Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Motivation Mantras

I am a firm believer in life, action, accomplishment, and more or less everything being about the journey, and not the destination. The destination is lovely, don't get me wrong, but it is the passion and commitment, the adventure and heartbreak, the strength and fortitude we garner from the road to accomplishment that changes us deeply and as human beings. 

Whether we are chasing physical, emotional, financial, or educational goals, we are bound by an unwritten covenant with the universe that says whether we like it or not, this process will fundamentally change us. We can choose to see the change (or ignore it) and make decisions about what this means moving forward in life and the Big Picture.

In instructional strategy, I think it is important to remember that every step of the way is a step into change, and every question, comment, and revelation has two purposes -- its immediate context and its Big Picture ramifications for the person experiencing it. For instance, a student may devise a brand new way to approach a subject, and this approach changes the discipline he is studying and indicates his critical thinking and exploratory skills are evolving. Another student may fail miserably at an experimental theory, proving 1. her theory needs work and 2. she can experience failure and know she has the resilience to recover. 

As important as it is to understand the academic theories around what engages and motivates students, it is also important to think Big Picture about the journey to edification, the way process is progress, and the decision to continue and choose your attitude is the type of deeper learning that lasts a lifetime. 

Check this video out. I am not overly excited about the Hollywood imagery and gigantic weightlifters grunting for the camera, but I suppose their journey is as valid as anyone's. My suggestion, however, is to listen to it without the imagery first in order to grasp the meaning without thinking it only applies if you can bench press your accountant. 

The talk in this video is great because it encourages respect for the process and affirms the way choosing to move forward in whatever we are doing is an important and meaningful step. I don't mean to over dramatize the learning process; my point is just that we can learn so much about guiding others if we maintain perspective and realize every momentous, challenging, and committed step in the journey is valuable. 

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