Successful Failure

Why are successful people waking up feeling like failures?

More and more successful people are waking up feeling like failures.

What many people are just becoming aware of is that success has two parts:

  • Accomplishing or achieving things for others
  • Accomplishing or achieving things for ourselves

Assumptions Were Made

Okay, maybe we sort of knew there were two parts, but we made assumptions.

Assumption #1: If/Then Magic

One assumption may be that success in one part would just magically take care of the other.

o   If I provide for the family then I’ll have a close relationship with them.

o   If I choose family over career then I’ll have satisfied my life purpose.  

Assumption #2: Tomorrow Will Come

Another assumption is that once we’ve ‘made it’ in one part we’ll have plenty of time to be successful in the other.

o   Once I retire I’ll make it up to my spouse or kids.

o   Once the kids are gone I’ll pick up where I left off in my career.

There are flaws in both assumptions and this is why successful people are waking up to find themselves feeling like failures.

New Framework

Strategically planning so that you’re considering both parts of success in every decision is a new framework for many people, so do yourself a favor and start small.

  1. Pick one small activity you do on a regular basis: a hobby, attending a group meeting, fitness training, etc., something small and regular.
  2. Check to see how this one small activity connects to winning each part of success.
  3. Find ways to tweak the activity for better contribution to both parts of your success.

Being aware like this now will help to prevent feeling like a successful failure later.

Related Motivational Moments:  Having it all is a Pipe Dream

Related Articles:  Playing it Risky,

Related Tip of the WeekEvaluate Choices, After School Debrief,

Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.

Teachers Wielding Kryptonite Weaken Your Influence

Hard to believe that a teacher would target your child, but teachers are human and humans are not all benevolent.

Article first published as Lex Luthor’s Kryptonite Weakens Your Influence on Technorati.

You are a superhero!

You’re saving the world by powerfully influencing your kids to become awesome adults. You’re walking your talk about integrity, respect, accountability, and personal leadership. You’re making good on all your parenting promises. It’s awesome and you’re powerful, yet your power may be weakened by the other adults who also influence your child:  clergy, athletic coaches, other parents, and teachers. What happens to your power when one of them wields kryptonite?

Teachers may have the greatest opportunity to influence kids Teacher Opportunity to Influence 350

Consider that the average school day is nearly 7 hours and that kids spend another 3 doing homework. A teacher’s influence stretches beyond the classroom – they may even have more of your child’s attention than you! That’s why MetLife’s  recent study concerns me.

More and more teachers are unhappy. The very people to whom we turn for help in preparing our kids for adulthood are starting to dislike their jobs. According to MetLife’s study, teacher satisfaction is at its lowest point in 25 years—not good because unhappiness can spill over into the classroom.

The study found that teachers who aren’t satisfied are more likely to complain about certain challenges:

  • Teaching diverse learners
  • Maintaining a rigorous learning environment
  • Inadequate school budgets
  • Limited opportunities for professional development

They are also more critical of other teachers and of their principal. It appears that rising from the decrease in job satisfaction there may be an increase in finger pointing. It’s no stretch then to also find that teachers reporting low job satisfaction are also less likely to have students performing at or above grade level in language arts and mathematics.

Teachers with Kryptonite

I believe teachers are every bit the superheroes that parents are, and that a passion to serve is behind their career choice. Teaching is a calling into a job that is as tough as the stakes are high. The vast majority of teachers are wonderful human beings who offer the very best of themselves, and yet a few have lost their way. Perhaps “super villain” is harsh, however what would you call a teacher who screams, threatens, or humiliates a child?

Simple definition of bully behavior:  To hurt someone else because you can.

There’s little direct research regarding teacher bullying, however the available studies suggest that bullying by teachers may be a contributor to an overall fearful school community and even a cause of student behavior problems.

According to Stuart Twemlow, MD as many as 45% of elementary school teachers report that they have bullied a student at least once and that approximately 18% bully frequently. The research suggests an even bigger problem for secondary schools.

Crafty Kryptonite

Some teachers are more overt about abuses while others are skilled manipulators. A teacher might try convincing a student that he or she misunderstood a belittling comment or that a student is attempting to shifting attention away from poor academic performance by calling the teacher’s behavior into question.

It’s easy to dismiss a kid’s teacher complaint. Kids are prone to exaggerate and they can’t see the big picture in classroom dynamics and responsibility. Perhaps you have a personal bias about teachers’ benevolence preventing your objectivity. I was guilty of discounting my son’s pleas for help with a bully teacher until a classmate’s mother shared with me the regular stories of humiliation her child witnessed against my son. I hadn’t wanted to believe that a teacher would lie or target my child, but teachers are human and humans are not all benevolent.

What To Do

I want to be sure that I express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the overwhelming majority of teachers who are superheroes. The ripples from your work encompass my whole family. Without your passion and dedication, I could not fulfill my parenting promises. Thank you.

For parents with questions or stories to share, there are a few places you can go on the web.  I caution you to use your objectivity and intuition as you take in what’s offered. You can’t understand a situation from one or two comments, but you may find it helpful in identifying a pattern to be concerned about.

Teacher Bullies 250

Related Articles:  Stepford Students, Profound Relationships,

Related Tip of the Week:  Keeping It Real, Protect Childhood,

Crushed by Hurricane Sandy

My teenage boys left me feeling alone in the dark when Sandy started to blow.

Article first published as Sandy Crushed Me on Technorati.

Federal officials estimate that 45,000 families are homeless because of Hurricane Sandy.  That’s a crushing blow, and I hope that you, like me, are putting your money where your heart is by donating supplies.

Sandy didn’t take my home (Thank Goodness!) she only took my electricity for 10 days.  Not nearly as crushing, but Sandy crushed me all the same.  It wasn’t the power outage—that was just inconvenient.

Sandy crushed the image I had of my family.

Happy Family Preparing Together

Days before the storm, the media prepared us for potential disaster.  With my traditionally positive framework, my teenage sons and I got ready for a “camping adventure”  should the lights go out.  Knowing that my husband would be away, I invited my sons to play a bigger role—be more leaders than followers.  While the lights were on and life was easy, they were all in favor leading me to believe that we were standing side-by-side.  What a crushing blow to be left feeling alone in the dark when Sandy started to blow.

The Cold Reality

I wanted to believe that my efforts over the past 8 years had helped to create empathetic and generous young men.  Yes, my boys are empathetic and generous, I just thought they were much farther along.  I thought that they would be able to set aside personal desires and support the family … no, not the family—me.  I wanted to believe that they could and would recognize my hour of need as a greater priority than gaming and social media.  They couldn’t and I was crushed.

The Drawing Board

With electricity restored, I’m staring at a familiar semi-clean slate;  this is how it all started for us 8 years ago.  Back then we came together creating two great solutions:  the Morning Peacemaker Method, and Peacemaker Parenting.  It time for an update.

Fraud Factor? Nah

I hesitated to share this story with you because I worried that you might not like me or accept my ideas if you knew that I was having problems.  I realize, though, that it’s through sharing my problems, and my experiments for solutions, that I am of value.  My dream is to create a generation of people who can think for themselves and have the courage to do something about it.

People stumble all the time, but leaders have the courage to face challenges and find solutions.  Peacemaker parents need to be courageous leaders and so my dream requires me to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Challenge

There had been indications that my family solutions needed an update.  I tried to avoid it by talking—talking way too much—about what I wanted to see.  It took Sandy to silence my voice creating the room for truth.  The challenge will be finding inspiring ways to encourage my boys to also consider an update. That takes appreciating the present environment as we compare it to what we all really want.   It’ll be interesting and I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, please share what you can to help the families crushed by Hurricane Sandy.  Share your stories and donate your time and money.  We always play better when we play together.

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