A colleague and I were reflecting on career paths, life decisions, waiting, and life. We both remarked how different we were from our siblings who we grew up within the same house and with the same parents.
Then the conversation moved to my love of asking a great question
The word hope has come up several times this week. I have learned that if a concept keeps showing itself in different venues then I need to pay attention.
Yesterday was my last session with Jim Knight for instructional coaching training and the topic was being a Better Leader. One of the main concepts was …you guessed it…HOPE.
Shane J. Lopez is a psychologist who has written about hope extensively. His definition is “the belief that the future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to make it so.”
Part of Knight’s training session yesterday was asking the question: How are you living your life? Are you spending time on the things you are passionate about? This idea is how we keep hope alive and partly how we teach ourselves to be hopeful.
At this time of the school year it is easy to dip into the valley of despair and lose hope. I have to keep reminding myself I do the work I do to provide an environment of inspiration and learning for what is best for kids. When you are worried about schedules, state testing, and getting through the day sometimes you forget.
Part of this process is to do the next right thing. If you know where you are going, this isn’t as hard as it seems. Action is what needs to happen.
Knight asked us to think of someone who we thought of as a hope mentor. A person that emanates hope who we can learn from. Having a hope mentor is partly how we can teach ourselves to be hopeful. My person is Maya Angelou. She was open, intelligent, overcame obstacles, and can command a room. She was an amazing woman and I am thankful I was able to hear her speak before she passed away.
What are you most excited about?
Hope is doing more of what makes you happy.
Hope is allowing other people to teach you being hopeful.
Hope is having a hope mentor.
Three Things about Hope
Having hope means you have a preferred future vision. You can visualize it. You have goals.
Having hope means you have the belief you can get here. There is magic here.
Having hope means you have multiple pathways to get to that preferred future.
Some questions to consider and reflect on today:
What gives you energy and therefore hope?
What is your purpose? How do you make a difference?
Am I doing what I really want to do with my time?
What is working and what do I need to modify?
What is your next right thing?
This past week was busy for me. My sleep suffered and I was starting to crash. I was not taking care of myself.
Part of what helped me was 12 hours of sleep and the life giving conversation I had yesterday with my fellow coaches. We made plans to support each other in our hope. These questions are still with me today. I will do some more journaling and thinking as the day moves forward.
I would love to hear your thoughts on HOPE! Comment below…
Todd Henry is the author of several books and is also known as the Accidental Creative. He has a podcast by that name. I receive his newsletter which is interesting and full of creative thought.
The most recent newsletter is about 4 things which has inspired this post today.
1:A THING TO CONSIDER
Disappearing is not the same as being lost.
When something is lost it is accidental. When you disappear it is intentional. I must admit one of my coping mechanisms is to withdraw. I am learning this is partly because I find people draining if I spend too much time with them – even people I like.
I have been reading a fascinating How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch. I heard about it on the Secret Library Podcast by Caroline Donahue. The latest part of the book I was reading was about invisibility and how children have imaginary friends and why. Really interesting stuff.
I came to find this book through Shaunta Grimes. Part of her daily process is to come up with 10 ideas for writing, which I have adopted myself. Usually my list consists of random thoughts that might make their way into a story or overhead dialogue ,etc. After reading one her Medium posts yesterday I remembered I had Altucher’s book on my kindle.
The question I worked with was: Which 10 people would you choose as mentors and what question you would ask them? It was really difficult! I am curious you would choose as mentors for yourself. The specific questions stumped me as well. I really had to consider why I wanted that person as a mentor first.
1:A THING TO WATCH
Black Mirror Bandersnatch on Netflix – This episode is like a choose your own adventure book from my youth but in movie form. I had heard of Black Mirrors but had not watched it up til this past week. As the consumer, you actually make choices on the screen for how the story will progress. It was fascinating. If you like the Matrix I believe you would like this episode.
1:A THING TO USE
Pretty composition notebooks. I really love these notebooks and have been filling them with my daily writing, reflections, and writing exercises.
This was the statement repeated over and over at my writer’s group last Thursday. It reminded me writers are writers whether they are 5 or 50 and some of the rules apply no matter the age.
I tell students all the time the writing is theirs and they can listen to the advice in the form of GLOWS and GROWS from their peers and teachers or they can choose not to. They are the author and have the choice whether they want to change the story.
Connecting with other writers is the most important factor of this group for me. The connections are part of the story and the critique is secondary. These fellow adult writers have become part of my life story now.
As I start to think about the new school year and my coaching I am keenly aware of the connection piece. I think that we can foster a much stronger community if we focus on the connectors that are not obvious. We are all part of each other’s School Story at least but the personal factors we find most important are the way we can become a tighter knit community. This is the theory I am working with right now anyway.
In order to gather some data I sent out a goal sheet for my teachers last week. Some of my people have longer processing times and I wanted to give them the opportunity to marinate on their answers if they so wished. (We don’t officially start til the 13th). Instead of just the academic goals and conversation about how we can work together to strengthen their teaching I also included a self care question. I want to be able to facilitate some nourishment so my fellow teachers do not burn out. The profession is hard and I want to nurture the teachers in the way they feel renewed. This document is also only between the teacher and I – no one else.
So my question to you is: What is the biggest influencer of your story right now?
There are few books I reread. The book Essentialism by Greg McKeown comes back onto my radar usually after I have listened to Tsh Oxenreider from THE ART OF SIMPLE talk about it.
This book requires me to think about my actions and why I make the decisions I do especially when it comes to how I spend my time. There is often a gap between what my responsibilities are and what I want to do. There is also a category of the things I should do because someone expects me to. This is the area I am really looking at for the upcoming school year. I have made a big decision about doing what I deem essential and also managing my schedule and time differently.
I have a choice about how I spend my time. At school, I want to spend my time on the actions that I can get the most bang for my buck and make the most impact with my teachers. I cannot do everything even though my TYPE A personality whispers to me in quiet moments that I can.
I stopped celebrating just being busy for busy sake and my stress levels went down.
Over the next couple of days these questions from the book will be on my mind:
What do I feel deeply inspired by?
What am I particularly talented at?
What meets a significant need in the world?
The next right thing for me and my time is on my mind. What are you thinking about for the fall?