Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (Day 202)
Relaxing Music for the week: Shared Values: Liquid Mind (9:10) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtHaryFeHLE
Question: How do you balance self-acceptance and self-improvement?
Answer: First, let’s start with definitions:
- Self-acceptance: “Self-acceptance is an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.” (Morgado and colleagues, 2014). This definition emphasizes the importance of accepting all facets of the self. It’s not enough to simply embrace the good, valuable, or positive about yourself; to embody true self-acceptance, you must also embrace the less desirable, the negative, and the ugly parts of yourself.
- Self-improvement: “Self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. It’s the quest to make ourselves better in any and every facet of life.” (James Clear).
So how do I balance self-acceptance and self-improvement? I don’t. I now have been able to accept both the good and the ugly parts of me; luckily, there’s more good than ugly. When people ask me to describe myself best, I see myself as a milder version of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. I’m not over-the-top OCD and anal-retentive, but I do have those tendency. If you came to visit me, you’d most likely laugh because everything has its place in our house – even the piles of dirty laundry. I don’t know where I got that from, since that seems to be modeled behavior, but I’ve craved order in my life. I’ve lightened up as I’ve gotten older, but every now and then I’ll have one of those “hissy fits” if something isn’t right. Like I said, I’m much, much better about it now than in the past.
As far as self-improvement goes…I’m of the mindset of never-ending growth and improvement. If you recall, one of my seven-word life mottos is, “Striving to be 1% better every day.” And as I’m writing this, I should add another – “Striving to give 1% more every day.” I think that would take care of my self-coaching question, “Is the decision I’m about to make or the action I’m about to take moving me towards becoming the best version of myself and/or profoundly serving something bigger than myself in a positive way?” See how this is all connected to my definition of purpose: “a sustained commitment to goals and dreams that allow you to explore and express the best version of yourself in service to something bigger than yourself that makes the world a better place.” It makes my life so much easier, especially when making decisions. I think that’s why I’ve been so adamant about constructing a new version of my job; because anything other activity that I do (like registration and scheduling) will suck the life out of me. I’ve explored the possibility of higher level positions, but having to manage people will again feel like something that would suck the life out of me. I’ve completed my first draft of the one-year strategic plan for Student Success in HHS; it’s my hope that having a plan is better than not having a plan. We still have not had a chat or a meeting about what’s coming for the Fall Semester – and the semester starts in less than 4 weeks. It’s almost as if they don’t care, that they just want to watch things crumble so we can all leave and they can start over. And that really sucks! But, I’m still going to focus on doing awesome work that makes a difference in the lives of our students!
I was reading several articles this morning – and there was one that really stuck with me as I develop this business plan for my work. Here’s the article:
- 10 ways to turn life’s obstacles into your purpose rocket fuel – https://medium.com/the-happy-startup-school/10-ways-to-turn-lifes-obstacles-into-your-purpose-rocket-fuel-725fb9fa13e1
And it’s an article about a great man, William McNeely, who created an incredible foundation called “Do Greater” in Charlotte, North Carolina. In a nutshell, William (affectionately known as “Coach Mac”) and his team are now building a co-working and co-learning space to inspire and empower the next generation to fulfil their potential, find their purpose and create opportunities that may otherwise not have been available to them. Awesome!
But what really stuck with me from the article are the takeaways on how to turn adversity into a legacy, which are:
- Reframe any problems you face as opportunities.
- Focus on what’s ahead, not what is in your way.
- Get clear on your core and what makes you you.
- Time is precious when you’ve got things to do.
- Everyone is creative (but not everyone has the same opportunity).
- Your story matters, but the vision is key.
- Use your purpose as fuel for the impossible.
- If someone doesn’t get what you’re doing, move on to those that do.
- Don’t let distractions destroy your dreams.
- Think about how your work can live beyond you.
The article ends with two pieces of advice: (1) Don’t wait for a health crisis to kick you into action, and (2) Rather than settle for OK or just good, what would doing greater look like for you?