This is a big sports week. With the Super Bowl on Sunday and the start of the Olympics on Thursday, there is a lot to engage with for the sports fans among us. My favorite aspects of high level athletics are the human interest stories behind the competition. Any individual who has achieved success at such a high level has made great sacrifices in order to achieve that success. And some have overcome significant personal hurdles in order to reach their personal best.
As I wrote last week, as part of our commitment to teaching the 7 Habits to our students, I wanted to utilize this newsletter to share the habits beyond the classroom. The first of the 7 habits is Be Proactive. It is grouped with the first three habits of highly effective people that help individuals to become more independent, responsible, set priorities, goals and stay focused and disciplined. When we watch Olympic athletes, we see the culmination of MANY years of commitment to their goal. Their achievements cannot be reached simply by preparing the week before or even months before. Rather they held a dream, set goals, created a detailed plan and then worked extremely hard — harder than anyone around them — to achieve their goals.
In our society of instant gratification today, taking initiative, being responsible and working hard is less common than in prior generations. And working hard isn’t necessarily just the physical work — although that is certainly important. There is a significant amount of mental work that is needed. That includes giving oneself the space to train one’s brain to get “into the flow.” The word “flow” is often used to describe the state that athletes reach in peak performance. When one loses oneself in their work it can also be somewhat of a meditation. Being PROACTIVE also involves this kind of inner work that helps our brains ready themselves for learning, or in the case of athletes — for training.
In the school-home partnership, you can help your child at home by ensuring that they have time built into their lives for this inner work. This could include simple reflections at the end of each day such as:
- What am I grateful for today?
- What was I proud of with myself today?
- What was I not proud of?
- What will I do differently tomorrow to be a better version of myself?
Such reflections can also relate back to the personal goal setting to assess how your child is making progress toward their goals. When done consistently, this practice will make a powerful, proactive difference for your children. It might even work for you too!