Have you ever wondered what the number one predictor for high-achieving teams was? What about optimizing the brain’s most basic neurochemicals to live a happier life? Did you know that there are three main ingredients to create belonging in the work place, and anyone, irrespective of title can contribute to doing so? In our episode with Gail Markin, we’ll be answering these questions and more. I was totally blown away by the TED talk this amazing educator gave this past summer and want to share all the juicy learning with you! You can connect with her @markingail on twitter.
Gail Markin is a Middle School Counsellor and a District Support Teacher for Social Emotional Learning in Langley, British Columbia. Gail has a background in social work, family counselling and parent education. Gail is a member the BC School Centred Mental Health Coalition, Social Emotional Learning BC and the Langley School District Wellness Team. She is passionate about promoting and supporting mental health and wellness for all. Here is the talk that was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
Ever wonder why some people are really good at following through when they’re trying to nail down a new health habit or when they endeavour to quit a harmful vice?
Gretchen Rubin, author of the 4 Tendencies explains that we all fall into one of the 4 personality tendencies and that these tendencies have remarkable implications on the way we live our lives. We learn that there are pros and drawbacks to every tendency and that, if we’re smart, we can harness the strengths in order to live our best life. Not only can we impact our own lives positively, but having a working knowledge of the framework can help us navigate the various personalities in our lives from our bosses, to our children, to our spouses, to our adversaries, and to various stakeholders in our lives.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the tendencies according to Gretchen Rubin:
As the great Stephen Covey once asserted, there is a difference between urgent and important tasks. Both are a part of life, but it seems to me that life would be most rewarding if we filled our days more frequently with important rather than urgent matters.
Urgent is the thing that needs attention right NOW! These are tasks that emerge out of a restive mindset, defensive tactical action, rushed, and with a narrow focus on success.
Important are the things that contribute to grander, overarching goals, slow-drip moves that bring you closer to where you want to be, and a sense of intention that correlates with your values.
Of the tasks getting done today, how many are urgent and how many are important?
Have you ever dreamed of a doing extraordinary things with your life but haven’t known where to start?
Amy Perkins, an educator and teacher coach turned entrepreneur and influencer, walked away from a 25 year career and an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome to embrace her true purpose by unlocking the key to courage. In this interview, she shares her specific three-step process for manifesting your dreams a process through which she was able to get one-on-one coaching with Mel Robbins, get a one-on-one facetime for her daughter with a world famous actor, get to know Seth Godin, helped her husband to become the leading sales person in his division, win international trips across the world, and change lives.
Amy shares Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule that helped her to reclaim her life. She discusses tuning into the whispers that lead you closer to your purpose, how to create family affirmations, how to walk the talk when it comes to believing in yourself. She also explores some of the pitfalls of education and how to overcome the failures of ineffective leaders by speaking truth to power. You will come away inspired, with the belief that you too can live an extraordinary life! Follow her @amyperkins on Linked in or check her out @keystocourage on Instagram and online at www.keystocourage.com
Have you ever wanted to know the secret to truly achieving success?
How to create rapport in less than one minute?
What about rethinking your personal brand-everyone has one (you can either be intentional about it or let someone else create it for you)?
What about how to guard against the destructive nature of perfectionism?
This episode with New York Times Bestselling author, speaker, and publisher Dave Burgess is a total game-changer because in our 40 minute conversation, he dropped so much knowledge that I took two pages of notes and I had to listen back to the recording just to squeeze it all out!
Get ready to be inspired! #TLAP #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101
Many people think that they’re not creative. I’m not the “creative type,” is what I’ve often heard my friends say before we embark on a decidedly creative activity like painting, card-making, party planning, or lesson creating.
But, the truth is, all humans by definition are inherently creative. We’re born that way. We’re hardwired to be creative. It’s what sets us apart from the other animals in the world.
Our ability to make meaning of the world through the art we make is what makes us human.
Recently, I stumbled upon one of the most fun personality quizzes I’ve ever seen. Designed by leaders in the the field of creativity, Adobe has released a quiz that gives you an in-depth perspective on your creativity type.
I couldn’t help but do the quiz. My result…adventurer. Within moments, I had a page-long breakdown of my creativity type, strengths, drawbacks, potential pitfalls, and the best types of creatives to cross-pollinate with. Accurate, the sheet highlighted the fact that I like to have my hand in many pots, enjoy staying busy, thrive in making social connections, and that I love to spend a lot of my time creating.
I quickly sent the quiz to a small handful of friends and family members who also had remarkably accurate readings.
Curious? Why not try it yourself. It’s fun…no risk…and might just teach you that you are, in fact, very creative after all.
It turns out being a magician is pretty similar to being a teacher.
In this episode, Brian Miller and I explore tactical ways to create connection with people in such a way that we can serve the world more fully.
Have you ever struggled to remember someone’s name? Brian outlines some really easy way to do so.
Brian tells some incredible stories, one of which highlights the magical nature of inclusion through the unifying power of magic.
Brian talks about his wildly successful TED talk, Book (Three New People), his business, and his podcast.
Brian Miller is a magician, speaker, and author of personal success book Three New People: Make the Most of Your Daily Interactions and Stop Missing Amazing Opportunities. For 12 years he has shared his magic and his message with thousands of audiences in 11 countries across 4 continents. Based in Connecticut, Brian now performs his interactive blend of jaw dropping magic and laugh-out-loud comedy at 200+ events each year.
As a child, Brian suffered from a debilitating social and speech anxiety. He was bullied and mostly friendless through middle school. Though he loved magic tricks, he couldn’t muster the courage to perform for anyone. Brian got a fresh start in a new school for 9th grade, where he met another student who was also into magic. Through magic and friendship, Brian developed self-confidence for the very first time.
Founding his business at the early age of 16, Brian worked as a professional magician while completing a dual Bachelor’s of Science in mathematics and philosophy, achieving a 4.0 in philosophy and receiving two international awards for presenting original work. He was accepted into a PhD program for Philosophy of Language, but turned it down in order to pursue a career in entertainment.
Brian quickly found a following with college students on the national campus activities circuit, earning two nomination’s for “America’s Best Campus Artist” (Campus Activities Magazine) by the age of 24.
As his act evolved, so did the demand for his work. Brian developed a reputation for mixing world class entertainment with an engaging personality and the ability to adapt to any group. He began accepting invitations to entertain at exclusive private events throughout New England, such as bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, company holiday parties, and corporate events.
Military Entertainment and More
In April of 2016, Brian partnered with Navy Entertainment to bring magic to the American troops and their families stationed overseas on military bases. He has since completed 3 tours for the troops in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Brian calls these tours the most rewarding work of his career. Read about his most recent tour across Asia here.
Brian’s work has been featured in the Hartford Courant, The Huffington Post, MAGIC Magazine, Genii Magazine, and The Society of American Magicians Magazine. He was also showcased in the 2016 documentary film The Get Together about the legendary Abbott’s Get Together magic convention held annually for the past 80 years in Colon, MI.
Brian’s experience as a magician make him a dynamic and engaging corporate keynote speaker and youth motivational speaker. His TEDx talk “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” has been seen and shared by 3 million people worldwide.
Outside of magic Brian is a passionate musician. He has achieved critical acclaim as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter as half of the group Escher’s Enigma, a unique studio project with his father Russ Miller.
Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife Lindsey.
It turns out that belonging is a greater predictor of life-expectancy, well-being, happiness, and fulfillment than heart health, poverty, smoking, or obesity.
We can all affect the environments in which we live through our actions, because of the contagiousness of our behaviour.
Due to our nature as community-seeking beings, we were wired to seek out belonging through our connections to others. The mirror neurons in our bodies are designed to help us react and mimic the behaviours of those around us so that we will belong more easily.
In an attempt to improve their organization in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana-based Oschner Health System tried an out-of-the-box experiment. In his best-selling book “Before Happiness,” author Shawn Achor writes about the hospital’s decision to try to “raise levels of happiness first.” Oschner Health looked outside the usual medical literature and found a secret ingredient used by Ritz-Carlton hotels.
The 10/5 way “turns out to be the perfect example of how to transform an organization through positive inception. The 10/5 way involves just a few simple behavioral rules that all staff are trained to follow. If a guest walks by a Ritz employee within ten feet, the employee should make eye contact and smile. If that guest walks by within five feet, the employee should say, ‘Hello.'”
Despite initial skepticism, this deceptively simple technique “completely transformed the shared reality at the hospital. Not only did this improve patients’ satisfaction with care, it improved outcomes for the hospital,” Achor explained. He urges his readers to “try implementing the 10/5 way in your office or household.”
Just try it out. Look at someone in the eyes and give them a big smile. Chances are, they’ll smile right back at you. Our neuro-receptors release oxytocin (the love/belonging hormone) when someone smiles at us and when we smile. Smiling, because of our mirror neurons, has the power to change our brain chemistry. When we witness someone smiling or laughing, our brain responds as though we were laughing and smiling. So, just being around happy, joyous people can change the way we feel.
How can you contribute to your workplace, learning space, or community in such a way that you ignite a culture of belonging? What action can you take to help someone feel seen, heard, and valued, today?
I recently had the amazing Allie Apels of @joysofkinderon my podcast to discuss the transformative power of her brainchild “Kindness Ninjas” Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in her kindergarten class (#kindnessninjas).
Essentially, a few years ago, when Allie was faced with one of the most challenging groups of children she had ever taught, she and her teaching partner (yes, there were two teachers allocated to one class due to the high level of needs), came up with a brilliant way to encourage the development of a kind and supportive classroom. They introduced a kindness ambassador: the kindness ninja. Every day, leading up to Christmas break, Allie and her class would be greeted by the kindness ninja who would leave them notes and various random acts of kindness missions.
She explained that the experience was completely transformative. The class came together as a team and that year wound up becoming one of Allie’s favourite years as a teacher.
All About Our 15-Day Kindness Ninja Video Challenge Synergy
Not long after our conversation went live, we got the best idea ever and now…it’s about to go live!
This October, Allie and I are collaborating to bring your classroom an exciting synergy between the 21-Day-Kindness-Challenge and the Kindness Ninjas.
Every day, staring October 7th, 2019, we will be posting on our Instagram accounts 15 school-days worth of kindness ninja challenges to complete with your class. Our little kindness ninja will speak to your children through video using the chatterpix app.
We debated sharing the challenges ahead of time (we love a surprise), and decided to do so in order to give you amazing educators a head-start in your planning. Also, we will be posting the videos eventually to YouTube so that you can follow along on your own timeline at a later time!
What you will need: Gently loved books (one from the class or one from each student), wrapping paper (make, use newsprint, or purchase), notes explaining who it’s for and what it’s for. Check out Mrs. Mac’s example.
Day nine: Write or trace notes of appreciation for the staff members of your school. Place the notes in their mailboxes or on their vehicle windshields.
Day ten: Create a kindness cart to deliver cold beverages and snacks to teachers in your school (or set up the staff room for a special surprise treat day before lunch or recess):
What you’ll need: beverages (large containers of iced tea/lemonade/tea/sparkling water and coffee) or individual cans. Also, cookies/crackers and cheese/and homemade treats are always appreciated.
Students can make small posters or cards expressing their gratitude for those who serve the school.
Day fourteen: Write special letters to people in your family thanking them for all that they do for you. Use fancy paper and envelopes to make it extra special.
Day fifteen: Make a kindness big-book to gift to another class, to inspire them to be kind within your school. Each person can make a page to tell one way to be a kindness ninja. You could even send it to another school to spread the ripples of kindness throughout your community.
When we embark on a new creative venture, what often begins as a feeling of excitement can quickly transform into overwhelm.
Too often, when we express ourselves through art, take creative risks, or engage in work that challenges the status quo, self-destructive voices audibly whisper two of the following shame-fuelled messages:
“You’re not good enough.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?”
Those two powerful messages can stop us in our tracks, preventing us from sharing our story or our art with those who desperately need to hear it.
Fear masquerades as perfectionism and procrastination.
It’s a blessing to remind fellow creatives of their inherent value to the world.
Your pain points.
No one sees the world quite like you.
To be able to share your unique perspective with others is a gift.