Lecture – a medieval technique that’s out of date

Lecture:  A medieval word which comes from the Latin for “a reading”. Monks would read a precious manuscript aloud so everyone else could copy it down. A transfer of knowledge “at scale” using the best technology at the time.

1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin lēctūra a reading.

Is listening to lectures an effective way to learn in school?

Not according to several studies – and common sense! Here’s one particular study from a few years ago:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/05/lectures-arent-just-boring-theyre-ineffective-too-study-finds

To weigh the evidence, Freeman and a group of colleagues analyzed 225 studies of undergraduate STEM teaching methods. The meta-analysis, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that teaching approaches that turned students into active participants rather than passive listeners reduced failure rates and boosted scores on exams by almost one-half a standard deviation. “The change in the failure rates is whopping,” Freeman says. And the exam improvement—about 6%—could, for example, “bump [a student’s] grades from a B– to a B.”

“This is a really important article—the impression I get is that it’s almost unethical to be lecturing if you have this data,” says Eric Mazur, a physicist at Harvard University who has campaigned against stale lecturing techniques for 27 years and was not involved in the work. “It’s good to see such a cohesive picture emerge from their meta-analysis—an abundance of proof that lecturing is outmoded, outdated, and inefficient.”

 

There are great examples of better pedagogy (teaching methods) out there – here’s one described by Sal Kahn.

“Many college courses in the humanities focus on discussion over lecture. Students read course material ahead of time and have a discussion in class.

Harvard Business School took this to the extreme by pioneering case-based learning more than a hundred years ago, and many business schools have since followed suit. There are no lectures there, not even in subjects like accounting or finance.

Students read a ten-to twenty-page description of a particular company’s or person’s circumstance—called a “case”—on their own time and then participate in a discussion/debate in class (where attendance is mandatory). Professors are there to facilitate the discussion, not to dominate it.

I can tell you from personal experience that despite there being eighty students in the room, you cannot zone out. Your brain is actively processing what your peers are saying while you try to come to your own conclusions so that you can contribute during the entire eighty-minute session.

The time goes by faster than you want it to; students are more engaged than in any traditional classroom I’ve ever been a part of. Most importantly, the ideas that you and your peers collectively generate stick.

To this day, comments and ways of thinking about a problem that my peers shared with me (or that I shared during class) nearly ten years ago come back to me as I try to help manage the growth and opportunities surrounding the Khan Academy.”
Salman Khan, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

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If I was rich (in money). and failure.

I’m happy and blessed in so many ways – I love the vast majority of work I do, have a lot of the 21st century skills that apparently are critical to being valuable at work, love my husband, have pretty wonderful relationships with my kids, live in one of the best places on earth.

But monetary wealth isn’t an area where I feel rich.. or literally AM rich. And if you don’t believe that being a victim is useful at all, then you have to take personal responsibility for everything in your life, rather than blame anything external…

It’s a bit of a bummer. So my financial situation is my fault, my result, my failure, no one else’s.

When you’re young, it’s all about your ‘potential’.  You have time! But what about when you end up in your 40s and are nowhere near where you’ve imagined you’d be?

What have I missed? What should I do now?

  1. Moving from country to country slowed down increases in income, as you have to start over each time.
  2. Having my husband unable to work full time from 2003 on, put me in the position of primary earner, which I’d never really planned for. I never WANTED to be a CEO, or wanted to relocate for a job.
  3. Working remotely for smaller companies limited my ability to advance internally – there was nowhere else to go within the organization.
  4. Working remotely meant I wasn’t a known element in the local tech scene – completely invisible. So no reputation, no colleagues to vouch for you as you pitch for available roles.
  5. Tech companies like to hire entry level and grow internally.   I have TOO much experience for entry, NOT ENOUGH experience for VP/Director roles, so very few fits.
  6. My fear and terror at running out of money, and not being able to see where else I could contribute.   – great. Now I’m creating it.

Am I a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit anywhere?

I’ll let you know when I get to the end of this tunnel and have an answer.  There has to be an end . It can’t last forever!

“Failure is not an end. If you give up when you fail, you’ll never learn anything. Instead, look at failure as an opportunity, as the beginning of a new journey. If you do, you’re much more likely to try again and succeed at something else.”  (From https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-important-career-lessons-most-people-learn-too-late-bernard-marr)

 

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Forget the signal to noise ratio. Signals themselves are a problem now.

Anyone else observing how the problem is no longer finding valuable learning sources among the ‘noise’?

The sheer volume of quality content being produced daily, weekly, monthly means there’s more good info available than you can ever hope to absorb, use, or apply.  It’s overwhelming.

First – I’m not going to talk about ‘fake news.’ If you want to learn how to critically look at news reports, recognize the inevitable biases, and not get sucked into believing everything you read, I suggest you go here.

Here’s where I’m heading:

There are SO MANY areas where the best way to learn the latest strategies and innovations is through online experts rather than formal education. 

I can get more good quality ideas and relevant information through experts on these topics than I could in a formal academic course: sales enablement, account management, customer success, entrepreneurship, ed reform, project-based learning, e-learning, edtech, learning coding, wordpress, email marketing, social media marketing…

But the problem is:

  1. I’m a learning junkie and want to know about things
  2. There are A LOT of quality experts/sources on the subject(s)
  3. Experts and sources are publishing constantly.
  4. Experts are emailing their list constantly.
  5. New discoveries/strategies

Example: I follow some quality  education writers and news sources – KQED’s MindShift, modernlearners.com, Will Richardson, Most Likely to Succeed, EdSurge, Buck Institute for Education, 21C.org, Tony Wagner, Linda Darling-Hammond…These are ALL quality sources. But even scanning everything produced that hits my inbox would take hours per day.

Example: I’ve been working on a career shift this past year – I love Scott Barlow, Liz Ryan, I’ve signed up for 4-5 ‘experts’ free workshops/workbooks/mini-sessions that crossed my path on Linkedin or other sites. I get on their email list and start receiving interesting stuff 4- 5 times a week… each. The time it would take to read, absorb and then apply all the steps they suggest = more than 50 hours a week.

Other areas overrun with people apparently making a living from being an online expert to a niche audience: productivity, goal setting, healthy eating, fitness, meditation, motivation, getting organized, raising your kids, how to become an online expert and make a living at it…

The problem now is NOT finding good, quality content that will help me. My problem is there is TOO MUCH.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOOOOVE that people are creating their own way to contribute. I think that it’s only going to grow. As the amount of knowledge and content in the world grows, it becomes valuable for someone to help people do the hard yards.

If you can save me 50 hours of researching online to find something that works for helping my daughter discover her passion/direction, then that’s valuable. If you can help my sister in law when she needs new strategies for my 7-year-old autistic nephew as he grows up, then that’s valuable.

The explosion of signals means a new approach is necessary. Here’s what I’ve come up with that works for me:

  1. Before you start, decide exactly what your goal is. Solve a problem, gain an understanding, try a new approach…Always keep it in mind so you recognize when to stop.
  2. Realize it’s impossible to actually analyze or even review all the good material or ideas available.
  3. Pick one expert to start with, and bookmark the rest (I use getpocket.com to save pages/articles so I can find them later).
  4. When the advice all starts sounding the same, when all the advice resembles what you’ve read before… STOP. Now go do something with it and take steps to achieve your goal.

gooddailyquotes-com-qh1_back_gt_gallery_foI’ve come to the realization that on the topic of education, I’ve come to step 4 – the themes are repeating, and while I’ve not read all the great articles or discovered all the notable experts. It’s time to STOP absorbing. I have enough to work with – now need to go finish off my site www.parentsforfutureskills.com, and put my ed news stream into maintenance. I’ll stick with ModernLearners and MindShift and mute the rest!

(It’s often said that 65% of the jobs our children will hold haven’t been invented yet, which rings true if you think about how many new jobs have sprouted up in the past two decades. I’m betting a portion of the new jobs will be self-made jobs, where someone helps others solve a specific problem they’re facing…by curating and distilling down the quality information out there and providing a solution that works. It’s already started in a big way, and the need for it will grow as knowledge grows.)

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Software Trials – learning enough to buy…but not too much.

How do you get a prospect to experience enough during their trial to be confident it will solve their problem, but not get bogged down in details?  If you’re the salesperson responsible for building trust and progressing the sale with prospects once they’re trialing, here’s a simple way to look at it.

Start with Value

What is valuable to THEM? What problem do they need to solve? What’s not working or needs improvement?

You probably know the top value propositions of your solution, your ideal customer profiles, and hopefully the top buyer personas. It’s your job to take all of that and provide personalized interactions that provide value every time.

The prospect will be educated on your solution before they ever meet with you. You are there to provide personal attention: establish trust, give them confidence in the company’s ability to execute and connect the dots between the solution and the problem that they need solved. Make their trial experience as personal as possible by aligning everything to their goals and pain points.

Get to First Value FAST

Is your software rather complicated? I worked for one company whose software didn’t really get customers excited until they’d migrated or uploaded some of their own content into the trial – generic examples were great in theory but not in practice. We didn’t want to spend too long setting up the solution or taking them through a dozen technical content migration steps, before they were able to see the software working for a real scenario, solving their problem. So even though we could have taught them how to do it, we always set up their content ahead of time, and gave them an overview of how we did it instead. This kept the trial completely focused on their desired outcome. This helped a lot.

When you’re doing a software walkthrough – give them context and a basic understanding of how the software works, sure, but DO NOT walk them through everything – focus on what they are trying to accomplish. If you’re in love with the product you’re selling and know it inside and out, it can be hard to hold yourself back, I know  (oh, look at this fantastic new feature we just released that lets you do X…).

Teach them just enough to accomplish their goals. Best to leave “mastery” for later, once they’ve bought – leave that to your onboarding team! Another reason not to encourage them to master your software during the trial is:

Another reason not to encourage them to master your software during the trial is:

Time and Effort are LIMITED

Buyers will have a certain amount of time AND EFFORT that they expect to devote to their trial evaluations, whether they know it or not. Every time your prospect reads an email or watches a tutorial or learns an Admin task that they don’t care about, it is using up precious time and energy.

I vividly an insurance call center prospect of mine who was a lovely person, so enthusiastic in the beginning, keen to test. Unfortunately, on Day 1 of the 30-person trial pilot (which took 6 weeks to arrange), we ran into an I.T./Active Directory issue that put it on hold. They stood down the pilot group, had to start over so their IT team could look at the A.D. info we used and vet that it was OK.  Enthusiasm dried up  – testing was harder than they thought and they got exhausted. We rescheduled for 2 months out after the busy season, but her will was gone – we’d used time and she’d used up some of her internal credibility on us. We did not succeed in getting the trial going again.

Years ago, I ran into this on the buyer side – I’d run across something on email marketing integration with Salesforce.com, and reached out to find out more. The sales rep didn’t answer my request for basic info, but booked a call with me instead. I thought he’d answer my questions, but instead, he proceeded to ask me a heap of context/qualification questions for 30 minutes. I had to book a SECOND session with his technical specialist for the demo! You’d think it would have been wonderful – after all, they had more info on our organization’s situation than anyone else, but no…1.5 hours for a tech-savvy sales exec to get a basic understanding of the product’s capabilities was way too much time. If it was this hard to get the info I wanted out of them, imagine what a trial or pilot would take!

The more efficient and targeted-on-their-pain-point you are, the more effort and time you keep in reserve for the rest of the process. 

If you do this right, there will be times where the prospect surprises YOU! Once when working with an I.S. team for a Fortune 500 company, I’d understood their pain points, walked them through testing the single product we had that would solve it, and provided all the rich technical documentation they wanted to review.

They seemed happy at the time but then stopped communicating. After a few ‘value’ emails, I called to find out what was left to test, worried that something had happened I wasn’t across. They were sold! They’d included our solution in their budget and were working through internal approval processes. It met their needs perfectly, we were easy to work with, and the product was easy to use. They’d seen probably 40% of what most of our customers did.

PS: if they do not have a specific pain point or desired outcome in mind, or you don’t know what it is…might as why you’re working on it…

 

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What IS “Critical Thinking” anyway?

One of the important skills for the future, which all kids need to develop (according to a growing number of researchers and forecasters), is ‘critical thinking/problem solving.’

But what is critical thinking, and how do you learn it?

Critical Thinking is…

Critical Thinking Background Concept

crit·i·cal think·ing  noun

  1. the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.
    “Professors often find it difficult to encourage critical thinking amongst their students.”

But what does that mean? And what does this look like, when we’re living in a world with SO MUCH available information, areas of specialization, that it’s impossible for anyone to take the time to analyze and evaluate every topic or decision point that comes their way.

Next, I searched on Tony Wagner (author of Creating Innovators, Closing the Global Achievement Gap, and most recently Most Likely to Succeed, books I’ve read that stress this future skill).  Here’s a summary from Tony Wagner’s site on critical thinking and why it’s important:

“The idea that a company’s senior leaders have all the answers and can solve problems by themselves has gone completely by the wayside…The person who’s close to the work has to have strong analytic skills. You have to be rigorous: test your assumptions, don’t take things at face value, don’t go in with preconceived ideas that you’re trying to prove.”
—Ellen Kumata, consultant to Fortune 200 companies

And in an older article of his, I found this:

To compete in the new global economy, companies need their workers to think about how to continuously improve their products, processes, or services. Over and over, executives told me that the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions. As one senior executive from Dell said, “Yesterday’s answers won’t solve today’s problems.”

Last fall I went through this Udemy Course: Develop your Critical Thinking Skills – Easily! which I really enjoyed (once I found the speed controls anyway; the instructor speaks very slowly). It goes through how to evaluate a claim or argument as well as the evidence supporting it.  The authors say, and rightly so, that thinking critically is being able to think more logically and rationally and being able to present your point across in a clear and convincing way.”

So when talking about critical thinking, that’s what we mean – testing our ideas, thoguhts, beliefs, models, reasoning, etc. for soundness, validity, based on evidence.

How do you learn it?

Well, I suppose you could take the above Udemy class that I did!  That helped me recognize logical fallacies, bad evidence, encouraged me to look for my own biases…but well, it wasn’t applied learning, really – I can’t say I’ve picked up a habit of looking at real life or work issues more critically as a result.

So here are some other more tangible activities as well:

Notice and Wonder

This past weekend I heard a talk by Anna Sharfeld, 6th grade teacher at Hollister Elementary, on critical thinking and math. She has a lovely, simple technique to get her students starting to ask questions and explore a problem/scenario more deeply: Notice and Wonder.

screen-shot-2016-03-15-at-6-40-46-pmFirst, she asks her class what they NOTICE about an image/problem/scenario. Everything gets written on the board like the image at the right.

Then, she has them WONDER: ask questions. What do they wonder about the image?  Have a look at her blog posts on this particular lesson! Quite amazing. (I think I would have loved math if this is how it had been done when I was a kid.)

She described taking the numbers and question OUT of a word problem, for example, and then doing NOTICE and WONDER – the kids explore what info they would need, what the question they’re solving for might be, etc.

While this is not evaluating evidence for an argument, it is questioning assumptions and getting them into the habit of asking questions and exploring a topic from all angles!

Socratic Questioning – High Tech High

There are some good stories illustrating critical thinking in schoolwork in Most Likely To Succeed – both the book and the film! (But I have the book on Audible and it’s a nightmare trying to find anything.) Here’s another example from online resources at High Tech High, the school used as an example in MLTS: Socratic questioning.

In Socratic questioning, the teacher asks a series of questions that force the student to defend a claim. This essential step ensures that the [project] involves critical thinking. It is inspired by the dialectical method in Plato’s dialogues. The teacher opens with a question, the student responds, and the teacher asks another question based on that response. This back and forth continues until the student realizes that his reasoning is flawed, or not.

This process resembles the tying and unraveling of a knot. Prodded by the teacher’s questioning, the student will sometimes get stuck, unable to defend her reasoning. The teacher then helps the student unravel the knot by asking another series of questions, or by assigning a follow-up writing assignment that modifies the argument or rethinks the claim entirely.

In the following example, a student defends his claim that egalitarianism is the most just social philosophy. The teacher asks a question about an area of interest for the student—sports—in order to make connections with ideas studied in class.

Teacher: Do you believe the salaries of professional athletes are morally justified?

Student: Albert Pujols just signed that big contract with the Angels and he takes up 1/10 of the MLB paycheck. I don’t think you need 300 million dollars, or whatever it is. They don’t need as much as they get. I’d be fine playing for a million. 

Teacher: Okay, so, what’s an idea that can be used to make an argument that they shouldn’t be paid that much? 

Student: They don’t deserve it. They were born lucky. It’s all luck. 

Teacher: Really? Doesn’t Pujols take batting practice? Doesn’t he work hard?

Student: I’m sure he does, but how should I put it … I think it’s more like he doesn’t do as much work as others do. My neighbor has three jobs and he doesn’t make nearly as much. It’s not fair. 

Teacher: Can you think of a situation in which it would be fair for Pujols to make that much money? 

Student: If it benefits the disadvantaged.

Teacher: John Rawls called that the difference principle. Is that what’s happening now?  

Student: Not really, but people like to watch him. You can say they benefit from that.

Teacher: You started by saying athletes don’t deserve to make that much money, but then you said that they can make a lot of money if they follow the difference principle. Now, how can we apply that to your case study regarding water in Haiti? How can egalitarianism help Haiti?

Student: In Haiti, people don’t have homes or jobs after the earthquake. Egalitarianism can help make sure everyone has jobs.

Teacher: You might have to invest money for education and create incentives for companies to do business there. That would cost money. Where would it come from? 

Student: I’m not sure. Maybe we could give money to them. From taxes or charity.

Teacher:  Why should I have to pay taxes for the Haitian people? Forcing me to pay taxes for something I don’t care about is a violation of my right to benefit from my own labor. What’s your response to that?

Student: I don’t know. 

Teacher: Think about it. We will continue talking about this in the debrief.

At least two things are accomplished through this line of questioning. First, the student has to defend a claim using reasoning and evidence, which is the most fundamental aspect of critical thinking. The teacher’s questioning provides counter-claims with which the student does not agree and to which the student must respond. Second, the student applies general concepts to specific cases, and must be prepared to defend the efficacy of those concepts in support of his claim.

In the above example, the student was asked to apply the difference principle to a case we did not study in class, but which he studied on his own—the water crisis in Haiti. And there’s the rub. It’s one thing to defend an argument that has already been made, but since the goal is to learn how to think and not regurgitate previous arguments, the student is asked to apply concepts and argument skills to other examples. In this case, the student was asked to follow up in writing, but if more time were available the teacher could continue his line of questioning until the knot, previously tied, becomes unraveled.

And thank you, Buck Institute for Education, for this collection of further resources which I’ll start digging into:  http://bie.org/blog/resource_list_critical_thinking_in_pbl 

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Does your kid do anything that matters?

While reading a book on parenting and homeschooling by Teri Moore a while back, this passage hit me hard:

secular homeschooler

This is the book I’m talking about 🙂

In America, our children are the most important part of our lives, and we tell them so, but we don’t actually let them be important(emphasis added).

WHAAAAT? of course not!  But reading on, it makes more and more sense:

Just like I did, American kids go to school all day, which teaches them facts but not skills and keeps them from participating in real life where they might apply learning (which helps turn facts into knowledge)…Instead of ‘doing’, American kids are ‘studying how to do’ and not doing.

Teri spent time in the Peace Corps in Africa, and contrasts American kids with what she saw there:

African kids are doing. Young people in the Third World do not seem to go through the adolescent psychological misery and angst that American children do. As soon as they are able, children in developing countries are given true responsibility. No one has to tell them they are important; they know they are, because of the consequences of failure.

Frankly, I could quote the entire chapter Teri wrote, to convince you, but let me summarize what she writes: African kids are given meaningful tasks to do, like herding or protecting the cattle, collecting water, repairing items, helping run the household, and if they don’t do their job or fail at it, there are real consequences, which affect themselves and others.

Go get some water

They have to think and decide how HOW to do their assigned work, and the actions they choose to take have an impact.

 

But what’s the problem if American kids don’t have important stuff to do?

Teri says a) they are not as motivated to learn, b) they don’t remember what they’ve learned since it never translates to the real world, c) they don’t build the life skills needed in the real world, and d) they are trained to defer to authority and don’t develop their own judgement or ethics.

For so many years, my high opinion of myself had been based on my high grades and what teachers thought of me instead of what I thought of myself based on my ability and ethics. In struggling for those big A plusses, I learned to cleave to someone else’s idea of what was important and let my own judgement atrophy through lack of use. Then I went out into the world only to find myself incompetent.

So I asked myself – is there something my kids do at home that lets them act independently and affects our family or community?  Does what they do matter or have a significant impact? 

You know what? The answer is mostly no. Teri’s right, I think. They are responsible for cleaning their rooms, for their own laundry, picking up their messes, for setting/clearing the table and helping with dinner, and occasionally walking the dog. And at school, their job is to learn…But the consequences that fall on them if they do these badly, or fail to do them are minimal.

And most of our family, school, and extra-curricular activities are set up FOR them, not by them – whether it’s volleyball, coding club, day trips, camps. Everyone’s doing stuff for their benefit, and they are the recipients of it, rather than instigators. (Sidenote: I think this also leads to the growing sense of entitlement. Why would’t you feel entitled if the world pretty much revolved around you your first 16 years?) 

But I’ve seen what it looks like when my kids feel like they are doing something important that has impact.

Two years ago, my 12 year old son participated in the YMCA PILOTS program, which is a teen leadership program for junior high-age kids – they get together with youth leaders and decide upon community projects, which they then execute. And I was struck by the SIGNIFICANCE he got from being in this group, and taking action! I think it’s one of the first times he felt like he was doing something important.

girl scouts gelsonsAnd for my younger girls – Girl Scouts is the closest we’ve come to impact, I’d say. They sell cookies to earn money for activities – and their actions matter.  They choose and present food, activites and facts about a country to present for Thinking Day, they help train younger girls for cookie sales…and their actions matter.

Right now we’re working on our Bronze Award as a troop and organizing a Pet Supply Drive for the Humane Society in town. As troop leaders, our job is to HAVE THE GIRLS DO THE WORK, and hold back.  I love, love, love Girl Scouts for highlighting this for me, and teaching ME to be ready to give them more and more responsibility the older they get. I can’t wait until the day comes and they feel the impact of creating something, making something happen that wouldn’t have existed without their action.

The other situation that comes to mind right off the bat is one that Chalene Johnson talked about on her podcast.   She and her husband told each of their kids when they were old enough to understand, we’re not going to buy you a car when you get your driver’s license, but we’ll help you figure out how to earn the money yourself and we’ll match what you earn.

So their children had to figure out what jobs to do, products to sell, businesses to start, to EARN THEIR OWN MONEY, as preteens. (That to me, sounds like you’ll know what you do is important and has consequences.)

Imagine if you had years of experience making an income of some sort before you even started high school?

Nowadays, teens don’t work half as much as they used to when I was a kid (make sure you say this in a crotchety, wavery voice in your head, so you sound OLD) – there are fewer jobs available and more time required to jump all the hoops required to ‘get into the best university possible’ which is still seen as the golden ticket (despite the massive evidence to the contrary that’s accumulating). But don’t get me started on higher education and the high school treadmill pressure cooker!  I’ll save that for another post, and leave you now so I can mull over what other actions I can take to make my kids actions and choices matter.

Anyone with good ideas, closer to actual household activities? Maybe I’ll let my kids plan our summer activities? Make a meal plan/budget and go shopping for the week’s food..take on deciding and researching what kind of car we want to buy (our Odyssey is close to the 250K mark, God bless it)…

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SuperSoul Session 2…thank you, Oprah.

Saturday I went to Oprah’s SuperSoul Session #2 in Los Angeles – a day spent listening to various speakers. I left thinking, “That was cool, useful, entertaining…” but I’d expected to be BLOWN AWAY and “breakthrough-inspired.”

I didn’t feel blown away though, at least not by anyone other than Oprah herself. (She is amazing in a way I can’t put into words.)  And IMHO some of the speakers’ content was confusing, boring or just okay.

But now I’ve had the most loving, happy time with my kids and family, beyond my normal (relatively happy) experience. Yesterday, I went to the gym, drank coffee, looked for and found the tax papers, did errands, got tired, made dinner, watched a movie, had my daughter get upset – what happened wasn’t especially different or exciting to any other day!  But I worried a lot less, appreciated a lot more, judged myself a lot less, loved more. And it was an extraordinarily lovely, lovely day. The happy, contented state I’m still in feels different.

SuperSoul Session #2 didn’t feel like a breakthrough then, but it does now.

Here are the key messages that I noted down Saturday.

  1. See the broken child within the person – connection. (Shaka)
  2. Live like everything is figure-out-able (Marie Forleo)
  3. Be truthful with yourself stop lying to yourself. (Cheryl, Oprah)
  4. Change your dreams/definitions of success if they don’t serve you. (Cheryl)
  5. Don’t avoid the pain or negative emotions – own it, it’s telling you something. “Life without pain is a wolf in sheep’s clothes” (Oprah, India)
  6. The emotional wounds you carry cannot be filled by money, success, accomplishments. (India)
  7. Solve a problem for yourself…then share it with others (Kris, Caroline, Oprah, Shaka)
  8. You need to COMMIT to whatever you’re doing. Are you committed? (Oprah)
  9. All problems stem from dis-alignment with the source, being disconnected (Oprah)
  10. Staying connected is a DAILY PRACTICE, a moment by moment practice. It takes effort! (Oprah)
  11. We teach children to look outwards for significance rather than inwards. Parent-child relationships are the main reason children learn they are not enough. We want them to be happy, to succeed, to achieve, to fix them, so we can feel better, so we can be good parents. (Shefali)
  12. Inner stillness is the only way to lasting happiness (Eckhart)
  13. Stop trying to fix yourself and just start showing up (Kerry)

2016-04-09 13.41.39

So personally, to keep this wellbeing alive, I’m committing to:

DAILY PRACTICE.
I need to get a good dose of positivity, inspiration, inner purpose, connectedness. I KNOW how important it is to feed your brain good stuff and limit bad, but I haven’t really FELT how critical this is.  My daily practice will include meditation, writing, and also time spent remembering daily:

  • I am not inadequate. There is nothing wrong with me. I don’t need fixing.
  • I am amazing and loved
  • Everything is figure-out-able.
  • The universe is friendly.
  • Just show up today.

FACE SOME PAIN. I’m going to work through these  – doing Byron Katie’s Questions on these.

  • Look at my definition of success. Create a NEW definition, let go of society’s definition. Let go of my broken record that I have failed to achieve financial/career success and my life should look like someone else’s.
  • Look at my aspirations. Are they working for me? Boil it down to the essence of what I must do (outer purpose), then take action and let go of whether succeeds or fails.
  • Look at my money/finance relationship. It’s time to face the pain and break through, rather than avoiding it.

COMMIT to my next career/purpose step.

  • What is the heart of my education change commitment?
  • Am I committed to my www.parentsfor21c.org website/parent idea?
  • If not, what am I committed to?
  • Time to stop struggling, being unsure, being wishywashy about this.

Oprah, thank you very much for your SuperSoul work. Attending Session 2 has impacted me in such a good way, and has sparked positive action in my life.

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