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Go Your Own Way

Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.—Angelina Jolie

First, I have to get rid of the Fleetwood Mac earworm that is going through my head.  Ah well, there are worse songs to be stuck in your head, right?  We are sheep!  Seriously, 90% of us, just follow the crowd and do what everybody else is doing.  We wear what everybody else is wearing, and we do what everybody else is doing.  Case in point, pumpkin spice season.  A few years ago, a coffee place came out with pumpkin spice coffee and now, every fall, you can’t go anywhere without seeing pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.  Now pumpkin spice isn’t an issue, and really following the crowd isn’t always a super horrible thing.  When the majority of us follow the laws of our land, we’re pretty much following a crowd, and in that instance it’s a good thing.  What’s not a good thing is when somebody makes a different choice than the majority, and then gets taken to task for being different.  Galileo, who theorized that the earth revolved around the sun faced terrible backlash for his theories.  Soldiers who fought in Vietnam, in many cases, were treated horribly when they returned home from the war, because the popular trend in the United States was an anti war movement.  I’m not saying any popular trend is right or wrong, nor am I saying that going with the majority is wrong.  What is wrong is being critical of someone who chooses to forge their own path.  Not everybody is going to do things the same way, or see things the same way.  Instead of criticizing our differences, lets celebrate the fact that we are unique and creative individuals who don’t see things the same way.  Lets use our different viewpoints to make the world a better place.

Self-Worth

Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are. —Beyoncé

When I first read this quote, I was amazed.  Where did Queen Bee get off talking about self-worth.  I mean seriously, she has more money than God, and wherever she goes there are hoards of screaming fans who worship the ground she walks on.  I mean her life is perfect, right?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, who better to talk about self-worth.  She knows that her self-worth isn’t dependent on the money she has, or the gold records, or the screaming fans. She learned the lesson so many of us need to learn.  Our self-worth needs to come from within, not from others.  It doesn’t matter what anybody else says about you, or thinks about you. The only thing that truly matters is what you think of yourself.  I think we all need to treat ourselves better, and talk to ourselves better, and yes, love the people that we are.  Learn to treat yourself better and appreciate the person that you are.  Don’t let your self-worth be dependent upon others, for true self-worth comes from within.

Help Me Help My Students

I am not a huge go fund me person. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve donated to plenty of go fund me campaigns, and yes, I’ve even dreamed of creating one to get rid of my incredible student loan debt, but I’ve never felt comfortable doing it. Like I said, I support others and have donated plenty, but doing it for myself has felt akin to begging. Well that changed today – kind of. There is an amazing curriculum I want to get for my students, but it costs over $2200.00 – I cannot afford to pay for that, and neither can my school or my school district. So I decided to bite the bullet so to speak and start my very own GoFundMe campaign to get this curriculum. It’s an amazing program, teaching many character traits including integrity, tolerance, gratitude, courage, perseverance, honesty and respect. The Character Development & Leadership Curriculum utilizes a consistent set of 10 lesson plans to teach each of the 18 character trait modules. This is both the simplicity and the beauty of this curriculum. It’s what the teachers love and the students come to rely on. Once the students understand the 10 lesson plans, they know what to expect, which provides consistency. At the same time, one ethical dilemma (for example) doesn’t look like the next, so each lesson plan is unique and fresh. It is easily modifiable to work with different learning and teaching styles, and will really benefit my students. I would absolutely love it if people would consider donating and sharing the campaign on their various social media platforms.

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It’s Never Hopeless

There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them. – Clare Boothe Luce

“I give up.”  “It can’t be done.” “This is impossible.”  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard this, and to be honest, I can’t count the times I’ve said it myself.  But guess what, nothing is impossible unless you give up.  As long as you keep trying, as long as you keep putting forth effort, the possibility for success is still there.

Don’t Forget to Dream

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. You should never surrender your dreams. – Jesse Jackson

Dreams are such a wonderful thing.  We all have dreams, and while we all may have similar dreams, your dreams are uniquely yours, and my dreams are uniquely mine.  It’s important to honor the dreams that we have.  Don’t compromise on them.  It’s okay to reevaluate your dreams, and change them if that’s what you want, but don’t ever let anybody tell you that your dreams stupid, or unobtainable.  It’s your dream, not theirs, and you need to let that dream soar.  Don’t give up on it because somebody else says you should.  Hold on to those dreams, feed  and cherish them and celebrate when you achieve them.

 

Take a Chance and Live

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh man, how I love today’s quote.  Life is meant to be lived, and lived to it’s fullest.  Life is not meant to be observed from the sidelines.  It’s there for us to reach out and grab with both hands.  That being said, sometimes it’s hard to let go of the safety net and reach out and grab a hold of life.  In fact, it can be darn right scary, but what we all need to remember is that life is an experiment.  A grand, mad, wonderful experiment, and sometimes experiments don’t work out quite the way we intended.  Sometimes they don’t work out at all, but sometimes, they work out beyond our wildest expectations.  And when they don’t work out, you just dust yourself off and try again.  It’s okay.  Nobody is perfect, and sometimes things go wrong.  The great thing is, we usually get to fix what went wrong and move forward.  And sometimes, when those things don’t work out the way we expected, it’s okay because they’ve worked out even better.  So live grandly, and take chances and seize this wonderful life that you’ve been given.

It’s an Adventure

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. – William Feather

My students are SOOOO literal – when they read this quote today they focused on the word adventure and were quick to point out there weren’t any adventures in their lives. I was equally as quick to point out that an adventure doesn’t have to be a grand expedition,  or a quest to climb a mountain.  An adventure can be the decision to do something different.  To make a choice to turn your life around, or to make a difference in the life of somebody else.  It’s a matter of perspective, and maybe you need to change yours.  Today, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was stuck behind a slow moving bus on my way in to school.  I fussed, I fumed, but you know what?  It didn’t make the bus drive any faster, lol.  Anyhow, because I was going so slow, I had an opportunity to observe the scenery on a road I’d driven over hundreds of times before.   Today I saw something I’d never seen before.  I saw a beautiful misty covered field where the sun was just breaking through the mist.  It was beautiful.  It became my adventure for the day.  It wasn’t something grand, and it sure wasn’t climbing a mountain, but it was so beautiful, it took my breath away.  It truly touched my heart and made today simply amazing.  I got the most out of today because of my little adventure.  What are you going to get out of your life?

Personal Growth

Seeing yourself as you want to be is the key to personal growth. – Unknown

Visualization is probably the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal.  If you can conceive it, if you can see it, you can be it.  I believe this with 100% certainty!  I have a vision board, ok, i have several, and I use a focus wheel, and I have affirmations I say to myself daily.  But the most powerful thing you can do is see yourself in your minds eye the way you want to be.  If you can’t see it, can’t envision it, how can you become it?  Say for example you want to lose a significant amount of weight.   Start by seeing yourself making healthier choices for meals, and see yourself drinking lots of water.  See yourself exercising, either at the gym, or at home.  Imagine yourself trying on that one article of clothing you never bought because you didn’t think it would fit.  Then, start making these changes, one by one. Not all at once, but maybe replace your soda with water, or instead of making mashed potatoes with dinner, make mashed cauliflower.  Go for a walk, or do some sit ups at home, or even dance around your living room.  But while you’re making these small changes, keep seeing yourself the way you want to be.  Visualizing is the first step, but it’s a key step!

Accept Yourself, but Strive for More

Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better. – Flannery O’Connor

I’m not going to lie, it was a long week and an even longer day and I’m very tired, so I think this is going to be a super short post.  My students had a tough time with today’s quote.  First they couldn’t get past a first name of Flannery, lol, then they got stuck on the word preclude.  When we finally got all that straightened out, they didn’t understand how you can accept yourself but strive to be better.  I told the kids that I’m fairly happy with who I am.  I like me, and that’s a good thing.  Then I tried to explain to them that I am neither flexible, nor am I bendy, which had to be illustrated by my inability to come anywhere near my toes when bending over.  After the laughter stopped, I explained that while I am perfectly happy with who I am, and I can probably get through the rest of my life with never having to touch my toes, I was choosing to do something about it.  I explained that I signed up for a yoga class (it starts in two weeks, pray for me).  While my students still don’t quite get how you can accept who you are but strive for more, I completely get it, and I hope you do too.  It’s super important to love who you are.  Why wouldn’t you?  You’re pretty darn amazing, after all.  But you can still want to improve, to grow and to change.  Don’t become stagnant, become more.

Taking Chances

Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. – Dale Carnegie

When you first think about it, taking a chance is kind of a scary thing.  Do I or don’t I, and what if I do and this happens and what if I don’t and that doesn’t happen?  The litany that can run through your head can be overwhelming.  I was thinking about that a lot today.  Who am I to tell people to take chances?  Well, guess what, I’m not going to tell you to take chances, because whether you realize it or not, you take huge chances every single day.  Every single morning, when you walk out the door of your house, you’re taking a chance. When you drive your car, or walk down the street, you take a chance.  Maybe what we need to do is take bigger chances.  Try new things, chase our dreams.  You may fail, sure, but if you don’t try, you will fail, and if you do try, you may very well succeed!

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