Listening to Oprah’s podcast with will.i.am, I was profoundly impressed with him not only as a musician, but as an education proponent. His i.am.angel foundation brings STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to under-served communities. This foundation has also awarded over $800k in scholarships and 97% of these students are the first in their families to go to college.
Will echoes Milton Berle’s sage advice:
If a door closes, build a new door.
This reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago, when I was reading the Red4Ed message board. A school bus driver wrote: “Are you guys (teachers) demanding a raise and better benefits for us classified staff?”
I see way too much self-medicating and not enough self-advocating these days. Don’t ever assume someone is looking out for you. You’ve got to do the heavy lifting yourself. Exercise your rights. Vote. Do something with what you have.
If you go by the usual quote, “When one door closes, another opens,” it assumes you will just wait for another one to open. When you build your own, it won’t ever close.
Another way to look at your day’s purpose (and string of those leads to a life’s purpose) is to be mindful of your “vibrational frequency.” Yes, that might sound like hippie-speak, but consider it. (What’s wrong with being a Flower Child or Free Spirit, anyway?)
I read Light Watkin’s blog and this is how it inspired me:
If you’re into positive thinking and purpose, think about the present moment in terms of the vibrational frequency you’re putting “out there” (into your world). Are you giving off positive vibes? Or are you complaining or worrying?
When we talk about people giving off “vibes,” we’re often addressing their general energy, not something that said or did specifically. We have all felt someone’s energy as positive or negative before that person said a word.
Appreciating your present moment in terms of energy can get you out of your head (when you’re worried or upset about a specific event). Sometimes, it can be easier than identifying your current thought and catching yourself thinking non-productively. Am I giving off good vibes? Easy to answer. And thus, easy to change.
Recently, I (wo)manned a booth at our school’s International Festival. We were making maracas using empty toilet paper rolls, duct tape and (uncooked) beans and rice. Kids of all ages and sizes came to make their maracas.
After just one hour, I realized something: six and seven-year-old girls came up confidently and chose their colors without hesitation. “I want blue! And red! And green!” They taped their rolls, scooped up rice, taped again and smiled radiantly.
Teenage girls, however, hemmed and hawed, wracked with indecision. “Ummmmm. I dunno. I dunno what to choose! Ummmm…” It took them far longer to decide and even after they decided, they second-guessed their decisions and did not seem entirely happy with their results.
Too often, we confuse “anger” with power. Anger is fear-based. It is never necessary.
Intelligent, creative action can only arise from calmness.
Whenever I give a knee-jerk reaction, I almost always regret it. Yet I’ve never regretted deleting theimpassioned email or biting my tongue until I can address the issue calmly.
Try this: Next time you are offended (which is just your perception of offensive behavior, by the way), do not react. Think about the action or words. Decide if they are true or not. And react calmly (e.g., “Interesting. No, I do not agree.” Or, “I think you might be right!“)