Over the past 5 weeks we re-minded ourselves of the five character traits that make us TeRiFFC citizens (trust, respect, responsible, fair, and caring). This week we begin the development of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. These habits help us to be and become leaders. The first habit is Be Proactive. (Ask your child about the hand signal for being proactive.) The premise of the habit is that we have the power to tell our brains what to do! It is such a simple concept, and frankly, simple to do. Feeding our thoughts with positive and productive ideas nourishes our lives with happiness and success. Thinking about doing something is the first step. Taking the next step and telling our brains to do it is the action. Actions lead to habits, habits to character, and character to destiny.
Trying v. Doing
There are so many occasions in life when the word “try” is incomplete and reactive. I think that it’s a half-baked idea. Trying is short sighted, but doing gets it done! The next time you congratulate your child for an accomplishment and they tell you, “Thank you, I tried my best,” remind them that they didn’t just try – THEY DID IT! Encourage them to say “I will” rather than “I’ll try”. Trying insinuates that we may have given our best effort. In fact, when we accomplish things, we did give our best effort. Proactively telling ourselves to do it is powerful and causes great actions.
Reactive language v. Proactive language
- I’ll try. v. I’ll do it!
- That’s just the way I am. v. I can do better than that!
- There’s nothing I can do. v. There is something I can do!
- I have to. v. I choose to!
- I can’t. v. There’s got to be a way!
- You ruined my day. v. I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me.
Being proactive also helps us to take responsibility for our actions and our choices. Proactive citizens don’t blame others, they challenge them and step up as change agents in families, schools, and communities. Encourage this habit this week with the following efforts:
Heart – reach out to a family member or friend who may need some encouragement.
- Mind – search for an answer to an unanswered question.
- Body – shop for foods that will support a healthy brain.
- Soul – take 5 minutes to enter the classroom of silence.
- “I am in charge of how I feel, and today I will choose to be happy and successful.”
“Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it”. – Cathy Hopkins
“Have a can-do-titude” – Mr. B