I listed these quotes in my weekly, but without their authors. Today I have added the authors. I ignored who I selected, but only in the content of the quote. They have the points I wanted to make about the importance of learning and how we can sometimes forget.


I don’t know about you, but I can have some crazy talks with myself! I can talk myself into, and out of some situations I never thought I would be in my life. Negative self-talk can be very harmful!

During our last vacation with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, my husband and brother-in-law thought it was fun to call me different names based on my response to things. “Well, hello Karen,” when I was sharp in my response. “Thank you, Pudding, when I was thoughtful in my response.” All in their interpretation of coarse! We would all laugh and have fun with all of it. However, some individuals have a very difficult time getting themselves out of the cycle of negativity. Getting to know yourself is a priority.

As an educator, I know how much we take home with us each day. Children are not little boxes we stuff things into each day. We build relationships with each one of them and are connected with families. When we see children having difficulties we do everything we can to help pull them up and sometimes it is not enough.

I have told many students to remember, “I will never give up on you.” Many of them gave up on themselves and had no one to continue to support them during challenging times. It hurts educators when a child is lost, no matter their age when life is taken.

Our message is to never give up on you! Always reach out for help when you need it. Remember, there is no need to look back through the rearview mirror, but don’t forget all those who loved you in the places you left. The windshield is big and broad with many places to go. There are many people to get to know and to share life’s journey with as you spread the wealth of knowledge you have in not giving up on being the solution daily in a world that needs you.

For the last decade of work, I had a longer commute to work. I could use this time to prepare my mind for the day ahead, looking through the windshield at all the possibilities. As my day completed, I could look back through the rearview mirror, leaving behind issues I could handle tomorrow as I reminded myself of all we accomplished today and the work at home ahead as I turned back to the road ahead. I rarely spent enough time holding the mirror in my hands to reflect on my personal needs. Do you have a reflection time set aside? Which mirror or mirrors do you use?


Windshield Questions

The best time to reflect on the beginning to the start of your day is your commute. Maybe your commute is a short one; you travel in a different way to get to work or not at all. Take a few minutes each morning to reflect on how to approach your day.

Maybe you want to pose one of these questions to yourself or to your team to think about.


Rearview Mirror Questions

We can pack up our belongings and head home. There is no need to take all of the unfinished business home to do because it will greet you in the morning. Trying to overdo it each day will cause severe health issues over time. Complete what is essential and take time to unwind, rewind and refresh.

Spending time with family, friends, and faith is needed to help your mind, body, and soul recover from a hard work day. Asking yourself these questions on the commute home will provide a time of reflection on all you accomplished in the day. In addition, reflection helps you learn to let go of what you cannot control.


Handheld Mirror Questions

It is never easy to look at yourself and determine the areas you need to improve because you have fears and do not always provide the best-unbiased opinions. I know I have said, “I don’t do that.” The harsh truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but to make the growth we need, we must be honest. So asking these questions will only hurt you in asking and answering. But once we can identify issues, we can find solutions.

Taking time to use questions to ask yourself and others is an integral part of reflection. Seeking to understand and then working to develop plans for improvement drives growth. Action steps taken keep us moving forward in the direction of our mission and vision. Success is achieved when we actively work to grow, improve and develop.

When facing each day filled with many arrows of fear, negativity, anger, and hatred, it is easy to miss those full of love, positivity, hope, encouragement, and joy.

As you step out of bed, you have a critical source of love that is a constant source of love, who will always protect, forgive and bring hope is the best way to fight the arrows that fire in your direction. The shied of courage full of love is the best protection you will find for fighting the sources trying to push you down.


Begin each day with a recharge of courage in knowing you are never alone. Take each step with confidence. Surround yourself with others who believe as you do. Know each day will get better as we take action steps to be the solution daily in our modeling, in our positive words, in those we choose to lead, and in all of the areas we help support.

Show the world how to dance in a world that has forgotten the song's rhythm we should be dancing to and singing. We all need to love our country, neighbors, and ourselves.

As a Nation, we have faced many challenges and overcome many obstacles. Throughout history I have been amazed by the many stories of courageous men and women who have exceeded expectations. I have been blessed to meet individuals who have survived being captured as a prisoner of war, a woman who survived the Holocaust to teach me lessons, and those who have survived trauma words could not describe.

A poem written by Charle Osgood called Pretty Good is something I have shared before, but something I feel we should look at again as we have a “quiet quitting” going on right now. I wonder what the individuals I have met who survived horrific traumas would think? They have since passed on to the next life journey, but it is something I wish I could ask them.


Quiet Quitting

“Quiet Quitting” became the next phase after the “Great Resignations.”

The pandemic caused a lot of people to reevaluate their lives. They looked at what they were doing with their jobs. MagnifyMoney a personal finance site reported roughly 1 in 3 workers considered leaving their jobs and 60% were rethinking their careers.

The lockdowns had many working from home and they did not want to go back to commuting, preferred the flexibility of remote work and wanted to at least consider doing a combination of both. Others were burned out or what I call, “Drainout” after trying to balance logging in long hours, child care, remote school and balancing all of life at the same time.

Quiet Quitting is doing the bare minimum at work. It’s doing only what is required of you without actually telling your boss you are leaving or quitting your job. It means you are finishing your work on time every day, you are taking lunch breaks and scheduled breaks, you turn down projects that are outside of your job, do not sign up for extra duties and stay within your area. Does this sound like it is a bad idea? Experts provide their opinions on the subject and I have mine as well.


I grew up watching my parents work very hard for everything they had, but also how generous they were to give to others who were in need. My parents faced many challenges to try to overcome in order to succeed in day to day life. All of this was etched into my heart and soul as I grew to know, working hard and to never settle was the way we did things.

As an educator, a poem found it’s way into my life that described to me the perfect lesson we all needed. We need to always remember, pretty good is not what we strive for in our work, life or country. “When doing arithmetic problems, Pretty good was regarded as fine. 5+5 needn’t always add up to be 10; A pretty good answer was 9.” If we settled for “Pretty Good” we would never be complete.

Pretty Good Poem by Charle Osgood is one of those poems I love to look back at to remind myself to never settle for “Pretty Good.” Always strive to be great at what we do. It is not how much money we make, it is not in the awards we receive or the validation we may be given. The value in what we do is what we give to it as we see, know and feel in watching, knowing and believing what will happen because of the actions we took.

“There once was a pretty good nation
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late,
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.”

A cup full of positivity will bring a smile!

Before you walk out the door, double-check you have not forgotten your smile. Here is the best thing about a smile. When others see it, they smile too! The other thing, they are secretly wondering, why are you smiling? Maybe this will cause them to reflect on the things we can smile about today.

Each morning I rise wondering what will be the surprise?

No day will pass by without a moment not planned or scheduled to catch you off guard, shake you with its news, or stop you in your tracks. Not all days will be filled with faith-shaken scary times but can be moments filled with laughter, love, and lifting of spirits. It is those moments of negativity that continue to chip at us, along with our negative talk, which brings us to a standstill.

When you find yourself in those moments, reach out to a support system that can help you regain the courage you have always had to face these moments to overcome. The purpose, your why, and the direction of your journey is carved into your heart. There is not a single one of us who does not need a daily dose of “uplifting,” “motivation,” “inspiration,” and someone to tell us with sincerity, “you matter.”

Schedule time

Working today is much different than yesterday. The cycle of change is closing smaller and repeating at a faster rate. In addition to the rate of change, you can add in the many stresses in our corners of the world that directly impact who, how, what, where, and when in our work worlds.

Courage

What can you add to the list?

Hanging our head down tells everyone we are_____________?

Looking up tells everyone we are_____________?

Our body language can often send messages to others we do not mean to send. If we think about what we want to tell the world, we may want to think about how we go out to greet it.

I have a routine every morning before I leave, and I can tell when I have missed one of them because the day is not the same. Do you have a routine? If you don’t, or you do, it is okay to start with looking up.

I do like to ask questions, but sometimes when I ask a question, I get a funny look. Like when I ask, how do you see? It sounds like a dumb question, but there is no such thing as a dumb question. Right?

Not everyone or animals can see the same way. A frog, for example, has eyes positioned on top of its head to provide a field of vision of almost 180 degrees. This peripheral vision helps them spot predators and prey.

Like a human with color blindness, cats see shades of blue and green, but reds and pinks can be confusing—the richness of the hues and saturation of the colors they cannot see.


Seeing

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This phrase is a paraphrase of a statement by Greece philosopher Plato and has been used in many ways over the years. The origin of the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” comes from the author, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton). Hamilton would use the pseudonym “The Duchess” for much of her career. Her book “Molly Brawn” was published in 1878. The real beginning of this statement and its meaning are debated.

"Seeing is believing, but the feeling is the truth." —17th-century English clergyman, Thomas Fuller. When making this statement, Fuller thought believing and truth were two separate things.

Believing helps us see things with our spiritual eyes and senses. The world tests us daily of our deepest beliefs, it seems. Today, we may find ourselves “questioning” more and more. “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”—Chris Van Allsburg


Choosing to see

The structure of our bodies provides us with what we need in our abilities to see. Many animals are provided with night vision to see at night to protect themselves from predators or to find survival food.

When we are injured and lose sight, the other senses become more vital to help us for protection. Sight is an integral part of our essential needs and should never be taken for granted.

Choosing to see or how we see has a different meaning. What do we choose to see in our environments? When we dig deep into our core beliefs, values and understandings are where we find vision. If we choose to look at things with a negative, “Judger” or pessimistic way, it is the problem. As we look at ways to “see” improvements, pause to ask the question: How do you see? It can lead to many conversations, great discussions, more questions and maybe even a change in lives. Changing how we see may change our lives! Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus—-well in the way I see things there is!

Questions ?? YES

If you are in a large group setting, do you ask questions? I am asking this question because my next question is this: When you were in school, did your teacher encourage you to ask questions? For some of us, it may take a little more time to reflect on the days of sitting in a classroom as a student, but take the time to think back. How were questions asked of you, and how did you ask questions?

Now think about how you approach questions if you are a teacher, a leader, a parent, a friend, or a spouse. How different are your approaches or reactions to questions in these roles?

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, written by Dr. Marilee Adams, tell us there are two mindsets the Judger and the Learner. Depending on the mindset we are in, this has a direct effect on the questions we ask ourselves and others.

Judger/Learner

As humans, we all have both of these mindsets at times. What is important is to identify when we have them and take time to change our questions to change the direction of the way we want to go.

Have you experienced negative self-talk before? “What was I thinking? How stupid was that of me to do?” When we have this judger mindset in our minds, we cannot focus on what we need to do to get our situation under control.

The importance of understanding these mindsets we all have is in learning how to balance them in life, how to identify when we are thinking, asking, relating or listening as a judger or a learner. In the workbook that goes along with the newly released 4th edition of Change your questions, Change your Life, you can complete a mindset check-in and work through the mindset identifications. It is a great piece and reflection time.

Questions

A child sitting in a classroom raises his hand to answer a question in class. All eyes turn to him. Inside he is asking himself, “Why did you raise your hand to answer the question? Everyone is looking at you, and if you get the answer wrong, they will all laugh.” The Judger has come out to pose questions before he has a chance to answer. He answers, and it is correct.

I talk a great deal about making efforts so that everyone feels good and safe where they are. Recognizing even at a young age, the mindsets of judger and learner are at work helps all of us know we need to help each other.

My Two Rules, everyone should feel good, and everyone should feel safe at school also needs to have two foundational pieces in the educational system: Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed practices. Every one of us has a story to tell, and our children have many to know before they arrive at school.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are the traumatic and negative experiences children have had, but the positives they encounter can counteract some, and strategies we teach can prevent additional trauma.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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