This is the final article summary of the 2016-17 school year: 10 Fundamental Truths That Will Change Your Life
Thank you all for another wonderful and magical year!
And special thanks and best wishes to those who will be leaving us in a few days—I wish you continued success and happiness!
For me, the hectic frenzy of the final weeks of school starkly contrasts with the more mellow tempo of summer which begins Memorial Day weekend. Even Atlanta’s horrendous traffic greatly lightens in June, July, and early August.
Yes, there is still school work to do, yet during this slower time, I always reserve time for personal reflection. Time to think about who I am as a person, educator, spouse, father, son, brother, and so on. I’m not overly harsh or lax on myself. It’s just that I’ve found for me the best personal and professional growth and improvement result from self-evaluation/assessment rather than someone telling me what I did right and wrong.
I think about my hopes, plans, what I like about myself, what I need to improve on, situations that went right this year and those that got sideways.
I hope that the article below is a springboard for personal reflection and self-evaluation and that some of the ‘fundamental truths’ resonate with you as they do for me.
Enjoy the summer and thank you for making the 2016-17 school year so fulfilling and memorable for our students!
It’s surprising how easy it is to lose sight of the important things in life. Busy schedules and regular routines have a tendency to put the brain on autopilot.
When things aren’t going quite the way you’d like them to, it’s often because you’ve lost focus on what really matters.
Both your personal and professional life run on questions, not answers. You should be asking yourself regularly if you’re headed in the right direction.
Many of life’s essential truths need repeating. We need reminders that help us to stay focused on them. Keep these truths handy and they’re sure to give you a much-needed boost.
Great Success is Often Preceded by Failure: You will never experience true success until you learn to embrace failure. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box and see the solution that you’ve been missing. Success takes patience and the ability to maintain a good attitude even while suffering for what you believe in.
Being Busy Does not Equal Being Productive: Look at everyone around you. They all seem so busy -- running from meeting to meeting and firing off emails. Yet how many of them are really producing, really succeeding at a high level? Success doesn’t come from movement and activity. It comes from focus -- from ensuring that your time is used efficiently and productively.
You’re Only as Good as Those You Associate With: You should strive to surround yourself with people who inspire you, people who make you want to be better. But what about the people who drag you down? Anyone who makes you feel worthless, anxious, or uninspired is wasting your time and, quite possibly, making you more like them. Life is too short to associate with people like this. Cut them loose.
You’re Living the Life You’ve Created: You are not a victim of circumstance. No one can force you to make decisions and take actions that run contrary to your values and aspirations. Likewise, your future is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably because you’re afraid to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals and live your dreams. When it’s time to take action, remember that it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of one you don’t.
Fear is the Number One Source of Regret: When it’s all said and done, you will lament the chances you didn’t take far more than you will your failures. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
You Don’t Have to Wait for an Apology to Forgive: Life goes a lot smoother once you let go of grudges and forgive even those who never said they were sorry. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin today’s happiness. Hate and anger are emotional parasites that destroy your joy in life. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t condone their actions; it simply frees you from being their eternal victim.
Live in the Moment: You can’t reach your full potential until you learn to live your life in the present. No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future. It’s impossible to be happy if you’re constantly somewhere else, unable to fully embrace the reality (good or bad) of this very moment. To help yourself live in the moment, you must do two things: 1) Accept your past. If you don’t make peace with your past, it will never leave you and, in doing so, it will create your future. 2)Accept the uncertainty of the future. Worry has no place in the here and now.
Your Self-Worth Must Come from Within: When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own destiny. When you feel good about something that you’ve done, don’t allow anyone’s opinions or accomplishments to take that away from you. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain -- you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.
Life is Short: None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Yet, when someone dies unexpectedly it causes us to take stock of our own life: what’s really important, how we spend our time, and how we treat other people. Remind yourself every morning when you wake up that each day is a gift and you’re bound to make the most of the what you’ve been given. After all, a great day begins with a great mindset.
Change is Inevitable -- Embrace It: Only when you embrace change can you find the good in it. You need to have an open mind and open arms if you’re going to recognize and capitalize on, the opportunities that change creates. You’re bound to fail when you keep doing the same things you always have in the hope that ignoring change will make it go away. Life doesn’t stop for anyone. When things are going well, appreciate them and enjoy them, as they are bound to change. If you are always searching for something more, something better, that you think is going to make you happy, you’ll never be present enough to enjoy the great moments before they’re gone.