You are perfect just as you are. Remember that it’s never too late to unbecome who the world thought you were supposed to be.
There are times when you might forget your own worth. You might twist yourself in a pretzel to make someone else happy, but make yourself miserable. Just be yourself.
It is possible to be brave and scared at the same time. Don’t let fear to stop you from doing the things that bring you happiness.
Seek joy! Be enthusiastic even when others aren’t. Laugh so hard your belly hurts. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Find sparks of happiness in tiny, ordinary moments.
The only certain thing in life is that one day you will be faced with uncertainty. You can’t control what happens to you, but you do have power over how you react to it. Write your own story.
Sometimes, hurt people hurt people. When someone tries to dim your light, remember that it takes courage to keep shining bright.
It’s ok to cry. If you don’t let the sad out, sad can turn into mad. Whether you are a boy or a girl, everyone feels sad sometimes.
Show up for your loved ones when they are suffering. Sit alongside them without needing to fix them. Simple isn’t always easy.
There will be times when you will have to protect your heart. It is possible to be a kind person and still say ‘no.’
Choose people who choose you. Surround yourself with those who see your gifts. Seek out people who already believe in you. Don’t waste time proving yourself. You might not be for everyone. And that’s ok.
Learn to give compliments from the heart. And most importantly, learn to accept compliments with grace.
The way you speak to people matters. Always speak with kindness in your heart. You just never know what they are struggling to overcome.
Don’t make yourself small in order to fit the places you’ve outgrown. It’s ok to dream big, spread your wings, and fly!
Everyone is capable of creativity. Your work will always be bad before its good. Make lots of it. Share your gifts with the world. Keep creating. Keep sharing. Keep getting better.
Done is better than perfect. Perfect is impossible. Shoot for your best, instead.
At times, you might get knocked down. Keep getting up. If you’re tired, allow yourself to rest. Keep trying. The only way to bounce forward, is to never fully give up.
Listen to others with an open heart, and don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in.
Every so often, ask yourself: Am I proud of the way I make people feel?
Clap for friends and strangers even when you envy their success. Their victories don’t equal your failure.
Take care of your body. Feed it healthy foods. Move it, every day.
Take care of your mind. Feed it healthy thoughts. Give it the gift of stillness, every day.
Pick yourself. Don’t wait for permission to change the world. Express yourself. Find your voice. Don’t wait. Start now.
Walk through the world trusting the compass in your hand and following the whispers of curiosity on your heart. You might be unsure of your destination right now, have faith that it’ll all make sense in the end.
I often get asked how I manage to fit podcast-creation, online content conception, professional development planning, full-time teaching, mothering, and managing our house at the same time in a balanced way, and the truth is I DON’T!
I’ve learned recently that there is no such thing as work-life balance. The concept simply does not exist in real life!
My friend, speaker, edu phenom and best-selling author Jimmy Casas talks about adopting the mindset of life-fit, instead. We cannot balance everything important simultaneously. What we can do, however, is live an integrated, rich, lopsided, beautiful life.
One approach that has really helped me is using Time Blocks (Charlie Gilkey):
He suggests a more essentialist style by mixing and matching four blocks of time to structure the work of your day. I like this approach because instead of trying to spin all of the plates at one time, you can focus in on a few with an incredible amount of depth:
Focus blocks (90–120 mins blocks of creativity, inspiration and high-level focussed work)
Social blocks (90–120 mins blocks of connecting with people)
Admin blocks (30–60 mins blocks of lower-energy blocks of time)
Recovery (variable-length blocks for exercise, meditation and self-care).
Some days, you might focus more on one goal or interest, and that’s just fine.
Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to be all to all, all the time! Seek out wholeness by ping-ponging between your interests and being okay with the occasional messiness of it!
How can you invite a sense of life-fit into your life?
Have you ever wondered what the difference between shame, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment are? Often we use these words interchangeably, but Dr. Brené Brown has so beautifully described the difference between the 4 terms:
Shame is “I am bad” Shame is a focus on self. Imagine you’ve worked really hard to prepare a presentation with a coworker for an important staff meeting. One of your responsibilities was to prepare the powerpoint. You forget to save the file onto your computer and, as a result, your coworker is disappointed. If you feel shame, your immediate thought pattern is that you’re a bad person. “I’m the worst co-planner ever. I am such a loser for forgetting that powerpoint.”
Guilt = “I did something bad” Guilt is a focus on behavior. If your self talk is : “ahh. I can’t believe I did that. That was such a crappy thing to do, I made such a poor choice not to back up my work!” That’s guilt.
Our self-talk really matters and often frames the way we move through our relationships. Shame is highly correlated to aggression, addiction, depression, suicide, bullying, eating disorders, whereas guilt- the ability to separate who we are from our actions-without degrading our worth.
Guilt is inversely correlated to these same outcomes. So, it’s much better for our mental health to focus on behaviour, even when we’re speaking in jest about ourselves.
Humiliation. With humiliation results in the same physiological response as shame except that you don’t believe you deserve the treatment: sweaty palms, wish that the ground would swallow you up, wanting to make yourself small, nervous laughter… Dr. Brené Brown uses a school example:
” A teacher is handing back papers and one of the students doesn’t have their name on the paper and the teacher calls the kid stupid: If that child’s self-talk is “that is the meanest, most nasty teacher ever, I didn’t’ deserve that” What that child is likely experiencing is humiliation. As a parent or caregiver- I’m going to hear about that when the kid gets home- because they’re going to be angry and hurt and want to share it. If the child’s self talk is immediately “ ugh. She’s right, I’m so stupid, why do keep forgetting to put my name on my paper, I’m so stupid,” Thats shame.”
Embarrassment-it isn’t rooted in shame, is often funny and fleeting, and it doesn’t make you feel alone (it’s usually some universal human experience). Just think of that time that you put your sweater on backward and the tag was sticking out for the better part of an afternoon lunch with friends. Once you realize your mistake, it could leave you a little red-faced, but you know deep down that it’s human and that other people have done the same.
What makes for a powerful, memorable moment, in school or otherwise? Naturally, we all seek to be memorable. Nobody dreams of living an unremarkable life. We all want to be special to somebody. Some of us seek accolades from the masses, while others seek to be important to just a select few. That’s part of what makes us all so unique. We can all agree that there are magic moments that permeate our lives, but the tricky thing is creating magic, memorable moments for those we seek to serve. How do we make ourselves and the experiences we offer those around us, remarkable enough to make an indelible mark on our souls?
I recently read the incredible book The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, which outlined an easy-to-follow framework for creating remarkable memories.
Here’s the framework:
E: Elevate – Rise above the every day
Rise above the every day by marking transitions in special ways (100th day of school, 50th book read), building peaks, sensory appeal, raising the stake, and creating an element of surprise for the people you seek to serve.
P: Pride – Build in a sense of buy-in and pride
Celebrate those who have worked hard to achieve their goals! Help them to see their growth. Help them to develop affiliations with you and your tribe. The #1 reasons people leave their jobs is a lack of recognition. Break tasks into small and measurable goals…celebrate every milestone. Always be appreciating and noticing people…but know whether they want the recognition to be quiet or public (that’s important to note, especially with kids). The tribe’s win is everybody’s win!
I: Insight – Help people to learn about themselves in a supportive environment
We tend to want to protect people from risk, but discomfort is where growth lies.
High standards + Assurance + Direction + Support = Insight
When we share our positive and negative moments together, lifting one another up and celebrating one another’s successes, it solidifies the bonds we have in a group. We feel tied to one another on a neuro-chemical level.
How might you apply these four pillars to create powerful moments for those you serve?
With the advent of more ethically-conscious curricula that challenge the outdated colonialist outlook on history, educators are more responsible than ever for carefully and accurately talking about cultures and ways of knowing that may not be personally familiar to us. In light of the Canadian government’s reconciliation efforts with indigenous people, the way we teach has to reflect a more culturally conscious approach.
“But, I’m not indigenous,” many people say. “How do I teach about indigenous culture?”
In this conversation, you’ll learn specific lessons, books, and approaches to teaching indigenous ways of knowing in an authentic, integrated way. Hope you enjoy this short, illuminating mini-episode with my esteemed guest, Adrienne Gear. Be sure to check out her full-length treasure trove interviews (E #9 and #10)
Adrienne Gear has been a teacher in the Vancouver School district in Canada for over 18 years working as a classroom teacher, ESL teacher, teacher librarian and District Literacy Mentor. Adrienne developed Reading Power almost 10 years ago and has been since working with teachers in many districts throughout the province presenting workshops, giving demonstration lessons and facilitating Reading Power leadership teams. She has also presented workshops in the United States.
She is the author of six bestselling books including, Reading Power and Writing Power, and has just completed her sixth book Powerful Understanding : Helping Students Explore, Question, and Transform Their Thinking about Themselves, Others, and the World. Find her online on her website or on social media by searching Adrienne Gear.
For more information about her books, book lists, blog, resources and workshops visit her blog.
These days, I find myself observing and mentally noting with fervour the magical elements that conspire to empower great leaders. There is a universality about great leadership that makes it easy for those to assume that one either has it or one doesn’t. However, in this growth mindset culture, we know that to be a fallacy. Leadership is a cultivated skill not a role we’re simply born into.
Sure, it helps to be competent at the work you do because competence surely goes a long distance in helping to create trust. But, I’d argue that true leadership goes beyond being the best at your job. Leadership is about enabling those around you to be their best, do their best work, and doing so in a way that helps them to feel autonomous, valued, and empowered. From what I’ve seen, read, listened to, and from the people with whom I’ve personally spoken on the KindSight 101 Podcast (and within my own life), leadership is rooted in storytelling. A solid story can do more to convince people to believe you, join your ranks, or sell you ideas than any coercive, strategic approaches can. Show me a good storyteller and I’ll show you a good leader.
So, how to tell a good story? I recently read the book To Sell is Human by the amazing Dan Pink (Seriously, if you haven’t heard him on a podcast, read or listened to one of his books/speeches, you’re missing out! He’s a guru in motivation and sales…and he’s funny, too!). He introduced me to Emma Coat’s Pixar Pitch framework, which uses the Hero’s Journey to formulate your ideas/story/pitch into a palatable pitch. You want to pique curiosity, solve someone’s problem, create value, and be specific enough that someone can see themselves benefitting from the solution you offer.
Here’s how it works:
Set the tone for the way things are currently: Who is in the story, where do they live, what is the context? – Once upon a time…
Talk about the routine of life-the status quo- Every day…
Create tension and a disruption from the status quo- One day…
What are the consequences of that event or disruption? – Because of that…
What are the further consequences? – Because of that…
Arrive at the conclusion, where things have returned to stasis, but things are better than they were- Until finally…
Take the Finding Nemo Plot, for instance:
Once upon a time there was a fish named Marlin who lost his wife and was protective of his forgetful son, Nemo.
Every day, Nemo would be warned by his Dad not to venture beyond the dangers of their coral reef.
One day, Nemo ignores the warnings and swims beyond the cozy comforts of his home, to the open ocean.
Because of that, he winds up being captured and winds up in a fish tank in someone’s home.
Because of that, Marlin begins a tireless journey to find his son with the help of a few kind creatures at his side.
Until finally, Marlin and Nemo reunite and understand that love is dependent on a sense of trust.
Here’s the Small Act Big Impact story in six sentences:
Once upon a time, there was an education crisis in our schools and communities across North America and the World-at-large.
Everyday, more than 25% of our students were mired in hopelessness, stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness, to the point where it made it hard for them to learn, connect with one another, and feel deep and authentic happiness and life satisfaction. This was affecting their learning and well-being, making it hard for them to be their best expressions of themselves.
One day, neuroscientists discovered that happiness and fulfilment could be derived from generosity and kindness on a chemical level in the brain. We learned we could learn to develop kindness habits that would release continuous happiness hormones not only to those demonstrating generosity and receiving kindness, but to even those who witnessed it.
Because of that, Small Act Big Impact developed a 21-Day Kindness Challenge to encourage students, teachers, parents, businesses, communities, and educational leaders to develop meaningful habits of kindness that would ripple out into the community, inspiring people to adopt the habits, themselves.
Because of that, students, teachers, and leaders began feeling happier and more hopeful, bringing levels of hopelessness, stress, anxiety, and depression down.
Until finally, everyone knew that the path to living happy lives resides in our ability to help one another through deep and intentional kindness.
How will storytelling help you to become the leader you want to be?
Every parent and educator experiences visceral fear at the thought of needing to support a child in crisis. Most of us feel a sense of powerlessness, but this psychiatrist explains the importance of our role in our students’ lives. In this mini episode, you’ll learn easy tangible ways to support students experiencing depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. This is an episode not to miss!
Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, Researcher , Media Expert , Bestselling Author , and Speaker. She is the former Medical Director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver community, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, and the founder of the Provincial Youth Concurrent Disorders Program at BC Children’s Hospital. Her books The Dolphin Way™: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into A Tiger (Penguin Books 2014) and ” The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids ” are #1 Bestsellers! And she also has a new title out “The Self-Motivated Kid: How to Raise a Healthy, Happy Child Who Knows What they Want and Goes After It (Without Being Told).
She is also the founder of the DolphinPOD school , located in India and dedicated to developing the key 21st century life skills. She also heads up The DolphinKIDS Achievement Programs which are designed to develop the mindset and life skills to achieve your dreams!
She is most proud of receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service and being a mother of three amazing but exhausting children!
Dr. Kang can be found on social media @drshimikang
For more information about Dr. Kang, her amazing schools, or books, visit http://www.drshimikang.com
Or check out our podcast search for episode #18.
Some people believe that empathy is intrinsic, something you’re either born with or you’re not. Well, my guest today believes that all children have the capacity to be kind, compassionate contributors, we just have to be willing to teach them how. You’ll come away from this conversation inspired to start the 21-day kindness challenge, with a ton of easy to implement tips and strategies for the classroom, with lesson ideas, and with service-based projects to dig into with your students. Enjoy!
Currently having completed her 34th year school counselor in Friendswood, Texas, Barbara Gruener, has had the unique opportunity of growing alongside learners in every age and stage, preK through 12th. A passionate, connected educator, Barbara enjoys positively inspiring and influencing change through her high energy, engaging keynotes and interactive learning sessions. The author of the Corner on Character blog and the book, [What’s Under Your Cape?], Barbara firmly believes that we have the power to change the world, one kind act at a time. Influenced by the recent school shooting in in Santa Fe, just 15 miles from her home, she felt moved to take a bigger stand for kindness. She has just recently taken the leap into consulting work. When she’s not working, you can bet Barbara is knitting, baking, writing, reading, walking, gardening, napping, or spending time with her husband and their three children.