Feeling grateful

posted in: All | 4

At an event I attended recently, everyone was asked to share what they were grateful for that day – and we were only allowed to use three words. Many included words like, “family,” “friends,” “my clients”, or even more specifically, “my friend Sharon,” or “my three children.” No one, however, said anything like, “my new car” (or any other material item). It was glaringly obvious that it was the connections with others that held the most meaning for everyone in the group.

friendsWhen you think about what you are grateful for, what words come to mind? Most likely, the relationships in your life have a high place in your gratitude list. Whether it’s family and friends or clients and co-workers, the relationships we build are the things that have the greatest impact on us. Today, and every day, I am grateful for those relationships!

On this Thanksgiving Day, I wish you a day of peace, joy, and warmth shared with those you hold dear.

 

Time management illusion

posted in: All | 1

time commodityDid you know that the word “time” is used more often in the English language than any other noun? In the United States especially, we are obsessed with time. Being on time, making the most of time, providing goods and services “just-in-time,” wasting time, killing time, spending time (ideally quality time), saving time… I could go on, but in the interest of time will stop here as I am sure you get the picture.

After reading the thought-provoking article “Being Lazy and Slowing Down” by Riyad A. Shahjahan I started thinking about time a little differently as I explored the idea from diverse perspectives.

 

In Western culture, time is viewed as a commodity, not to be “wasted.” If we’re not engaged in a visibly productive activity, we’re thought of as being lazy. As a result, we often find ourselves rushing from task to task, although not necessarily accomplishing much of anything. It’s an illusion that we can “manage” time, bend it to our will. And yet we try – with calendars, schedulers, reminders, alarms, and a host of efficiency and time management tools. But in many cases, the more we try to control time to get the most out of every minute, the less we actually have.

While we can’t truly control time, we can make choices about how and where we focus our energy and attention. Yes, the tasks are important (many of them, at least). And then there are those things that don’t fit so neatly into a structured and scheduled block of time. Things like building relationships, meaningful communication, innovation, reflection, and problem-solving. When we do those things well, we become more productive, completing the tasks and projects more effectively and efficiently.

Reflection, for example, is a foreign concept for many, its power unrecognized. And yet, reflection is a critical component of learning and creating. Without it, learning is shallow and seldom remembered, while innovation seems entirely out of reach. How often have you heard someone say, “I do my best thinking in the shower.”? Perhaps you’ve said that yourself. Why is it that we find solutions for problems we’ve been grappling with or find exciting new ideas while in the shower? For some of us, that is the only unstructured time we have in the day – and we thrive in that environment! We find solutions to problems, clarity about decisions, and answers to questions, when we allow ourselves just a little space.

What would happen if you allowed yourself to be lazy for just a little while today? How might you thrive?

 

***

Riyad A. Shahjahan (2015) Being ‘Lazy’ and Slowing Down: Toward decolonizing time, our body, and pedagogy, Educational Philosophy and Theory: Incorporating ACCESS, 47:5, 488-501, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2014.880645

Why attend a conference?

posted in: All, Change, Learning | 0

You have many demands on your time and budget. Why would you want to add to that by adding a conference or two to your schedule?

Having just attended the AEE’s incredible 43rd Annual International Conference, I can share some of the reasons why I already have next year’s Association for Experiential Education conference on the calendar, set as a high priority. Connecting with others who share your interests, and at the same time bring divAEE Conference logoerse perspectives, is powerful! It:

  • stimulates fresh ideas
  • inspires
  • provokes new ways of thinking
  • provides endless opportunities for learning
  • builds relationships
  • stretches comfort zones
  • encourages collaboration
  • is energizing!

Are these things worth investing in? Absolutely! You are investing in yourself.

How will you invest in yourself in 2016? Whether you choose to attend a large conference or get involved in local events that connect you with things you are passionate about – whatever you do for your own growth and development is worth the investment.