“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
You know the people . . . the people that when they walk into a room everyone is happy to see them. These people exude positive energy; they seemingly make every situation a little better. They bring light to darkness . . . they empower others, create optimism, and inspire joy.
You also know the people that you can’t wait to leave the room. The individuals, that you said out loud or in your head, “thank goodness” when they leave. These people are energy vampires. They exude negative energy. In fact, it takes energy to even deal with them. They try to pull you below the line. They tempt your inner demons and stir impulsive behavior in you.
Who are you? Honestly, when you enter a room how do people feel about you? You can control how people feel about you. You can control the energy, the aura, you provide to others. You can control how people experience you.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
So . . . the heuristic E+R=O isn’t an entirely new concept. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who lived AD 55-135, may have beaten Tim Kight to the punch. Now I don’t have the Greek translation, but I bet it is something along the lines of “we can’t control the events in our lives, but how we respond to each event determines the outcome.”
Our work to live discipline-driven lives, our work to bring life skills as well as academic skills to young people, and our work to intentionally respond to events in our own lives isn’t new. We are simply putting a process in place . . . we are engaging in a system . . . to help us be more successful.
Pressing pause, getting our minds right, stepping up, and the R-factor disciplines are merely a system to help us live what Epictetus knew . . . we need to be responsible for our actions. We need to have discipline responses to what takes place in the world around us.
Our work isn’t new . . . we aren’t introducing new concepts. In fact, we are making life easier by sharing common systems and vocabulary. We are a team – we are singular culture in a complex world. Our response to the complexity of the world around us will determine our success.
“It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” -Thomas Aquinas
I love to laugh. I reflect back on Mary Poppins and think about the tea party on the ceiling and the joyful song “I love to laugh.” It puts a smile on my face and a tune in my heart. http://youtu.be/pOMqqI-kzHY
I enjoy a good joke . . . I enjoy the playful banter of colleagues who enjoy each other’s company. It is important – in any profession and in any role – that we take the time to build relationships that extend beyond the work. Great organizations support each other, know each other . . . great organizations laugh and cry together.
Life is more than work and work is more than life. Discipline-driven doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy each other, we don’t laugh, and we don’t joke around. Part of being disciplined in our lives is finding the time – the right time – to simply enjoy life together.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
When our lives are aligned, we find fulfillment. When our personal and professional goals are complimentary, we find enjoyment. When we balance our work and personal lives, we find happiness.
When we are out of alignment . . . when our lives are out of balance . . . life is a struggle. We find ourselves fighting internal battles. We spend energy on the inner battle rather than on living our purpose.
When we are discipline-driven, when we live focused on the outcomes we desire, we are fulfilled, joyful, and happy. It isn’t enough to talk the talk. It isn’t enough to go through the paces. You must find the commitment; you must achieve the harmony. It must be happening “in you” before it can happen “through you.”
Develop discipline-driven skills . . . align your thoughts, words, and actions. Know what you want; know who you want to be. Live the life you want others to see . . . live the life desiring of your purpose and calling.
“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes it isn’t what we do, but what we don’t do. As we press pause in our lives, as we take the time to get our minds and thoughts right before we act, often the best response to an event is resist the temptation of the easy, default-driven action.
When faced with an emotional, angry individual it is easy to match their level of emotion and anger. The temptation is to meet them at their level . . . the discipline-driven response is be a calming force in a storm. When tempted by greed or personal fame, it is important to focus on purpose. Each time we win the battle to live a discipline life, each time we press pause to fight our default, easy impulses we gain strength. As we build our skills, as we live a more discipline-driven life, we gain strength.
Part of pressing pause – part of taking a moment to get our minds right in preparation for our response – is in knowing our own temptations. It is important to identify our own challenges, our own temptations. What is your default-driven response and how can you be more intentional in responding? Once you’ve identified the below the line response you are on the way to having a stronger, discipline response in the future.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
There are people in our lives who are role models; these are the people who inspire us to pursue excellence and reach for the stars. When I think of these people in my life, when I reflect on my aspirations as an educator and leader, I think of those with the great combination of smarts and heart. I think of those who know their stuff and have the passion to make it happen.
Think of those who inspire and empower you to be more. The heart leads the way, but the knowledge paves the path. Leaders have the job skills, the technical ability to get the work done. Leaders also understand the necessary life skills needed to build connections, create trust, and develop relationships.
The combination of jobs skills and life skills are the catalyst for successfully leading to achieve results. Each of us is growing, learning and developing . . . our journey is never complete. We must carefully walk as we go through life – we stop at each crossroads and ask ourselves is our heart aligned with our head. We must be wise, ask for assistance, walk in love, and be discipline.
“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” –Herodotus
What do you do to relax? Are you intentional in making time to take care of yourself? Can your work become all consuming?
For me, there are two types of relaxation. One is planned times to relax. Personally, this is easy for me. I can schedule time – and be discipline in my behavior – to protect time for personal health, well-being, and relaxation. Our family schedules vacations. I schedule time each day for exercise and reflection. This is important; this keeps me going.
Another type of relaxation and fun is spontaneous. Those moments where we permit ourselves time to enjoy time with family and friends. Those moments when we laugh, smile, and simply enjoy the moment. These fleeting moments, those opportunities in time, are just as important for our overall health and well-being.
Take time today to savor each moment . . . to enjoy the work and the people who are with you. Take time today to put down what electronically connects you to the entire world . . . take time to personally connect, laugh, have fun, and enjoy the relationships with those right in front of you.