Teaching a New Skill

In order to teach a new skill, you need to understand where the other person is coming from, and the only way to do this is to ask questions using the Socratic Method.  This means patiently troubleshooting the person’s knowledge base until they have that defining “AHA” moment! People learn the least by listening, a more by seeing, and the most by engaging and solving the problem themselves. As an educator, your job is to show the other person what they don’t know by highlighting what they do know and allowing them to make connections and bridge their knowledge gap independently. It is very tempting to jump in and insert guidance while the other person is working out the problem, but you must be patient and give the other person space to challenge themselves. Once they begin to work independently, you must then shift gears in order to edit and fervently correct mistakes. Once the person has achieved proficiency, you ask more questions to validate the process they went through so they can remember it when you are gone!

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What I learned from Being a Team Player

I best demonstrate the value of teamwork. Even a blind man can see and understand the power of a combined effort, and even for someone who lacks sight or has blindness, being on a team and playing to other people’s strengths can make up for one’s individual inabilities.

As an only child, growing up and dealing with peers presented a challenge for me. My strong sense of independence and self-esteem lead me to comfortably push myself in all areas; however, wisdom and age has shown me that I can only push myself so far without the help of others.

As a novice on the Valdosta State Debate Team, the varsity members possessed experience and skills that eclipsed me into a shadow of intimidation. I had no idea that joining this team would win me a championship trophy in the following months, but by leaning in and engaging, I quickly found myself in an environment where my efforts aligned with a calling higher than myself.

Being on a world class team has taught me the value of cooperation. By being on a team that accepted nothing short of excellent, I appreciated the commitment and expectation to deliver on my promises. I know I can accomplish an enormous amount on my own; however, I would much rather capitalize on the enthusiasm and participation of my peers to push me to places that I have never gone before.

How to Keep a Journal and Absolutely Crush Your Goals

If your mind is cluttered and you find it difficult to define your intentions and what you want out of life, keeping a journal will give you the self-awareness to express yourself more effectively and productively. Before you start, you want to design your new habit of journaling so that you see the most benefit.

Step 1) Eliminate the Burnout Mentality

When you first begin to journal, you may look to change yourself overnight. Instead of buckling, straining, and stretching yourself thin for a quick boost, settle into the journey of self discovery and do not burn out. Forget about being a superhuman and ditch the idea that you’re going to see incredible gains in the short term. I started small with a two to three sentence summary of how my day went and where I needed to improve. The habit was tiny, but it worked. In fact, the ease and simplicity of taking these notes was the key to my journaling success. The cure for over-ambition is long term thinking. You have a life ahead of you, and make the effort to embrace the time you have.

Step 2) Turn Your “Why” into Fuel

Notice the time frame you have in mind. If you fast-forwarded 5 years from now, you should still see yourself journaling. You should also see the powerful benefits that have blossomed as well. The only guarantees are death and taxes, but understand that you have now placed journaling among the ranks those two dire guarantees. You’re no longer thinking with a burnout mentality, and now you have free reign to befriend the real reason why you want this habit. Tap into the 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, or even 30 year vision of where you see yourself and turn the energy you find into the leverage that will get you there.

Step 3) Make The Process Exciting

Who wants more chores anyways? We have enough so find ways create a process that is as simple and enjoyable as possible. These don’t require any genius stroke of creativity; they could as simple as journaling your achievements for the day so that you have something to look forward to putting down. I also recommend keeping a gratitude journal about whom and what your grateful for. The exciting part is that the source of your gratitude will be drawn forth, and the achievements and tasks you’ve completed will have acknowledgement and momentum. Your journal should be something you look at and be proud of. You are under no requirement to enjoy the time you take to journal, but you will surely find yourself sticking to the habit if you do.

Step 4) Review Your Journal Regularly

You put in the effort and consistency to make entries and have logged your life into your journal, but this will do you no good if there is no follow up. Our brains are programmed to forget the majority of what goes on which is why journaling is so valuable. It allows us to capture our exact state of mind, feelings, thoughts, and perspective at that time. Journaling by itself will forge self-reflection and self-awareness into our lives, but the real gold is found when we can go back in time occasionally to rediscover and expand ourselves into a deeper knowledge that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

The Science of Goal Architecture

Fantasizing about your goal should be banned. At least until you have a solid action plan and have taken the first step. The real reward comes not from the dream, but achieving it. The first step in the program can be very dangerous and corrosive if you don’t follow up and build what’s next. Fantasizing about your goal without action is much like dreaming of building a house. But instead of actually building it, you have a party on your empty parcel of land; there’s no house, no foundation, no fencing, no rooms,  just grass. You then decide to tell other people about this party, and you all get drunk and high off that piece of land and never get to enjoy what’s made the dream special in the first place. Afterwards, you look at your piece of land, hungover and discouraged realized that you’ve accomplished nothing. DON’T DO THIS.

Set up your goals properly. 

What makes a good goal?

Some 86% of millionaires say they made their own wealth, according to Fidelity’s 2012 Millionaire Outlook Survey. Of these self-made millionaires, 30% told Fidelity that they struggled financially when they were young. These self-made millionaires didn’t get there by twiddling thumbs or wishing for success. They had clear and written goals. In a study conducted by Ferguson and Sheldon (2010), participants wrote ‘why’ and ‘how’ they will achieve a goal. They concluded that goals need to be:

Meaningful- you should know exactly what you want, and what it means for you, what is your WHY?

Measurable- your goals should have a metric. To be a Success Alchemist means we have to be scientific. How long will it take/how many hours, minutes, days etc? What is the metric used? Is it calories eaten, pages read, words typed, pounds lifted? What’s the frequency?

Challenging- If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. – Frank DeVito  Remember: Success is overcoming a challenge.

 

Sources:

Ferguson, Y., & Sheldon, K.M. (2010). Should goalstrivers
think about ‘why’ or ‘how’ to
strive? It depends on their skill level. Motivation and Emotion, 34, 253265.

How to Overcome Loneliness and Depression and Achieve Success

Most of people who know me have experienced my abnormally good attitude first hand. Today was little different on this Christmas Eve eve (insert sad face). However, I was driving a saw a building with the lights on and a bunch of cars. Curious, I went inside and immediately a gentleman offered me his seat. Turns out it was an AA meeting, and I entered right at its conclusion where we all joined hands, said the Lord’s Prayer, and socialized afterward. I will tell you this: always default to
1) Awareness and 2) Vulnerability when you fall short of your best self. When everything else seems stripped from you, know exactly where you are. You ever wondered why air flight attendants stress the location of the air masks or why movie theatre staff point to the exits of the building? You KNOW damn well people aren’t going to be logical and remember those things in case of, say, a shooting or a fire. With an awareness of exits and emergency procedures, however, they’ll at least panic “correctly” so to speak. Much like a disturbed crowd, when you’re upset, frustrated, or depressed, have awareness of where you are first. Opening up and being vulnerable will then allow you to see and move towards your exit. Listening to people who have problems bigger than my own really put things in perspective, and I really wanted to share this. Happy Holidays Everyone! 🙂

7 Destructive Ways You Waste Time

1. WATCHING TOO MUCH TV/NETFLIX

Life is way too short to be consumed in front of a screen at the cost of real, important, and fulfilling activities. Television can still be enjoyed and quitting all together isn’t the point I’m trying to make here. If you know you’re destroying hours everyday hypnotized, tuned in but buzzed out, then the remedy should be obvious.

2. BEING ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA

The swarm of sirens that pulls you to check your phone or computer and stay glued to your timeline are real. Scientific research points to the wiring of our brains and how we process images and videos that contain social information. The truth is, this addiction stems from the desire to be liked and approved as well as the need to evaluate the status of our peers. Build your self-esteem upon more stable attributes. The less emotionally dependent you are, the more freedom and control you have over your life.

3. FAILING TO PUT THINGS BACK WHERE THEY BELONG

We’ve all come back from work, been tired and the last thing we’re thinking about is hanging our coat, displacing newly checked mail, or cleaning out the lunch box.

Say this out lout:

Take it out. Put it back.

Then repeat.

Then do. :)

4. NOT HAVING A MORNING ROUTINE

A consistent theme rings true for most high performing professionals and geniuses ancient and modern: they all had morning routines. Writers like Kurt Vonnegut (etc etc etc) . Personally, I started implementing a 20 minute wake up earlier and clean my room. I cannot recommend creating a morning routine enough. It is a game changer!

5. NOT BEING FULLY PRESENT

Being fully present in any given moment not only allows us to work more efficiently, but it also helps us to enjoy life more. Research has shown that the most enjoyable moments of our life are the ones where we are most engaged. We will enjoy our activities and be prompted to do them more eagerly. Soak up every moment, even the ones where you are working on unpleasant tasks. I urge that if you to engage and pay attention to at least one or two things you do today, you find yourself performing them with an immersive power that you cannot resist.

6. NOT HAVING A SCHEDULE IN PLACE

Putting a flexible structure in place for the rest of the day helps put your brain in cruise control so that the energy you have can be used for actually performing what you need to do instead of figuring out “what do I do now?” Write down at least 5 items on a planner. I prefer to make my schedule the previous night so I can wake up with confidence.

Anyone wouldn’t have much trouble realize the importance of organization. As a simple and redundant as the advice is, there should be no excuse for not following it. If you want to improve your life and you don’t use a planner, you’re loosing half of the battle already. Being organized is one of the absolute best ways to save yourself time on a daily basis.

7. CONSTANTLY MULTITASKING

Focusing on any one thing will seem like an eternity for those who multitask. But the urgent need to bounce back and forth is what destroys our progress. The search for novelty and better opportunities causes us to neglect the call to action we have right now. Stop trying to do a million things at once, and I think you’ll find yourself not only producing better work, but being a lot more efficient too.

Control Your Life by Controlling Your Time Part 2

Suppose you just got off your lunch break from work and I call you all the way from New York. I say “Listen, if you meet me here at the John F. Kennedy airport by 3pm sharp, I’ll give you $750,000.” You look at the time and it’s a quarter past noon. You’re first reaction is no way. Impossible. That’s a little under 3 hours. The flight is two, and traffic alone to the airport would be an hour. But wait with three quarters of a million on the line you get creative.

We talk ourselves into believing we cannot control events that we can really control. The better you feel about yourself, the most productive you will be. What types of things do you do that make you feel best? You feel best when you do things that matter most to you. What are the highest priorities in your life? Of these, which do you value the most?

Why do we have so much trouble accomplishing the things that mean the most to us in the long term? We think we are going to have more time at some unspecified future date than we do now. “Well, I’ll do that next week, or next month, or next year, or when I retire, or when I make better money,  when the economy is better etc”. We think we can somehow save time. As if you don’t have it already. That’s like trying to jog a mile faster by saving your energy. You have all the energy you need. Instead of walking half the damn time, we should focus on actually running.

You would be very upset if someone gained access to your bank account and stole all of your money. Why then don’t most people blink an eye when all sorts of distractions creep into our lives and steal our time?Procrastination. The dirty word. Why do we procrastinate? Important tasks are likely unpleasant. What’s sexy about balancing a checkbook, counting calories, or taking out the garbage? Be productive and successful requires us to leave our comfort zones.

Set a deadline. Do the most unpleasant part first. Make a game out of it. Build in a reward.