Sunday, July 22, 2018

You Win! - I mean it, you really do.

You Win!

I mean it, you really do! If you are an educator, and you are reading this post, You. Are. The. Winner! You GET the chance to amaze kids for another year! It is YOUR opportunity to help them shine. There is NO obligation, Have to’s, Got to’s, or drats, need to’s. It is an honor for you to walk this mission of preparing kids for the mighty unknown. We don’t know where we’ll be in 5 years, but YOU have the amazing invitation to the party of the future! It is YOUR time to shine for them! Let every child know that THEY are the #1 most important being during your day. Smile, Laugh, Cry, Connect, Hug and bust your tail feathers to empower the heck out of them. Go to College? Yeah, maybe for some. Trades? Ok path for others. Small Biz owner? Cool, why not. Crusader of Peace? Sweetness. Whatever it is that they are preparing for, make it count! Show them it is ok to push hard, lose, fail, be frustrated, but remember; Do Not Give Up! If we give up, then they will give up. Build their #Resilience #Grit #Empowerment #Toughness #Empathy #Compassion #Kindness and #Love of learning. One of my Heroes is Shawn Achor, of The Happiness Advantage. While Shawn has so many amazing and motivational quotes, there are several that JUST. STICK. “Without action, knowledge is often meaningless.” Think about it. If we are not giving our best to every child, every day, and are being passive information robots, then what good is knowledge? We must combine the motivation with the excitement and passion to want more information, to eat more ways of innovation, and to have the hunger for the unknown! 
“When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.” – Shawn Achor
     Remember this; You GET to be an educator. You HAVE options. Start blasting positive messages about returning to school. Bleed your passion. Wear your Happiness and love on your sleeve. If you have one doubt, hesitation, or negative thought about the end of summer and the return to school - you are taking the chance of creating a permanent scar in the path to excellence in a child. Just one, is all it takes. Be the overly ripe tomato of education. Drip your happiness juice to all those around you! YOU. WIN, My friends. You Win! Let our students know that you are proud and honored to be a part of their day. You Win! We get one go round in this adventure called life. Make it a lottery moment, not an endless list of Cinderella’s chores.

Image result for shawn achor quotes
“When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter,

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Let's put YOU, before ME

It seems to me these days that our society has become very"ME" driven. People on their devices all the time, focused on what latest gadget, car, trip, or quest they've completed. Look or listen to News about Hollywood stars getting this car, outfit, trip, or jewelry ( and most of it GIVEN to them..really?). Our politicians just ripping each other in
public, the name calling, the excuses, the "I've done this" motto. Imagine what goes on behind closed doors...yikes! Image result for politicians saying "Look at me"
Get this, just today, my buddy Roman Nowak Tweeted a great post and quoted the wonderful Mother Teresa. Someone had the nerve to harshly respond to his Tweet, calling Mother T a "C" Word! What? What a minute! Did that make the "ME" in you feel better Mr. Meany pants?
Come on people, when we have our top Gov't officials, (none to be excluded), constantly tooting their own horns, for their own agendas (NRA anyone?), what message does that send to the rest of us?
Sports stars, who many consider them idols, heroes and role models, are spouting off how great this deal was, or that they are the best at this, or showing off their 7 houses, 9 cars, planes, yachts and material goods in all the magazines and ads.
Image result for mother teresaWhen will it end? As an educator, and a father, I try my best (fail more than not) to teach my kids to always lead with their heart and put others first. To practice kindness daily. I try to show them that it makes the "ME" feel instantly better, when we put the "YOU" first. Imagine if we all were more like Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and the nameless and countless others that are constantly producing random acts of kindness. We'd have very different problems to deal with in our daily lives!
Follow some of my #Kindness Educator friends and see what they are doing to put others first. Tamara Letter, Roman (mentioned above), Melanie Korach,  Eli Casaus, Kristen Nan, Bethany Hill and Beth Frates MD, just to name a few. Read their posts, follow their words, quotes and pictures.
Start putting the "YOU" before the "ME" and let's show each other what we can do to make each other's lives more amazing.
Image result for rachel scottGo ahead, try it now. If we can make this a part of our DNA, our children's, student's and friends too....we'd be starting another Kindness Revolution.
Remember Rachel Scott? Our lovely young heroine who lost her life in the Columbine shooting? One Rachel's most famous quotes "People will never know how far a little kindness can go". Let's be more like Rachel and continue her quest for the "Chain Reaction" of kindness.
Let's all put "YOU" before "ME", for even a day, and see what happens.
You in?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Disconnect - to - Reconnect

Try to imagine a span of time that is 5 years, 4 months long. Got it? Ok. Now, with that in mind, imagine all of the cool things you could do in that time if you had ONE wish! For me, so many fun ideas come to mind: Travel, Scuba, Dude Ranch, Safari, Sleep, Inventing, Playing, my list goes on. But current research is showing that...hold on...yes...the average person as of 2018 will spend that amount of time - minimally - on SOCIAL MEDIA! Almost 5 and a half years! WHAAAAAT?
Wow! it may seem shocking, but my recent family trip to Maui sure solidified it. I spent two wonderful weeks with my wife, two kids and my in laws on the beautiful Garden Isle. While I was not disconnected the whole time, I worked hard to focus on family, fun, being present and breaking my terrible iPhone addiction to Social Media and more!
This pattern of device connectedness has become our habit, our addiction, our sense of self worth, our way of life.  Just a tap, swipe, look, peak, peer and engagement to the almighty digital screen.
A 2016 study found that the typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. But that's just the average user: The study found that extreme cellphone users — meaning the top 10% — touch their phones more than 5,400 times daily. I know, mind blowing isn’t it?
I know we are a busy culture: Working, Commuting, Educating, Parenting, Laboring, Living. But please don’t miss out on what is happening around you!Check this out - while I was beachin, chillin, family’in, sippin, swimmin and walking (would have been a much more active trip for me, but I am only 8 weeks post spine surgery), I began to notice something. Everywhere I went, people were attached to a device. On the beautiful white sand beaches, at Luau’s, in the middle of romantic/quiet restaurants, at pools, on jungle hikes and especially walking on paths!  Yes, I know many people were taking photos, but as I took my daily 4-5 mile walks, I became lost in the jungle of “DeviceVille”. People were constantly bumping into me, not looking where they were headed or where they were. There is so much amazingness out there to see and experience Every. Single. Day. My friends! Just look around you! The ocean was epic. The waves - spectacular. The waterfalls - glorious. The food and drink - superb. The sharks, turtles and fish - mind blowing. And of course, the smiles and laughter that erupted from my children from 6am to 9pm was not only precious, but mood altering and completely life changing.
I’m not trying to preach here my friends, just making a point. 5 years is a long time to spend when we get only 1 go at it. Our children won’t be around forever, nor will we. How will you choose to spend it? Toward the end of our trip, my son Braden had an idea. “Dad, let’s play Hawaiian bird sounds and set up a feeding station for them”. Dude. Seriously? I was on it. Boom - Braden had the rice crackers, I cranked out the bird tunes, and within seconds,I felt like I was in the Costa Rican Rainforest. Birds of all kinds, were everywhere! Just because my epic lil 9 year old had an idea - and I was actually tuned in to hearing it! Reconnecting with my family was not only amazing, but necessary. My kids are young only once, as are we. When we have the eyes, hearts and attention of our loved ones at home, school, or anywhere else - how do we want them to see us? “Dad, get OFF your phone!” Is not not a mantra I want to own any longer. I need to own it. Remember that “Busy” is a choice on how we want to spend our time. It is really a decision of “I don’t have time for you, something is more important right now”.

Connect my friends. Live life. Smell the ocean. Watch the waves. Listen to the birds. Look at someone’s beautiful face while chatting. Use “Airplane Mode” ( My man Adam Welcome's go to). Hold hands. Bump into less people while walking.
Try it yo!
For me. It was THE. Best. Thing. Ever!

#dadsasprincipals #momsasprincipals #CelebratEd #JoyfulLeaders #LeadLap #Tlap #prinicpalsinaction