Tag Archives: #optimism

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. 

9 Ways to Stay Optimistic This Autumn

BLOG Optimistic autumn 1

Autumn…an extraordinary time of year. A time for hooded sweatshirts, crisp cool air, brilliant colors, football games, tractor rides, pumpkin festivals, apple treats, hot chocolate, and bon fires. So much to do, so little time before the snow flies.

Embrace the season. Embrace the opportunities that await you. Don’t let your attitude start to take a dip just because the temperature outside is starting to dip. Below are a few ways to stay optimistic during this lovely time of year:

Hooded sweatshirts: Put on that hoodie and take a walk outside with a friend. Breathe in that fresh, crisp cool air. Ahhh…it ‘tastes’ delicious, doesn’t it?

Brilliant colors: Visit a place where the fall colors shine. The North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota is a perfect place to see some brilliant hues. Make sure to google when the color peak hits at the place you want to visit. You certainly don’t want to arrive there and find all the trees bare. That would be a bummer.

Football games: Who is your favorite football team? Is it a college team or a professional team? Whichever one you choose, try to attend a game. Try a little tailgating if you haven’t before. The excitement of the atmosphere is invigorating. Or…watching it on the big screen is okay too. Go Minnesota Vikings!

Tractor rides: You can take the boy off of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy. (Likewise for the girls!) Our ‘boys’ sure love to help family with farming. Pause for a few hours and go for a ride in the tractor with your significant other for a few rounds during harvest. Watch the sunset as you do…it’s kind of romantic. 🙂

Pumpkin festivals: Horse rides, corn boxes instead of sandboxes, pumpkin carving competitions, and pumpkin launching are all entertaining activities happening at the local pumpkin fest. Children of all ages (yes that includes us) enjoy participating in the pumpkin festivities.

Apple treats: Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jazz…which kind is most “a-peeling” to you? Visit an apple orchard or attend an apple tasting event to find out. Then make some of your favorite apple treats—Caramel apples on a stick, apple pie, apple crisp, or applesauce—and savor your choice morsels. Pinterest has so many apple recipes. Have a fun time exploring!

Hot chocolate: A cup of hot chocolate on a cool crisp fall evening while sitting by a bon fire is so tranquil. Put together a hot chocolate bar, invite friends over and enjoy an evening of peaceful conversation. Top off the hot chocolate with some cinnamon whipped cream, and top off the bon fire with a little singing and guitar playing.

We have been blessed with a wonderful fall so far. We hope you have been blessed as well. Happy fall, everyone!


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