Misery is a choice . . . don’t choose it

“Setbacks are inevitable; misery is a choice.”   – Stephen Covey


We live, and work, in a complex world.  Our lives are marked by continued events . . . events that require us to respond.  We strive to respond with a discipline-driven, above the line response.


We encounter a myriad of opportunities to interact with other people.  Each encounter, each conversation with others is an interface of interconnected responses.  My response creates an event for others . . . and it goes on and on.


We face inevitable setbacks and challenges each and every day.  We connect with individuals that may not share our values; we communicate with others that are default-driven.  We deal with people who live their lives below the line.  We face setbacks; we live with broken relationships and untrustworthy people.


It is easy . . . it can be a default mindset . . . to be miserable.  As Covey reminds us, “misery is a choice.”  You can respond by dwelling on the broken, by obsessing on the negative.  Or, you can respond by pulling yourself away from the dark and into the light.  Yes, there are times and people when your best response, when the best available “R”, is to simply walk away.

True to your inner-core

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson


Building trust . . . being true to our inner-core . . . servant leadership . . . habitual kindness . . . we must be discipline in how we live our lives.


Our habits are what we repeatedly do; they are the what we consistently do.  We must be discipline in our actions; we must be consistent in our behavior.


Our values don’t waiver; our values aren’t situational.  Our values – how we act – must be consistent, discipline-driven and intentional.  From a mid-summer conversation with a neighbor to a deep, philosophical discussion with a friend, from a meeting with an angry parent to a debate with an energetic student, our treatment of others must be consistent and rooted in our values.


Consistency and character require discipline-driven decisions and support.  We must be true to ourselves and balanced in our behavior.  During these summer months, during a time when we have the opportunity for relaxation and reflection, take the time to develop your stress-management-strategies.  How will you stay discipline during high stress moments?  Who are your guideposts on the journey?  What are your guardrails when things start going too fast?


Now is the time . . . the time to make plans for times you don’t have time to think.  Now is the time to find your guideposts, practice your discipline, and secure those guardrails.

Planning is invaluable

“Plans are worthless, but planning is invaluable.” – Peter Drucker


Wow . . . for those of you who know me this really hits home.  I am a planner; I honestly love the act of planning, of preparing, and of strategizing.  I love planning everything from my day to my vacation.


I am that guy . . . the father and husband who is planning our next vacation before we are even on the interstate leaving the current trip.  The immediate reflection, vision for the future, and planning to make the next vacation even better . . . planning is invaluable.


I love to plan because I love to think, formulate and create the future.  The process of planning – the thinking that is involved – is invaluable.  The creation of a good plan, from the individual details to the tick-tock of the schedule, is where imagination and reality come together.  Planning is shaping the future.


At work planning is much the same way . . . taking our creative energy to strategize about a better tomorrow is invaluable.  Taking the time to dream, the time to picture our vision for the future in our mind’s eye is essential in our pursuit of elite service to our students.  Our growth mindset is the foundation – our plans and dreams are guideposts on our journey.