Tag Archives: #motivation

Dreams Work … Go the Distance

Remember that film – Field of Dreams?  “If you build it, they will come.”  I loved that movie when I was younger.  My optimistic, idealistic self still believes it to be true. “Go the distance.” I think it can happen.  I ask why not? Even after days that I feel beaten down with negative situations, negative responses, and negative people, I get up the next day, and am ready to change the world.  One would think I would eventually learn my lesson, right? I do love to learn, but maybe I don’t want to learn that lesson – to believe the negative and be a pessimistic person. I’m not alone, am I?  Most certainly not… it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round, and it takes surrounding ourselves with people who help make our mindsets positive to keep moving forward. We need each other to motivate and be motivated. We are a team!  Lately, I’ve been thinking about a motivational speaker who I heard speak earlier this semester.  With the world spinning faster than usual lately – or so it seems, I am feeling the need for some positive motivation to help build that field of dreams and to continue to go the distance.

With motiviation on our minds, I have a question to pose to you…
Will you work harder for something required or inspired? 
This simple question caused me to ponder momentarily.  I knew the answer without a doubt, but also knew all too often how “being required” is a way of life for many. Perhaps it is the only way for some things, which we will not debate today, but it tends to provide a veil for a lack of trust and should we dare – deceit.  For example – you are required to take/pass this standardized test because you are not competent without it. Okay – maybe that is not a perfect analogy, but I have standardized testing on the brain.  How about this one? You are required to complete 125 hours of continuing education because you won’t want to grow as a teacher without being required to do so.  Before I continue on my soap box, let’s get back to the simple question to start. Will you work harder for something required or inspired? This phrase was shared by Rob Bell at a conference session entitled, “Teamwork Makes Dreams Work.”

BLOG 5.23.17 Rob Bell 1

This upbeat and motivational presentation made my nerdy notetaking self jot down some highlights to share with all of you as well as some of my reflections.

So what’s really important in the work place or school environment – or anywhere really?

  1. Appreciation.
  2. Feeling of being “in on” things – inclusivity breeds buy-in.
  3. Sympathetic help with person problems – life is not always about work.

Provide constructive yet kind feedback – SIP – Specific. Immediate. Personal. Warm fuzzies are wonderful, but they need to be paired with comments for growth.  Even perfect can be better.

The way to motivate is to validate. And be authentic when validating and in all of life really. Who is better at being you than you?  Consider the important characteristics identified in being authentic and real with colleagues and friends in aims to lift each other up:

– Sense of Humor -Reliable  -Optimistic  -Timely -Thoughtful  -Honest –Happy –ABCD: above the call of duty -Empathy

Remember the power of conditioning and that actions speak louder than words.  We are what we think and what we say. I’m alive. I’m awake. I feel great! We have to start with ourselves and then reach out to others. You know the phrase – “I don’t care what you say I care what you do.” It tells a story as does body language. If your words are not consistent with the language you choose, people will believe was they see. How do we grow in our language? Consider keeping a gratitude notebook and listening – silent listening…be in the moment. Refrain from the word “but” when responding.  Let’s Plan a vacation. Yes but… yes but… But shuts down opportunity.  Another phrase often used is “It’s against our policy.” Instead try this: “Let me tell you what I can do.”

More than not – use this simple phrase:  “Thank you.” It will amazingingly change your world and mine.

BLOG 5.23.17 Rob Bell

In closing –

Enjoy the moment.

Change is uncomfortable. It is inevitable. Growth is optional.

What is a wow today is standard next year. Keep growing.

Plant seeds not weeds. Apple seeds…or your favorite seeds…make your world great.

It’s a lot more fun to be excellent than mediocre.

Let’s make them say wow!

Build that field of dreams! Go the distance and make us go with you!

Stay Calm & Dream On!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

What Motivates You?

“Let it drive you or defeat you… only you can choose.
No one owns your attitude but you.”

These one-day-famous words were once said by Mama Bear to her Baby Bear.  Okay – I may just be the Mama Bear in this story.  You see… Baby Bear was facing some adversity and the porridge was no longer just quite right.  School, teams, responsibilities, …the tug-of-war of it all can be consuming.

It is hard to see our kids struggle – whether it is our children at home or our children in our classrooms or our children in activities or our children out in the world.  There is not necessarily an age limit where it stops hurting when the challenges come knocking and are no longer at bay.  You may have heard this one before… “Knock, knock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Life’s challenges that’s who.”  ….and I forget how the rest of the joke goes, but I know how the story ends.  We either finish it the best we can or start fresh or walk away.  Well, in most situations, it should only be option A.

“I get knocked down, but I get up again… you’re never going to keep me down.”  These lyrics randomly pop in my head when life gets overwhelming and the going gets tough.  It all started back during my undergrad work when I was challenged beyond my imagination juggling life away from home, my studies, my internships, my responsibilities, and of course my social obligations.  Were these events life changing?  You bet.  Were they world ending?  Not so much.  At the time, I wasn’t so sure, however.  That is the beauty of facing challenges and conquering doubts.  Although we may feel in over our heads, we can tread water and eventually swim back to shore. …Now back to the song – I am not quite sure if these are the true lyrics to the tune, but they certainly were and remain true for me.  Get back up and just keep swimming.

So what motivates us to “keep on keepin’ on” each day?  Some ideas based on thorough research… or rather, Deep Thoughts by Dr. V.  (I apologize that only a certain population of SNL viewers will understand that last statement.)

Finding clues to the next stage of the game…

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Helping others find their clues…

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Finding enjoyment and passion and life…

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Witnessing the strength of others…

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Pushing ourselves to do better and be better…

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Being a part of something bigger than ourselves…

Family & friends…

…and of course furry friends with BIG brown eyes!

What motivates you?

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade… or just let the sour stuff ruin your day.  We choose how we live and what we do with the lemons headed down the aisle of life our way on any given day.

Stay Calm & remember…where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

Curious Minds Want to Know

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These past few weeks of the school year have simply flown by.  It is officially fall, and the school year is well underway.  One of the focus topics with the start of a new school year is… social norms.  We need to know what behaviors are socially acceptable.  This is critical now as the “honeymoon” period of the school year is almost over as well as for new students just entering school for the first time.  Desired behaviors can be learned by most on most days.  Who said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  We can all learn something sometime, right?

This past week while working on social norms, one of the English learners in my care greeted his teacher on his own one morning and another learner told her teacher “You’re welcome” while finishing up some math work on the board and politely handing the smartboard marker back to the teacher.  Both cases caused the classroom teacher to be pleasantly surprised by the learning that has taken place in such a short time – and has been applied. (Yay!  I played a part in that!! 🙂 )  These two individuals are motivated to learn and curious about the English language and culture; they want to learn.

“Learning is what we humans do best.  We learn throughout our lives by wondering and exploring, experiencing and playing” (Ostroff, 2016, p.1).  In Wendy Ostroff’s book, Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms, we are reminded that curiosity is essential to being human, living well, and being happy.  Curious to know more?  You are encouraged to read the book to learn more.

So how can teachers encourage curiosity without killing the cat? “Fostering curiosity involves listening to the myriad of voices and perspectives of the class community members and respecting each other enough to put oneself ‘out there'” (Ostroff, 2016, p.6).  The power of a positive growth mindset remains unchallenged.  We can accomplish almost anything that we believe.

Learners should be involved with both content and technique.  They should be engaged in the learning and active participants instead of being told what to know and how to think.  If involved, motivation to learn cultivates curiosity, which can bring out the child in all of us.

Allowing learners an opportunity to grow during unstructured times with choices, provides a safe place to make mistakes… to learn from them, and grow from them.  This can be a hard one to let go and grow with, but it is essential to curiosity leading to creativity.  If learners cannot be tasked with the charge to be curious and learn, we have failed.  This doesn’t mean it will be an overnight success without guidance.  We need to model and mold – all the while knowing the mold is meant to change.

A little respect can go a long way – in life and in career; this includes how we treat and challenge others.  Create curious habits and habitats for learners.  Enlist the help of Curious George and other characters who live a life of curiosity and never stop learning and growing.

Life and learning are a journey; enjoy the adventure!

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

Fight

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song…
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes because I’ve still got lot of fight left in me.

Fight Song ~ Rachel Platten

Have you heard it? Are you living it? If you are here and reading this now, you need to fight. Fight for your beliefs. Fight for others. Fight for love. Fight for your life. We aren’t necessarily talking about breaking out the boxing gloves, but we are talking about not going down without a fight. For whatever path you are on.

Hard work and determination can take you places – a lot of places on your winding path. I have spent the past few weeks watching my boys work hard at practice and play all over the countryside…and even yard work in the backyard. I get tired just watching them, but I never tire of watching them. They go all out – whether in an AAU game on the court or in the backyard on the court or pulling weeds for their crazy mother (aka – me).

It amazes me how deep all three of my sons can dig. From running and strength training (Jackson) to breaking boards to pass his second poom junior black belt test (Jonah) to pulling out his own tooth because his dad said that he couldn’t do it (JR) – my boys’ determination surprises me and impresses me.

JV PACE  Jonah jr boards   JR baseball

One example to share about my oldest … He has discovered intrinsic motivation this year at the age of 13. He has grown up to the point of becoming my cheerleader. We used to run together last summer, and he pretty much loathed it. Something happened. This summer when we run together, or rather, start our run together, he speeds off into the sunset and then runs in place while he cheers me on to catch up. He then proceeds to “fist-bump” me and say something to the effect of “Nice work, Mom. Keep it up. I knew you could do it.”

 JV T&F 4

What has happened here?  He decided to fight to be better than he was and change his mindset. He decided to put in the hard work and dedication to get better for him, not me or anyone else. I keep thinking to myself, “where did this new found drive come from?” He just made a decision to get better and work through his discomfort. One of the reasons I think he works so hard is watching his cousin, Carter, fight. He is fighting against Ewing Sarcoma. This life-altering fight has caused many of us to press pause and then push forward and fight harder. If Carter can do what he is doing with a positive outlook, we can do so much more than we did before.

TeamCarter                  Carterstrong

Sometimes life’s challenges can make us reflect on our lives and work harder to be better than yesterday. We just need a little motivation to get us past the initial discomfort and fight harder.

We need to motivate ourselves and each other. It is time to re-energize. To be able to do that again or to do it better or to try something new… It seems the opportune time to do so –summer, a break, a vacation – the perfect time to repurpose, reenergize, renew, and fight.

Work hard. Play hard. Fight. Repeat. Switch up the order as needed. This post has gone a little off its original course, but the moral of the story is to fight.

~SV

 

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.