12 Steps to Getting an A in the School of Life
(or- Why Should Kids be the Only Ones To Get a New Start in September?)
It is the beginning of a new school year for kids and college students alike. All over this country, new books, new pens and pencils are being bought along with new folders waiting for papers to collect in them. Back to school cloths are being selected with thought and care (as well as an eye to the price tag!!). Excitement over the start of a new school year is electric and fills the air.
Why should kids have all the fun?
Why not a new “school year” for us adults? I have noticed that, after spending so many years in the school system, we automatically yearn for a new start come September. So here is a syllabus of sorts to help us all get started on the right mental/emotional foot and make this the best year ever for us in the “school of life”!!
(Corny? Perhaps, but I am really excited about getting my “back to school” cloths!!)
Remember the following for school year 2008-2009. For the next 12 weeks, I
will be blogging about each one in more detail, but I wanted to give you an overview of “the class”.
1. First-Figure out what YOUR Big Picture is and then keep in mind that IT is more important than any one action.
We all have a life with many facets. Sometimes it feels like we are that guy who use to spin plates on long sticks on The Bozo Show (okay- I am really dating myself here!!). We run frantically from one plate/activity to another, spinning away, in a vain attempt to keep any from falling to the ground and shattering. But plates do drop and at the end of the day the most important thing for him was that he was on the Bozo Show! In other words-
To even attempt perfection would be ludicrous and stressful, yet ... most of us criticize ourselves unnecessarily over every negative situation.
2. Relax more and stress less.
View the little things for what they are--little things--and don't let them get in the way of taking pleasure out of every single day. I will elaborate on how to figure out, very quickly, if the thing that is stressing you out is worth letting go of. Don’t miss this coming blog!!
3. Unplug from the world of work and responsibility and PLAY MORE!
You don't always have to have one eye on the clock when you're immersed in playtime (and I will offer some ideas as to what constitutes “play” for those of us who have forgotten what that is!! The world will not end if you let some calls go to voice-mail or if you stop checking your email for an hour or so.
4. Focus on and give yourself more credit for what you do right and don't examine so intently the things you do wrong.
First of all, we are usually our own worst critic. Let’s vow to stop beating ourselves up this year and leave that to the world to do. Secondly, that which you focus on grows!!! Focus on your mistakes and disappointments, you will see them multiply. Focus on the good that you do at work, with your friends and family, in the world……….and look out!! You will attract more of the same.
5. Strengthen your intuition and give it credit. Let it stand up to the voices of insistent, insensitive, and unwanted advice.
Be open to new ideas, but sift them through your moral strainer before you apply them to your own life. Once you make thoughtful decisions, move forward with confidence. Don’t waver, second guess or stress over decisions made.
6. Be willing to step outside the box/ your comfort zone. Say YES to life experiences!!
Throw caution to the wind and follow your heart more often. Loosen up a bit and know that you don't have to be the serious, dull, authoritative boss/parent/grown-up every single moment of every single day.
7. Arguing or disagreeing with others doesn't have to be unpleasant to be effective.
Don't be too quick to jump into unforgiving or harsh stance. Try the gentle methods first. Get on the other person’s side first………see it through there eyes!
8. Know that it's not that important.
What's not that important? Well...nearly everything. The majority of the annoyances we suffer ... are due to minor issues.
9. Give the small stuff small attention and the big stuff big attention.
I remember a professor in college telling the class of the very first day, "If you put the same amount of attention into sharpening your pencil as into writing your thesis, you will only succeed in making yourself a nervous wreck."
10. Relax. Imagining and preparing for the worst doesn’t make it any more pleasant IF it happens.
Worry itself is useless. Studies even tell us that most of the things we worry about never happen. It is better to be prepared and knowledgeable and then, to state it very simply, don't think about it so much. Banish needless worry--it's a waste of a good imagination.
11. When the worst does happen, you'll get through it and you'll move on.
Bad things do happen. Some things we have no control over, and some are a result of decisions made. But either way, when bad things happen, we cannot manipulate time and make them not happen. What we can do, however, is adjust how we think and what we do and move past even the most difficult situations. In all but the most extreme cases, we, as human beings are resilient and adaptable.
12. Live in the present.
The more you can embrace living in the moment as part of who you are, the more fulfilling your everyday life will be. And besides- it is always the only place we are!!
Stay tuned for our first “Class” FIGURING OUT YOUR BIG PICTURE