Tripping over your own feet. Accidentally shooting yourself with water at a water fountain. Noticing your zipper is unzipped or a shirt button is in the wrong hole. Forgetting someone’s names as you greet them.
These are small but impactful mistakes. It isn’t really the mistake that makes the failure; it’s our attitude. Our “Oops” are only failures, if we allow others to witness us wallowing in our faux pas.
When we make mistakes, we provide ourselves with jumping off points for humor, improvement, and growth.
While we may never stop tripping over our own feet and we can NEVER control the pressure of some water fountains, we can control how we prevent failure from being part of our self-perception.
When we do something right, we LOVE witnesses of our greatness. When we make a mistake, witnesses are worse than the error itself. The truth of the matter is witnessing success is not nearly as powerful as witnessing the triumph of overcoming a potentially fantastic failure.
My children witness me making some pretty terrible mistakes. These massive mistakes allow me the opportunity to show what it looks like to make an “Oops” into an “Oh yeah!” It’s totally okay is they see me fail at an attempt, it’s not okay to let them see me defeated. (I am not saying it’s not okay to suffer a defeat now and then, we just can’t remain defeated.) Every time I wipe out, it is important for them to see me get wipe myself off and try again (sometimes the mistake warrants trying something new all together). Allowing others to see us move on makes that mistake a victory.
If you find yourself in an “Oops” situation, acknowledge the “Oops” and give any witnesses the opportunity to say “Oh yeah!” as you find a successful way on to the next attempt or adventure. Don’t let them witness failure. Give them a front row ticket to the fabulous fortune in your endeavors.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I tell myself that I make a lot of mistakes so that I can make a lot of successes. You tell yourself whatever it takes to make your failures into victories. 😉
Professional development is a topic that makes most people groan in despair. I really have no problem with professional development. In fact, I have served on many professional development teams in the past. As a fairly new employee to State Technical College of Missouri, I have the benefit of taking part in the professional development programs offered, including the “new” teacher services. While I am not a “new” teacher in the sense of experience, I was definitely “new” to the collegiate teaching scene.
Upon completion of my first year at State Tech, I received an invite to meet with Angie, the Professional Development Coordinator. Her invite stated that she just wanted to visit with me about the successes and any concerns from my first year to form an instructional mentoring partnership. (Sounded fun and fancy to me and Angie said she was willing to have donuts at the meeting.)
When we met, Angie and I discussed what we believed to be successful about my first year and I shared my concerns (which wasn’t much). She listened, shared stories about her own experiences as an adjunct professor, and discussed ideas for addressing my concerns. (She even remembered the donuts!) To conclude our meeting, Angie thanked me for my time and presented me with a brand, new composition book to use as a journal of my teaching. She did not realize just how special that notebook was.
I have always had an obsession with notebooks and journals. Writing is one of my favorite outlets and I have a little bit of a list-making obsession. For the last few years, I have re-purposed the notebooks left behind by my students as they move onto the next year’s courses. I don’t mind recycling, plus some of those kids drew really great sketches for me to enjoy every time I use their discarded notebooks. When I was in grade school, my favorite notebooks were made from recycled paper. I loved the tint of the gray pages and the softness of writing on the thicker sheets. When my friend Erica gave me a journal for my birthday a few years ago, I was so excited. A new notebook just for me! I used that journal to begin the writing for my blog.
When Angie presented me with this new notebook, my joy was instantaneous and I thanked her with a huge hug. Who knows what great things I can do with those fresh, lined pages! Continue reading “Take Note”
There are days I really wish I had an instruction manual for life. There are days that I think I should write an instruction manual for how to NOT live. There are days that I am pretty sure I am not smart enough to follow an instruction manual (if I had one) to save my life.
We all feel this way sometime.
The best part of our imperfection is that we all suffer from it.
Our mistakes are part of the human condition and they are tools for personal growth.
The three steps to surviving imperfection are as follows:
(Unofficial Instruction Guide for Life)
- Be able to laugh at your mistakes
- Be able to learn from your mistakes
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes
Continue reading “Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday”
54 steps… that is how many steps it takes to get to my aunt and uncle’s lake house.
54 long, tall steps.
From the dock to the house it is 54 steps. That equates to a lot of hard work for a spot that is supposed to be relaxing.
Time at the lake house is so refreshing. We eat, sleep, drink, and play there with no other purpose than to get away from the exhaustion of everyday life. As we head from the house to the dock, we pack everything we can into our arms and hope we don’t fall forward on the descent. (Did I mention it would be 54 long, tall steps down?)
Once on the dock, time seems slower. The sun shines brighter. The breezes massage our worries away. The fish and birds provide breaks in the calm of the waters. The occasional boat or jet ski add speedy bursts of entertainment to the scenery. It makes those 54 steps worthwhile.
There are a lot of things in life that are worth effort. I would like to extend an Intentergy effort challenge. Choose a task that challenges you but will make your life easier in the long run.
- Consider cleaning out and organizing a closet or cabinets.
- Make a To-Do list and do the things on your list.
- If there is something you participate in that is NOT worth the effort or frustration, eliminate that unhealthy practice from your life.
- Fill in your calendar or planner with all your obligations and use it to keep appointments straight and help with timeliness.
- Plan your meals ahead of time; this saves time and money.
- Make a change that you have been putting off. Change is the first place to start when you need greater positive energy.
Just as climbing those 54 steps gets my heart racing, hopefully the challenge you choose will fill your heart with energy and excitement. Whether it be heading down those steps or up, I always know that where I end up will be a good place to land. Know that you will have the same optimism if you choose a challenge that is impactful for you. So take a deep breath, grab all the stuff you will need to make the change, and take that first step. It will be worth the climb.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Take a flashlight if you go before dusk. Those 54 steps can be scary without a light. (or be smart enough to turn on the outside lights before heading down)
P.P.S. Check with your physician before climbing 54 steps a whole bunch of times. Some of us are a bit out of shape and may need to ease into the process. 😉
I worked for Disney World (like a lifetime ago) as a performer in the theme parks. I LOVED working at Disney. I loved the work, the people, and living in Orlando; it was a dream come true. In the events following 9-11 there was not as much work for the employees of Disney. (It was hard to be happy, even in the happiest place on Earth, as America reeled from the attacks on our country.) After a few months of struggling to make ends meet and suffering from the distance between my family and myself, I made the decision to move back to Missouri. It was like a kick in the teeth. I smiled through my decision but it was a tough one.
Today I am so glad I had to make that move. A few months after returning home, I got a call to become a teacher, literally. (Thank you, Dawn!) One year into my teaching program, I ended up on a blind date with the man who became my husband. Today I have an amazing life (17 hours away from Disney World) and I am smiling a sincere and grateful smile.
Walt Disney knew something about getting kicked around. He faced ups and downs and made the impossible possible. Today his vision continues to inspire, entertain, and delight millions, if not billions. Continue reading “A Good Kick in the Teeth – Wise Words Wednesday”
After reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I was inspired to read other publications Jen recommended in her book. Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life was one of the books recommended by Sincero. In her book Walker tells the story of how a prescription of intentional giving and journaling has helped her battle the pain and hindrances caused by her multiple sclerosis. It is a powerful story and really propelled me toward a stronger giving purpose.
Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge was a positively impactful experience. For 29 days I intentionally gave gifts and journaled about my giving. The act of giving and reflecting on the impacts made through giving made my life more meaningful.
Excitedly I joined the 29 Gifts Community at http://www.29gifts.org and began to follow Cami Walker and the 29 Gifts page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/29Gifts/. Both of these connections inspired me as I saw that there were many others who had taken the 29 Gifts Challenge and were motivated by the book’s message. Continue reading “The Gift of Giving”
via Daily Prompt: Solitary
I think I found where world peace should start…
After a long day of travel, we arrived at our rented, vacation cabin. We spent the evening checking out the lake and camp grounds, did some fishing, and tested out the kayaks. When the kids finally realized they were hungry, each began to gather smalls sticks to start our fire. Hubby purchased firewood from the local woodshed and got it going. I dug out the hotdogs, buns, marshmallows, and skewers.
The open-flame grilled dogs were extra delicious and the kids probably wasted more marshmallows than they ate, but it was fun to watch. When the camp fire and “roasting” things began to lose its appeal, the kiddos hopped in the hot tub. I cleaned up the meal mess. Hubby checked out the area map and brochure of attractions.
It was not until well after dark and the kids were tucked into their respective beds that I was able to do what I wanted on vacation…sit quietly.
There is something powerful and energizing in a camp fire. Watching the flames dance and hearing the logs crack you are fully award that in front of you is a living, breathing creature. Even though I was alone by the campfire, I could not feel lonely. Continue reading “A Fire All My Own”
Tears are the last things we need to shed before starting a new school year.
When we begin a new semester, we need to get rid of a lot of stuff before we get rid of tears.
First of all get rid of any bad attitudes. Bad attitudes = bad outcomes
Second, let go of preconceived notions about a certain person or class. What we believe to be true may be based on misunderstanding, falsehood, or a sliver of truth. Give them the benefit of the doubt. The benefit of letting go may result in a terrific learning experience.
Thirdly, each new beginning means an end. You can celebrate the fact that you have passed another milestone in your life and begun a new chapter in your learning career. Not only are you turning over a new leaf when you change your attitude, you are turning a new page in your own personal history book… The Book of How Awesome You Are
Fourth, remove inhibitions and fears. The class or experience that may have you in knots just might be the one thing that holds your year together. You don’t want fear to be the glue that holds your entire year together do you?
Finally, break the mold of the mundane. Don’t embrace the same habits and routine of years previous. Make new friends. Try new practices and sports. Heck, give a new food a chance. Your year can only be successful and rewarding if you work toward something. Make that something a NEW you through bigger and better experiences.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. There may not be any crying in baseball, but sometimes there will be crying in education. Just don’t let those tears fall because of a new beginning.
Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears
Guest Post by Wade Orscheln
In the last few days I have been inspired not by a paid motivational speaker, not by my boss, not by a famous person or athlete, not even by an adult, but by the great youth we have in agriculture. The last few days I have found myself running back and forth from home to Sedalia trying to watch my FFA students exhibit their livestock at the Missouri State Fair. Which reminds me that I must thank my principal for letting me out of those beginning of the year teacher meetings so I could attend these shows. These kids give me hope in our future. They showed me a passion and drive I thought that had been lost in our American youth.
Maybe I’m becoming soft with age, but several times during the youth swine show I found myself drying my eyes. I got to witness a blind young man with the help of a friend who served as his eyes exhibit the 4-H reserve champion barrow. I watched as his friend embraced him with a big hug. The smile on his face and the tears in the eyes of the crowd was priceless. I just wish for a moment he could visually see how great his duroc barrow really was. I wish he knew how motivational he was. He didn’t just show the 4-H reserve champion barrow but showed the world that a disability doesn’t have to disable.
I got the opportunity to listen to a judge speak before selecting the youth show overall champion barrow. He spoke about, that what was going on in the swine barn that day wasn’t about the livestock at all, that it was about the kids in the show ring. After his speech I witnessed a young man get the slap that every livestock exhibitor dreams of. That slap that the judge gives your animal when choosing the grand champion. Instantly the young man wrapped his arms around the judge and broke into tears. These tears were tears of joy and passion. Continue reading “Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears”