Last night, before I went to bed I was reading The Power of Habit and it turns out that researchers are very interested in willpower. It seems that willpower is like a muscle and the more demanding the task the more depleted your stores of willpower can become. That’s why it can be hard to go for a run after work. You’ve used up all your willpower to get through answering a stack of emails and or reading some new protocol.
In the old days, a full day of professional development would have been a struggle when it comes to staying on track with my SmartPoints. There are always granola bars, candy, and sometimes cake, chips, or cookies to nosh on throughout the day. I was not tempted, not once. I did have one piece of candy (2sp) after lunch but that’s it – that’s all I wanted. My habits have become so rooted in my daily life that it doesn’t take the same amount of effort (or at least as far as today is concerned) to say no to food.
It was a full day of learning and I have lots to consider as I wind down tonight. I’m thinking about the kind of language I use with my students. It is so important to be careful with language. Having the privilege of being part of a child’s education means that I get to be the one who cheers young readers and writers on as they learn to find their voice in the world. I get to amplify their success and honor their struggles. Learning cannot happen without some struggle. There is always a flip side: success and failure; safety and vulnerability, courage and fear. The thing is, we need both and we have to make both ok if we are going to continue to evolve into the best version of ourselves.
- There is no success without failure so give yourself permission to fail. Fail without shame and lean in and learn more about yourself.
- We will never truly feel safe until we have put ourselves out there and opened ourselves up to vulnerability. Share how you feel especially when the feelings make you feel small or unsure about who you want to be.
- There is no way to be courageous if we don’t feel fear. Fear is the thing that makes courage so extraordinary. Do something new that you’ve never done but have always wanted to try. Grow into the person you want to be don’t just take shelter in a lesser version of yourself.
Learning and struggle are part of the journey. Whether you are learning to read and write or trying to change your habits to sustain a healthier lifestyle. Eventually, you learn and what was once a struggle is now just part of what you do, like saying “No thanks” to candy. If you’re not there yet, it’s ok to be kind to yourself. Every single day your willpower gets a workout, life is hard sometimes. I think just acknowledging that makes it better.