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Should Kids Be Allowed to Lose?

awards          Recently it has been proposed here in Canada that a certain University remove the Dean’s List since the students who do not make it on the Dean’s List may suffer psychological repercussions.  Naturally, this is the next step after handing out trophies for just attending a sports programme and the fact that there are reported incidents of grade inflation going on in the schools. This leaves us with a coddled generation who feels entitled to the best life has to offer without putting in the necessary effort.

            Just showing up for a sports programme does not deserve a reward.  Being part of a team could earn a commemorative ribbon or pin, but each person has not earned the right to a trophy.  When little Johnny comes home and says that he didn’t get anything out of his sports programme because he didn’t get a trophy, the parent can reassure Johnny that he did indeed get something.  Johnny learned a new skill and he most likely improved in that skill.  My dear Johnny, you don’t always need to win, but learning something new and improving is very important.  You have also learned that you will not always be the best in life.  But, that’s O.K.  As long as you did YOUR best.

              Teachers have confessed to grade inflation in schools.  A certain grade point average has to be met in order to receive sufficient funding.  This results in college/university students who feel entitled to a “B” just for attending class.  If they don’t get the mark they expect on a test they argue with their teacher, “But I studied for that!”  They fully expect their teacher to up their grade on the basis that they studied.

            This makes Sally feel that she is entitled to that job she applied for.  “Have you not seen my resume?  It’s outstanding!  I am known for regular attendance and doing background work (even if it’s not always right, at least I do it!).”

            Making mistakes is a part of learning.  When we make a mistake, hopefully we will remember what the correct solution was and in this way we have progressed in our learning.  But, if we don’t teach our children that mistakes are ok, how are they going to progress in life?  They will fall apart the first time they are told that they did something wrong.

            Now they want to remove the Dean’s List so that some students won’t suffer self-esteem issues because they don’t make the list?  Shouldn’t they already know that they are not always going to be on the top?  Have they not learned that we will lose more than we win in life?  Of course not because they have always had that trophy handed to them, or the grade bumped up for them.  Now we must take away the next obstacle for their narcissistic personality to continue blooming.

We are living in a society where everything is too easy.  We can access anything at the tips of our fingers via the Internet and cell phones.  Credit cards make it easy to purchase things we cannot really afford.  This creates the need for more.  Happiness becomes elusive, as it is always just 10% more than we have.  We look for quick fixes in all areas of life.

How about teaching the younger generation the three “P’s”—Patience, persistence and perseverance?  Life is a journey, not a race.  We will not always win, but we must keep going, learning from our mistakes and moving on with our head held high knowing that we have done the best we could with the talents we have received.

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Living in the Moment

14345113-smiling-little-businessman-looking-confidentAre you happy right now, exactly where you are in your life?  Can you look yourself in the mirror and say, “Yes.  I am perfect for today!”?

A while ago I started reading about being content in the moment.  Being happy right where you are now.  “But how is that possible when I have so much that I want to change?  When there are so many things that make me unhappy? “ my inner voice would scream. Continue reading

Life’s Journey

Life's Journey-Melody Campbell

Are you feeling unsatisfied with your life?  Is there a nagging feeling that you want or need something more? Yet, you don’t know exactly what that something more is?   Do you feel a pull from responsibilities or people in your life that is taking you down a road you are not completely satisfied with?

Every person has a different journey to take in life.  We can follow the road forward, making choices of which path to follow when we hit a crossroad, or we can just stop and enjoy the scenery right where we are.

I have done enough sight seeing for a while, thank you very much!  As nice as the place that I am at in my journey is, I really need some new scenery in my life.  Something fresh that will challenge me and make me feel alive, not like I just exist.

This journey is not a race.  We must take our time.  It is something to embark upon with a spirit of adventure, and an open mind to find out where we truly want to end up.  We must shut out all outside influences and listen to our heart.  For in listening to our heart we will connect with our spirit, which will guide us, in which direction we need to go when we are ready to move forward.

If you are at a place in your journey in which you are comfortable, then great!  You are at the place you are meant to be at this moment.  But, if you feel like something is missing, like you are lost or ambling aimlessly, then quiet your mind.  Listen to your heart.  Your spirit will guide you.  Be patient, because this may take time.  But, when the feeling strikes, don’t fight it.  Rather, embrace it and take steps in the direction it is guiding you. Continue to listen to your heart as you make each step.  If it feels right, then great.  If not, then also listen to your heart and change your direction accordingly.

I have taken my first small steps.  This week I begin to travel an unknown road in facing the start of a new job and also the start of a writing course.  I can never seem to do one thing at a time!  I am nervous, excited and full of anticipation as to where this new path will lead.  The butterflies in my stomach turn to bats flapping around in there at times, but I know that I will survive this, and come out the better for it.

What point are you at in your journey?  Are you just enjoying the scenery, or is your heart leading you forward to a new destination?

Facing Your Fears

blonde_female_hide_her_face_behind_her_hand

I have faced the feeling of not being good enough for most of my life.  Sometimes the feeling is more intense than others.  Through introspection I think I may have nailed down the reasons behind my intense feelings of not being good enough.  These feelings were a protective shield that prevented me from facing my fears.  They were, in essence preventing me from being happy.

When I come to this point of realization, then I start to contemplate what will make me happy.  This can be a very scary place to go.  It requires doing things outside of my comfort zone.  I know that getting a job and being around more people will boost my spirits as well as my finances.  I would love to pursue writing, as it has always been a love of mine, but just an elusive dream.  I know this is not an easy dream to pursue, and there will be a lot of rejection ahead.

I came up with a million excuses to not be able to do these things that I knew would make me happier.  I can’t get a job because I haven’t worked in 10 years.  I can’t get a job because I don’t have any one to help watch the kids during breaks and the summer.  I can’t pursue the writing because it’s such a crapshoot.  There are so many people with something to say, who would want to read what I have to say?  There is so much rejection in the writing world.  I can sense the failure already.  And the biggest reason that will make me feel “not good enough” is failure.

Yet if I am real with myself I realize that past failures give me the strength to know that I can go on.  The gift of failure is that it helps us to grow.  Failing is NOT the worst thing that can happen to me.  Never having tried what my heart yearns to do is the worst thing that can happen!

So, I have taken the plunge.  Faced my fears.  Applied for the job. Got the job!  WooHoo.  That’s a real boost to the self-confidence.  I have registered for a writing course to start next week.jumping joypossible

So, what is holding you back?  What are your fears?  Be honest with yourself.  Open yourself up to the possibilities.  Grab life by the horns.  We only have one life to live.  Who wants to live with the “what ifs”?

Priorities

wallkingNow that the kids are back in school, I feel like I can get into some form of a routine. My first mission is to establish regular daily exercise. (#1 on the “Tips for a Beautiful Life” list) My exercise of choice is walking. I love being outdoors feeling the sun recharge my tired spirit as the breeze caresses my body. As I move on, I begin to feel my blood flow as my muscles engage, helping to wake up my entire being.

It really is amazing how just a bit of exercise can have such a huge impact on your day. My otherwise sluggish mind feels rejuvenated and ready to go. From past experience I know that I will have more energy as the day progresses. My motivation to get things done will be magnified. Since I get more done, I will feel a greater sense of accomplishment which will make me happier.  I will sleep better, which will provide more energy for tomorrow.

So, why do I fall out of this routine if I know it will have such a huge impact on my day-to-day performance as well as on my health? Life gets in the way. I don’t make myself a priority. I have so many other things that need to get done. There are so many excuses in my arsenal, it is shameful. From today on, no more excuses! I am worth the time. There is nothing else more important than my walk. This will be my mantra whenever one of those nasty excuses pops up in my brain. My daily walk will be #1 on my priority list..

Tips for a Beautiful Life

 thomas kinkade 2

I recently came across a quotation that is very inspirational and motivational to me.  I believe that I need to work on many of these issues on a constant, daily basis.  I plan to print this out and read it every day in order to empower myself in all areas of my life.

I find that maintaining balance in my life is one of the most difficult things to maintain.  I am hoping that this will help me focus and work on the issues consistently.

The following is a copy of the quotation I found:

AWESOME TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!!canary-2

1    Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. While you walk, SMILE.
It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2     Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3     When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s
guidance for your purpose, today.
4     Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food
5     Drink green tea and plenty of water.

6     Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
7     Try to make at least three people smile each day.
8     Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past,
negative thoughts or things you cannot control.  Instead invest your energy in the present moment.
9     Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a
college kid with a maxed out charge card.
10    Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
11    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for
everything!
12    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
13    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
14    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
15    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what
their journey is all about.
16    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
17    Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years,
will this matter?’indian_peafowl
18    Help the needy, be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’
19    What other people think of you is none of your business.
20    Time heals everything.
21    However good or bad a situation is it will change.
22    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your
friends will. Stay in touch.
23    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
24    Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful
for what you’ll accomplish, today!
25    Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.                                                                                 

 I will try to implement one of these tips each day over the next month, and blog my thoughts on the individual tip and how it applies to me.  Any input from anyone else out there would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe someone would care to join me and share thoughts/actions that occur…

Mom with Control Issues

I’d like to know how I became the personal servant of everyone in my family.

My nine-year old daughter was doing homework last night.  When she made a mistake which needed correcting she turned to me and asked,  “Mom can you get me an eraser?” She was convinced that this was my job. I proceeded to tell her that God gave her two feet, and she was perfectly capable to use them to walk over to go get an eraser herself.  She actually got upset with me!

This is just one example of many that I have been noticing lately.  “Mom, can you get the ketchup?  Mom can I have a drink? (which means mom has to get it) Where is my knife/fork/spoon?   The list goes on and on and on.

I have to face reality.  I have been an enabler.  I have let this go on.  I have to step back and allow my kids to be more independent.  I need  them to be more independent.  I find myself getting frustrated with the constant demands.

I guess I am still stuck in the toddler era, even though my kids are well past that stage.  Granted, sometimes it is just easier for Mom to take care of things, so I won’t have to listen to the complaining, won’t have to nag them to do things right (aka Mom’s way), wont have to deal with the mess that is almost inevitable to ensue.  But, with four people constantly relying on me (hubby equals kid number 4 at home) it does get tiring.

Sigh.  I confess.  I have control issues.  I must let go so my kids can grow up.  Otherwise they won’t see the need to be independent and won’t experience the self-confidence that comes along with independence.