Over the last month, I’ve been exposed to a few more psychological buzz words that have resonated with me and have inspired this post. “We are intended to develop from cradle to grave” says Dr. Sasha Heinz, a life coach. Your personal and professional development should still be a daily goal. How can I get better at what I do? How can I be more efficient? What systems can I create that allow me and others to get time back and make a positive impact in the lives of others? It doesn’t stop after you earn your degree or complete your training, even if you stay in the same job. You should always strive to improve your practice. This goes for stay at home parents too. We’ve all come up with our own systems at home such as how we pay bills, meal planning, shopping, cleaning, bedtime and wake-up routines for all members of the family, and how we use our free time. In the end, it comes down to time. How can we get more time? Having more time to spend on the things you enjoy is the partial key to wellness.
Grit: a passion and perseverance towards a long-term goal. Angela Duckworth wrote the book, Grit, and she goes on to say that the research shows that grit matters more than intelligence. If you are passionate about something, and you have the strength and endurance to see it through, you have grit which will lead to accomplishing your goals.
Flow: when you are in the zone. This was a popular sports term that has now turned psychological and relates to a mental state where you are so immersed in what you are doing that you almost lose track of time. You are not aware of your feelings, although flow mainly results in positive feelings after the fact. There is no psychological drama. How crazy is that?! Positive feelings are not the purpose; accomplishment is. The task has to be slightly above what your normal baseline is; slightly more challenging. The times I am in flow are the times I am teaching someone something new. The lasting effects of flow = calmness, increased self-worth, accomplishment, and motivation to get to that state again.
One of my favorite quotes from the text book, Family Systems for Educators, a class I teach at Concordia, is that, “Happiness should be a byproduct of living life, not the end goal.” If we strive for happiness, we will ultimately be disappointed. This is one of the reasons why so many young people have so many conditions; nothing is ever good enough. These conditions have also been blamed on straight up Millennialism. Sometimes you just need to be grateful for the little things. Mindfulness and mediations can help you connect with the little things, or at least notice them. For me, the little things include a snowy day, a sunset, a great run, a smile from a stranger, or my daily cup of joe or energize.
Part 2 will focus on my go-to’s for wellness.