Living an Examined Life of Loveliness
From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis
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Tracy left me a comment on the 36 Edtech Tools blog post I posted this week. She asked about the seven questions I ask myself every day. So, I’ll share them with you.
There are more than 7 questions below. The ones with the stars are my must-answers. If I’m too busy, then the others get deleted.
Each day gets a title. My journaling app, Day One, makes the titles bold.
Instead of writing “I’m stressed and exhausted” I wax a bit romantic and might write “My epic battle over exhaustion just as the day of victory approaches.” Sometimes I am silly or dumb. It doesn’t matter it is my journal. My private stuff.
*What did I do yesterday?
Part of enjoying today is making memories. Part of making memories is jotting them down.
Looking back at past memories makes me smile and enjoy the progress.
What lessons did I learn?
Wow, I hate failure! But I fail a lot. So, when I fail, I write down a learning lesson. This way I’m less likely to repeat the failure.
*What prayers have been answered recently?
I can’t hide this part of my life. All that I accomplish and do that is good in the world goes back to the fact that at 5 am each morning, I take my life to God. He does far more through my weakness than I could ever do through my strength. While lots of people hide this part of their lives, for me – it would be a lie. I speak truth even if it costs me. I’m not such a great person, I’m just guided by God.
Don’t ignore your spiritual side when you ask yourself questions. Be intentional.
*What am I thankful for right now?
Those of our ancestors who could remember that the panther sat by the creek at noon would live longer than those who couldn’t. So, negative thoughts are like velcro. We’re wired to remember negative.
Seeing the good things takes practice.
*What am I feeling right now?
If I write something like “I’m so exhausted I can’t see straight, I’ll immediately realize that I need to change my plans for the day. Realizing my own feelings is helping me not wait until I hit bottom before starting to buoy myself. If I can interrupt my descent, I can stop burnout and help myself feel better. Staying in touch with how you’re feeling is so important.
*What is one thing I’m looking forward to right now?
Anticipation is a foundation of elation!
Just this week:
- I spent Tuesday looking forward to my 6pm run.
- I’m excited about the delicious fruit I’m going to have at lunch.
- We’re filming for the first time today in keyboarding. Fun!
Expectation helps you savor the flavor of life.
What is one thing I’m curious about right now?
Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat. A lack of curiosity kills the brain under your hat.
What prayers am I praying now?
Here’s where I often pour out my soul. While most of my time praying is on my knees between me and God, I do jot down what I’m praying so I can remember later and see His work.
What have I read recently that impacted my thinking?
Reading is so much fun. Reflecting on reading helps transport ideas on a page into action on life’s stage.
This day would be incredibly successful if…
Before I asked this question, I used to just look at all I hadn’t done and feel sorry for myself. I feel more successful. I feel more joy.
*What are my plans for today?
I don’t regurgitate my calendar here, I just sort of talk through with myself why I’ll be doing and when in a few paragraphs. Think of this like narrating the day beforehand. And, since I’m a romantic, I’m going to add my handsome prince and some flowers along the path. Or maybe a good smelling candle or the wafting aroma of delicious food for dinner. Narrating my day before it begins lets me craft the story of my day in a way that helps me enjoy each moment.
*What is one thing I must accomplish today?
If I have to answer one question a day – this is it. Some people call this their “MIT” – or “most important thing.” Sometimes we die a death of a thousand papercuts because we do tiny little insignificant things that keep us from doing our most important thing.
Pick Your Questions, Change Your Life
Ponder your life. Examine who you are. Savor the moments.
I shared these with my friend Angela Maiers when we were in Utah a few months back. Angela made her own list of essential questions.
I’m not sure it is the answers that define us, but we are certainly defined by the questions we ask ourselves every day. Please share yours in the comments!
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.