Sunday, November 20, 2016

Checkers or Chess?

Let’s be honest… when you see these two game boards, you have a certain reaction to each one, don’t you?!

Checkers gives you that "ahhh yes... I'll take them down one piece at a time and after they 'King Me', I'll get them TWO at a time!" (Don't pretend like you don't have a malicious laugh as you sit down to a game of checkers. We all know you do...)

Chess is a different reaction though. Sure, you still get that sense of "Alright! GO TIME!" But instead of trying to take your opponent down one piece at a time, you pause a bit longer before each move. You sloooowly release your hand from the chess piece after each move wondering if you'll be proud of yourself in 2 seconds or experience instant regret. (It's like I've seen you play before, isn't it!?) 

So which game are you playing in this life you live? Do you take one day at a time, hoping to make it to the other side of the a new accomplishment... and once you do, then you'll regroup and re-strategize for more winning moves? OR, are you in this for the long haul... knowing what you're out to accomplish and creating a plan for the day-to-day to help you reach that longer term goal? 

One is clearly more mentally exhausting than the other. To know your current mission in life (personal or professional) and then develop a path for accomplishing that mission means a lot of intentional time for reflection, analysis/evaluation of each situation, as well as refining your short-term goals to help you stay the course. GEEZ! I'm a little worn out just thinking about it! But I guarantee at the end of your project (at home or at work), assuming you've carefully moved every Pawn, Rook, and Knight on the board... you and those around you are more clearly able to speak to the individual moves you made throughout the project which helped you accomplish your goal and either replicate, or avoid, certain paths towards success in the near future. There's clarity in strategy, my friends. 

So what's it going to be as you think about the last 41 days of 2016? Are you going to jump in with your first diagonal move or carefully choose the pawn that will lead the charge?

Peace, love, and Checkmate!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

And the winner is......

Let's face it, friends.... this is a big week. I'd be remiss to blog this week and not get us thinking about those ballot boxes on Wednesday.... but I'd rather do it in a way that let's you get in touch with your own attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and dispositions. No, no... not about the election, but about what you hold at your core that truly drives your daily (inter)actions!

During a really great project ideation session at Winton Woods MS Friday morning, SS facilitator, Mr. Clinton Beck, spoke about his desire to design a project with "diversity" at its core. Specifically, a project which allowed students to look at diversity from the lens of what made them who they are and why they see the world that they do. All I could think of during that time was "YES! If only our students....and if only WE.... truly knew our core beliefs (i.e. the essence of how we see ourselves, other people, the world, & the future...thanks for that explanation, Google....), we would be able to productively manage our behaviors influenced by our attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and dispositions during any interaction we may have in our daily life.

I wish I could take credit for this brilliant li'l exercise, but I cannot. Instead, let's thank the author of The Art of Coaching, Elaine Aguilar, for this closer look at ourselves and our core beliefs. (Give yourself 15-20min to give this exercise a go!)

  1. Read through this list of Core Values  (Note: it's not exhaustive, so feel free to add your own) and identify 10 values which you feel are most important to you.
  2. Now, cross off five of those values, leaving you with the five that are most important to you.
  3. Now, from your list of five values, cross off two, leaving you with the three values that are most important to you. These are most likely your core values. 
WHOOO!!! You made it!!! Now talk to me about this.... 
  • What feelings come up for you when you read your short list? How does your energy shift?
  • Consider how the actions you take reflect your core values. Are there values that show up more often in your actions at work? At home? In social circles? With family? Do you ever notice a discrepancy between what you consider to be a "value" and actions that you take?
  • Write your three core values on a piece of paper and post them somewhere prominent. Reflect on them for a week or two. See if they still feel like "core" values.
  • Reflect on them every year! Are they the same? Have they changed? Do you think these would have been your core values 10 years ago?

Whether you're entering the polls this week, engaging in a conversation with a friend/ colleague/ student, or going about your daily business, I hope you take time to celebrate YOU. Celebrate the way that YOU make decisions that will impact your own present and future realities as a result of being true to what's in your core.

Peace, love, and live with purpose,