Each morning at SPAS we use a short ‘homeroom’ period to start the day. This allows all of our students to have a shared experience that includes time for announcements and guided reflection. These reflective writing periods help them connect with themselves before they try to connect with the day’s learning opportunity they will use to become their better selves and prepare for their preferred future.
Because we are intentional about developing RESILIENCE, during their for daily reflections for the month of September students focused on their own PURPOSE. Each day students would select one of 120 questions from the Rockwood Leadership Institutes “132 OF THE BEST QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU REFLECT ON YOUR PURPOSE” and record their personal reflections in their “Crew Log” which includes each student’s daily planner. The following are examples were some of the questions that could have been used.
“What do you want to be the best in the world at?”
“What’s a quote that inspires you and why?”
“What would you like your grandchildren to say about you?”
“What would you write a book about?”
I know from my own experience how powerful this exercise was. Each morning, before checking news, email, or social media I would select a question that helped me re-consider my own purpose, my personal reason for being that I had chosen from every other possibility to use to give my life meaning. After 10-15 minutes of writing, I would find myself re-centered, re-grounded, and even re-committed to the purpose that motivates me to work to see a dream become reality.
What I discovered was that my morning reminder would often prove to be invaluable later in the day as I was making the difficult decisions and sacrifices necessary for me to remain faithful to my purpose. The early morning reflection on MY PURPOSE had added to my reservoir of resolve to see it fulfilled. On occasion it may have even influenced the decisions and choices I made later that day.
This month, October, we are considering another RESILIENCE dimension, PERSEVERANCE.
There’s no point in knowing your PURPOSE if you don’t have the PERSEVERANCE to achieve it in spite of challenges, discouragement, frustration, and unanticipated roadblocks that are in inevitable part of any journey. If we give up, quit, or simply diminish our positive engagement in attaining our goals (purpose) then quite simply, our purpose will NOT be fulfilled. Our goals will not be reached. Persistence, grit, or PERSEVERANCE is a common characteristic among resilient individuals.
Instead of using questions like we did in September for PURPOSE, this month we are using quotes on PERSEVERANCE from “Brainyquote.com” to stimulate our morning reflections. These will include the following examples others like them.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” –Thomas Edison
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” – Walter Elliot
“The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that the impossible takes a little longer time.” – Lady Aberdeen
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.” – Helen Keller
“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli
What we hope to do during our PERSEVERANCE October is to reprogram our minds to embrace struggle rather than reject it. Learn to not just fail, but to ‘fail forward’ as we pick ourselves up and then ‘keep on keeping on.’ Dreams, goals, or PURPOSES are not fulfilled because they were good, or worthy. They become reality only because of hard work, grit, determination, persistence and determination in the face of REPEATED FAILURES until there is a breakthrough moment. These qualities are what we are referring to with the word PERSEVERANCE. RESILIENCE is necessary for success in our Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world and an essential component of it is PERSEVERANCE.