was at high or low? Write down how you felt. Think about what your attitude was like before attempting to solve the problem and at the point you felt there was nothing else you could have done and write this down.
Sometime ago I was speaking to a group of students at a self development program. The objective was to bring inspiration to them, and so, motivation to achieve whatever they positively set their minds to.
I remembered preparing for the presentation and an interesting question came to my mind. I asked myself, what is the driving force behind achievement?
I took the word GOAL, and create a mnemonic to help them with this.
On a piece of paper I placed the word GOAL (one letter per line on the page) and then started thinking about it deeply. What is it in this word GOAL that can make us achieve, focus, and make us successful in the pursuit of our dreams?
As the creative process in my mind went to work, my hands started writing on the sheet of paper.
I then looked at the letter G. The letter G, stood for get up and get the work done, become actively engaged, get the information necessary to complete this task. It is by means of initiation, a push or pull action that work gets done. Remaining stationary is self-defeating when seeking to bring a dream to reality.
The other letter O, reminded me of being organized. Many times persons may have a vision, know exactly where they need to be or what they need to be doing.
Probably it is an overwhelming action or habit in your life that you want to change or a quality you want to develop. There is a level of organization that must take place.
Person’s dreams, goals or their purpose may not yet be realized, though they know where they want to be in life, but because of failure at seriously organizing themselves, work may not get done.
There are a few electronic programs you can use to get organized. The ones I generally use are: Evernote, Google drive and Google calendar. From time to time I still use a pencil and paper to record an agenda for the day. If you are unfamiliar with the programs or apps (Evernote, Google drive and Google calendar) you can do some research online on them. YouTube has a great deal of information on all of these. Learn how to use them to organize your day, week, and even months. They have great reminders and can sync well with your smart phone and other electronic devices (tablets and laptop computers).
Reflective practice activities
In thinking of our goals and how organization is critical, think about what you need to do.
- Is it that you need to get up earlier to study for a course you are enrolled in?
- Is it that you need to prepare your meals for that diet you have embarked on and will need to get your food containers and meals prepared before leaving the house; not leaving it to chance, believing that you will past by a health food store on your way to work?
- Or is it that you need to pack your school bag or meeting case the night before, so that the materials needed for that class or meeting is ready to be a part of your success the following day?
It is important you ask yourself these questions, as organization is essential for success. The answers you will obtained from these questions may be viewed as simple and something that people already know, yet reflect on your situation for a moment and you may observe something you do not know.
Reflective practice activities
Questions to ask yourself
- If I already have these answers how effective is my organizational skills, given I know what I want to achieve?
- Am I using these skills to the full, as a habit, or am I just using them occasionally when I feel stressed or remember to do so?
To be organized, you want to have access to a personal daily planner book (this book should have the feel and comfort that is inviting to you, as well as the pen you use) for recording your plans for that day—actually, using it each day of the week, and yes even on Saturdays and Sundays.
Most persons have these planners but seldom use them correctly or use them at all.
My encouragement to you is to start recording your plans for today and future days, today. See what you have to do and feel the joys of ticking or crossing them out as they get done.
We live in the technological age. Do you have a cell phone? A number of persons today on the planet will say yes to this question.
Interestingly today, cell phones are not only use to communicate with other people, be it verbal or text. With the use of Windows, Android apps and many other user platforms, games, eBooks, movies, Skype, emails or just surfing the World Wide Web has been made possible.
On a number of these devices, storage capacity is quite enormous. As such, if you already have in your possession, one of these cell phones or tablet devices, use the digital planning programs they come with (or download one, most of them are free) for creating agendas or plans for the day or for the week. This may take a few minutes but the outcome will be great.
NOTE: When you plan a productive day, the feeling of accomplishment and the knowledge that whatever we are working towards is getting done, is indeed fulfilling.
A friend of mine asked me once, after a meeting we had.
“How is it that you get so much done and not be stressed?”
I remember looking at my friend with a gentle smile then a slight chuckle, “Well, from time to time I do get stressed”.
“Yes really, but I am never stressed over what I need to do next or where I need to go. I just check my calendar of events for that day on my smart phone and off I’m gone.”
“I need to be more like you,” was my friends reply.
I must admit though that at the beginning of my career, this was not something I was accustom doing.
There was this particular week, I remembered having a series of meetings to attend and presentations to prepare for and students course materials I had to mark, trying to remember client’s information. Not remembering to check the email my boss called and asked me to read and give feedback on. That was a big problem for me. This was a challenging week, this was my disorganized week! So yes, you can say I learnt the hard way but that should not be your experience. So create the habit of being organized by including tools in your environment to assist, and see yourself moving one step closer to accomplishing what you set your mind too.
So to conclude on this point of organization using electronic devices. Remember to take note of what you need to get done on your Smartphone/ tablet and sync the information onto all your other electronic devices. So any one you log onto, the information is there.
Do not be afraid that you may lose your phone or someone will steal it, your information is sync on all of your devices. If you are still concerned, put a pass word on your phone, tablet or computer, and so if you lose your phone, someone else can not steal your plan for the day!
NOTE: Remember that failure to plan is self defeating. Be organized and achieve your dreams.
Children can benefit from the collaborated efforts of parents and school teachers. When parents are not part of the decision making process of education in the classroom, they can feel isolated. It is also critical that feedback on the student’s positive performance be shared with parents and not just negative ones.
This episode of the podcast looks at some practical ways to bridge the gap between parents and teachers.
Parents and teachers can share valuable information with each other in an effort to assist the child to become more productive, both at school and in the home environment.