Educators. Students. Community members. Much more unites us than divides us, particularly knowing we all wear multiple hats. Building relationships. Thinking BIG.
Challenging and supporting one another. Developing engaged, empathetic citizens. Please join me in pondering how best to nurture these common ground connections.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Resolutions...No Thanks! :)

A brief thought while taking a break from preparing for second semester. As I peruse through Facebook, Twitter, Imgur, and Tumblr, there are an enormous number of posts regarding New Year's resolutions—articles about how to choose your resolutions and others sharing how to stick to them. Although I wholeheartedly agree with honest self-reflection and action plans toward growth, I've never really been one who understood using an arbitrary date to reflect on life and set goals. A date can't dictate when this should happen; experiences do. But that's just me. Dates likely work quite well for others.

But I must admit that as this semester closed and the new year rolled in, I coincidentally found myself thinking about the powerful experiences, the challenging experiences, mostly the beautiful experiences, I've had over the last few months and how they've baptized me into an exciting new phase of my life. In the past week, a single thought has been spinning in my head. This thought stemmed from remembering a book I read years ago.

The book is The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. As a brief description, the author gives four principles to practice in order to gain personal freedom. Those four principles are:
  1. Be Impeccable with your Word.
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.
  5. (He's since added a fifth agreement: Be Skeptical but Learn and Listen)
I highly recommend the book. The explanations and stories will elaborate on the above and you'll be surprised at how insightful these ideas are.

But through conversations with others, I think a sixth agreement is a necessary part of personal freedom. It's the thought that keeps spinning in my head.

     6. Recognize that everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences.

Adding this sixth agreement means you'll view your experiences with the lens needed to both appreciate the gifts laid in front of you, and to see how to absorb them as a welcomed, necessary part of your life journey. You'll adopt the life philosophy, "Yes, And...?" and "Yes, And...!" I don't think the first five agreements can happen without the belief in and awareness of this sixth. Not sure. Just a thought. But boy, it's really making sense to me! And I'm feeling good. :)

I wish you all a happy, healthy, adventure-filled 2015. Back to prep work for me! 

1 comment:

David Barron said...

Joan, I am excited about the book recommendation. I believe in all of that. I learned "Yes, and..." while doing improvisation with Del Close. That was the name of his company and philosophy/rule one and two of improvisation.