Too many great things don't happen because we don't believe that our small moves are good enough. My challenge for each of us is to decide what matters so much that it's worthy of our consistent good enough. Good enough consistently can help us achieve greatness.
For me, sometimes the best way to feel better is counterintuitive. To give that which I'm lacking. If I'm not feeling wholehearted in my work and not feeling the love, I give love. If I'm not feeling like I belong, I create belonging for others. For example, ensuring equity of voice in meetings, paying attention to how I respond to the contributions of others, and sitting in circles are all small moves for belonging that I talk about in the draft of my book. And finally, vulnerability. Someone has to go first. Sometimes, that someone is you. Whether it be rest or more wholeheartedness in your work, I hope you find it.
Lessons from the Dentist
As George Couros has said, "Change is an opportunity to do something amazing." I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about the dentist, but it turns out that a trip to the dentist was not only good for my teeth, it was good for my professional practice in the education space too. Inspiration is all around us. What we look for, we find.
Lessons in Leadership
Will Guidara, author of Unreasonable Hospitality, was able to turn 11 Madison Park into the #1 restaurant in the world. He did so not by making the most unique food in the world or creating the most fancy of restaurants. He did it by tapping into a human need we have that will hold true until the end of time. The need to be well-cared for. So much of excellent leadership is not revolutionary. However, in a world filled with busy and in a time of so many initiatives and high pressure, taking great care of others can feel revolutionary. In this new year, may we all reflect upon how we can do less of what doesn’t matter as much, so we can do more of what matters most. In doing so, the work gets better and so do we.
Life is a Special Occasion
ome of us are in the middle of really hard things right now. Big hugs to you. I hope you let yourself feel what you need to feel. For those searching for peace, you might find it if you slow down to see the magic in all of the little moments that are working in your favor. If you take a deep breath and simply notice, there is a good amount of good. When you find the good, the good gets better. And so do you.
Slow It Down
Whatever it is for you, whatever makes you feel grateful to be alive, slow down so you can stay closer to it this season. The things I'm most thankful for cannot be found in my phone or on the internet. Slow down and savor that first sip of your coffee. Wrap your hands around a warm mug and enjoy the glow of your Christmas tree or fire. Hug a little longer. Turn your music up. Whatever little moves you can make, whatever little time you can take, do it. Time isn't slowing down, but we can.
Prioritizing Inner Peace
But the reality is, the only we can truly control at the end of the day is ourselves. The real work is the work we do on ourselves. Everything else is secondary. How we feel in the work impact the works, so when we can find ways to feel better in the work, the work gets better.
When 40% is 100%
I'm not totally sure what we are working toward sometimes. There are no busy badges or gold stars for the most hours worked. It's one thing if we are loving what we are doing and losing ourselves in it in the best possible way. But not everything in our lives and our work is worth that kind of effort.
Thought-Feeling-Behavior, oh my!
Pay attention to your thoughts in situations and with people that are triggering for you. Your thoughts lead to your feelings which leads to your response. Give yourself a little grace when you don't respond in ways that make you feel proud and remember that this triangle is a practical strategy for understanding how you're feeling and how you want to respond in the future.
Hype People Up
Recently, a teacher sent me a very kind text message. It didn't feel like I deserved her words of affirmation, but I cherished them and held them dear. It felt nice to have someone see something good in me, and it made me want to live up to those words the next day and every day. I guess all I'm saying is that our winters are long. The middle part of the school year can feel long and messy. But the work feels better when we feel better and a great way to feel better is to notice and acknowledge what's great around us: the people. The people make our schools special. Let's hype them up.