Tag Archives: courage

Let’s be Honest

It is January 22, 2019. Even though almost all the schools around us are closed, we didn’t get a snow day. (It is cold, but the roads are clear and the snow just hasn’t started falling). I have tons of grading to do, some are late assignments because students won’t hand in their work. I just introduced a poetry unit for four sections. This is how I feel today.

This post isn’t exactly about my day though. This post is about the work it takes to stay focused on your goals. Especially when you know negativity is coming your way.

Let’s be honest, it is difficult to stay the course. It takes more than will power. It takes more than hard work. It takes courage. It takes faith. And sometimes it takes a wall to protect yourself.

OK, let’s go back to my day.

Poetry

I am going to guess that many of you reading that word had a negative response… just like my students. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am a poet. So, the next couple of weeks are going to be fun for me, to a degree. I will have to fight through the negative reaction almost all of my students will have. But, I think I can use this example to discuss how to withstand those moments in life when you face negative pushback as you reach for your goals.

The first aspect is to have faith. I know that when the poetry unit is over, most of my students will at least appreciate poetry. Even though, right now, they complain, I know what the outcome will be. (In fact even by the end of the period a few students said they enjoyed watching a performance of some of the poems).

Have faith in the end result.

Now the honest part is that sometimes we don’t succeed. We don’t achieve a specific goal. But that doesn’t mean you lose faith. Faith gives you a focus and builds strength to continue to strive toward your goals. That strength feeds your courage. It is going to take courage to face the hurdles while pursuing your dreams. And the toughest hurdle is negativity from the outside world.

That negativity takes on many different forms. Each negative hurdle has to be conquered in different ways. But you have to have the courage to do what it takes to overcome the negativity. Let’s be honest, sometimes we get knocked to the ground by difficult situations. It takes courage to get back up. And faith to get us moving in the right direction.

My final aspect for today is protecting yourself. And the best way to protect yourself is with Love. There are two parts to this idea.

First, love what you do. Sounds simple, but I see too many people, too many students, pursue goals that they don’t love. Love feeds into faith. What you love defines who you are to a degree. If you are pursuing goals that align with what you love, you build faith in the end result. Which then gives you courage to fight for it.  What we fight for keeps fuels our love for that goal and life. Yes, it is all connected.

The second part of Love is a little different. Surround yourself with people who love and care for you. Life is a team sport. For whatever reason, this world is filled with people who would rather see you fail than succeed. People who love you want to see you shine. Their protection is an important part of achieving your goals. Bring them in to your life.

Faith

Courage

Love

And of course,

Poetry.

 

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Change Part Two: Believe

In the last post about change, I discussed how change happens one step at a time. That one step done over and over impacts your life.. But what step do you take? I’ll answer that with another question: What do you believe?

I recently held an afternoon workshop on leading from your WHY. In one segment of the workshop I addressed how our everyday behavior is based on what we believe. We are on autopilot for most of our day. This is not a bad thing, but it is important to address because what we believe sets the standard of our autopilot. (I wrote about this idea in the post, “Default”.) For real change we will have to connect a few dots. Those dots can get deep and complex pretty quickly. So, I will try to delve into this without writing a book…

First, you have to be honest about the change you want and what you believe. This process takes time and reflection. I recommend taking time to write out your thoughts and share your insights with a close friend. This helps you be accountable for the step you choose to take, which we will discuss in a minute. Back to the process, you need to evaluate your beliefs and be honest about living up to those beliefs. This is hard. Don’t rush the process, though. When you have a clear picture of your core values, you will then be able to see what the next step is.

Second, you have to have the courage to step in the direction of your beliefs. This is the hardest thing to do in the world, (which is why it is good to have someone who will help you along the way). Too many times, external factors influence our everyday life, and we let those factors determine our steps. There are too many reasons for that to work through in a blog post, but some of the main reasons are fear, acceptance, and emotional pain, especially from the past. We all have personal hurdles that will take courage to overcome. These factors sit between what we believe and how we live our everyday life. It will take courage to step in the right direction.

Change is important.

Change is growth.

Changes takes steps, everyday.

A single step may not seem to do much until you notice, that after time, you have become the person you have always known you could be. All because you took that first step, everyday.

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