We live our life’s based on our values, morals, and beliefs. These are formed as we live our life going through the different cycles. We learn as toddlers, school age, teenagers, young adults, middle ages and older adulthood. We learn these guiding principals from our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, school mates, coaches, teachers, mentors, pastors and many other people. I was blessed with an awesome set of parents and grand parents that taught me the values that guide me still to this day. Everyone has a different set of values and that is the beauty of growing up, learning, living and having life experiences that shape and often change those values.
I am different from when I was 18, 25, 35, 45 and now at 55 have basically the same set of values but they have changed some. Some things I may have changed my mind own, others I may have softened my stance on and some I refuse to budge on. I did my best to teach my own kids the things I thought were valuable in life and allowed them to form their own belief systems. As a teacher I do my best to teach good life values without trying to influence my students politically, religiously or change their thought process. The list of things below are some of these basic values that do not cost a person anything but time, thought and a little energy.
It is our duty to teach our children good basic life values and let them learn, experience, make mistakes and grow as they get older in the process. It is not our job to indoctrinate children with our thought processes, ideals and morals or lack of morals. Teachers should not be focusing on changing kids attitudes to meet their thought process, but instead should be teaching basic values and allow the children to make their own decisions. If those decisions differ from the teacher, then so be it.
1- Smile: A smile just makes people feel good. Smiling is positive, gives off good energy and is contagious. Everyday I stand near my door and say good morning to my students, other staff members and whomever I greet and smile at them. Try it and see what happens!
2- Be Kind: You have the power to make people feel good about themselves. A kind word, act or moment can be the difference in a life. Be kind, be nice, be cordial, be happy and it will also be contagious to those around you. You determine your attitude and if you are kind or mean.
3- Never Ever Give Up: Never give up on life, family, friends, goals, dreams and visions. Push through the setbacks, losses, missteps and continue to fight for what you want. Giving up breeds failure, failure breeds self doubt, self doubt breeds a negative attitude. Show up, battle, fight, push yourself, grow and win at life.
4- Do not compare: I spoke to a young teacher this week and she was all tied up in her mind about what the other young teachers were doing or not doing. What she had done was lose focus on herself and her special skills because she was too worried about comparing herself to others. We come in all sizes, colors, attitudes, backgrounds, education, family life, work life and all those other things. I cannot compare myself to a Hall of Fame coach as I have never built the credentials for that honor. But I can look at what they do and beg, borrow and steal a few ideas to be me and do me.
5- Avoid Negativity: Nobody likes or wants to be around a negative person. They are what I call an energy vampire and steal your energy and flat line your thought process. Avoid being negative, avoid negative people and place yourself at a higher standard than those that choose to live in self pity and negativity. Bottom line is the only person that can bring or take you down is yourself. I recently have been on a weight loss, getting healthy journey and after losing a pretty quick 20 pounds the loss suddenly slowed to a crawl. Then two weeks later I was still at the same weight, stuck at 21.7 pounds lost. I found myself being a bit mad at the results and had a little hissy fit over it. Then my wonderful wife who is also on that journey with me said “just be glad you got the first 20 off”. It brought me back and I needed that positive thought in a moment of weakness.
6- Make Peace With Your Past: You cannot move forward in life, relationships, work, jobs, play, family and spiritually until you settle the past. Take an accounting of it, wipe off the books and move on. Stepping backwards will always slow your roll forwards. Forgive, forget and move on from the injuries, thoughts, fear and issues holding you back. Live life to its fullest and do not allow the mistakes of the past to slow you down.
7- Take Care of Your Body, Mind and Spirit: This one is maybe the most important and will allow you to move forward in life with vigor and vision. At the age of 54 this has become a daily routine for me. You do not have to be a gym rat, read 100 self help books or go to church 3 days a week. I am talking about small changes like walking, getting out from behind the desk, eating more veggies, eating less fatty foods, praying once per day and just spending time healing you everyday. No damage that has been done has to be permanent and you can do this. Lose a few pounds, go walking, stop at a park, travel, read, pray, hang with good people and other things you like to do and it will allow you to heal the past and move forward in all these areas.
God bless your journey as you chase your goals, dreams and visions. Work hard, work smart, live life, love life, be nice, be happy, be healthy and move forward from this day on!