Uncategorized

The 99 Days of Wellbeing

Day 1

There is nothing wrong with you.

There is no one better at being you than YOU.

You’re already brilliant as you are.

When you realise there is nothing wrong with you – you’ll also realise there’s nothing to perfect.

🚀

Day 2

What I if told you

You read the first line wrong?

Sometimes you need to just look at life from a different perspective.

Sometimes your beliefs stop you from seeing things in a way that is helpful.

🚀

Day 3

Imagine it is your 100th birthday.

All of your family have gathered together.

Your great, great, great, great granddaughter is going to say a few words about you.

What would she say?

What would you want her to say?

How could you make it come true?

🚀

Day 4

Social distancing can also be applied to social media.

Distance yourself from negative people who constantly complain and display irrational outrage.

Curate what you consume.

🚀

Day 5

When you feel thoughts running away and creating imaginary futures you don’t like.

Ground yourself by asking 3 questions:

✖️What’s the worst that could happen?

✔️What’s the best that could happen?

= What’s the most likely that will happen?

🚀

Day 6

Read something. Anything.

Whatever your preference – education, fact or fiction – getting in lost in thousands of words that someone else has taken the time to construct can be magical.

Books are like sweets for your mind.

🚀

Day 7

Be MAD today.

✔️Make

✔️A

✔️Difference

That’s all.

🚀

Day 8

Be grateful for what you have – not what you haven’t.

When you focus on what you lack you lose focus on what you have.

🚀

Day 9

Attitude is a choice.

We all know the right choice to make.

Sometimes we just forget.

Try not to forget.

🚀

Day 10

Every day is a new opportunity to:

✔️Say yes to the things in your life that are important.

✖️Say no to the things that aren’t.

🚀

Day 11

Decide now to grow.

Tiny changes bring remarkable results.

A 1% improvement every day for a year aggregates to you being 37 times better off by the end of the year.

Take a small step today.

Another tomorrow.

Repeat.

🚀

Day 12

You can be the most positive person your family meets today.

🚀

Day 13

When the world is in a difficult place.

Like it is now.

Think carefully about what goes into your mind.

Extend conversations that make you feel good.

End ones that make you feel bad.

🚀

Day 14

There is probably someone who feels more anxious, scared and worried than you do.

Help them to feel better.

It will help you to feel better.

🚀

Day 15

Success is a series of good, small decisions consistently made over a sustained period of time.

You can reach success every day by consistently being slightly better than the day before.

The power of compounding is amazing.

🚀

Day 16

You’re stuck with yourself forever.

So you might as well be stuck with a version of you who you love, respect and care about.

🚀

Day 17

How to get more done and procrastinate less.

Turn off the Internet.

🚀

Day 18

Momentum builds motivation.

Track how many days in a row you exercise for, read for, meditate for…

When you miss a day, start the count again and rebuild the momentum.

“Never miss twice.” -James Clear

🚀

Day 19

If you want to grow, it will take effort.

You can’t “believe” yourself to success.

Profound growth comes from:

1. Time

2. Effort

3. Input

4. Practice

It takes hard work – but knowing what to work hard on is a big part of the process.

🚀

Day 20

Your attitude is your superpower.

It’s free, within your control and when used positively is the gift that keeps on giving.

🚀

Day 21

Stack a desired habit on to an existing habit.

✔️Two minutes of exercise whilst the kettle boils.

✔️Read for five minutes straight after brushing your teeth in the evening.

✔️Write three points of gratitude straight before getting into bed.

🚀

Day 22

You are only where you are right now.

Might as well try to make the most of it.

🚀

Day 23

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

-Wayne Dyer

You are only one thought away from a completely different experience of life.

🚀

Day 24

Get enough sleep.

Things to do during the day that help:

Exercise 🏋️‍♀️

Go outdoors 🌳

Avoid caffeine ☕️

Avoid alcohol 🍺

No bright lights before bed 💡

🚀

Day 25

Be kind.

When you are kind you might not remember it.

The other person may never forget it.

🚀

Day 26

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

When others around you are being negative, your silence is the sound of acceptance.

🚀

Day 27

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what you can do.

Other people will never care that you know, until they know that you care.

🚀

Day 28

The way you talk to yourself is the programme running the software of your life.

You can talk yourself into achieving something as quickly as you can talk yourself out of it.

🚀

Day 29

A brilliant life won’t happen by accident.

If you want a brilliant life with brilliant outcomes, you have to work for it.

It costs effort and energy.

But it’s worth it.

🚀

Day 30

You deserve to feel happy.

Even on the days when you think you don’t.

🚀

Day 31

Effort is important.

But without strategy you will get nowhere.

In short: What you don’t focus on is as important as what you do focus on.

🚀

Day 32

The things you want and the things worth working for are hardly ever in your comfort zone.

Stretch.

🚀

Day 33

The end of one thing can also be the start of another.

Don’t forget that.

🚀

Day 34

What sort of person do you want to be?

Why do you want to be that person?

How will you prove it to yourself every day?

🚀

Day 35

It’s too easy to say thank you. There is a difference between saying thank you and being thankful.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful.

When you say thank you, it is something you do.

When you feel thankful, it is something you are.

🚀

Day 36

Perfection is not a good goal.

Because it doesn’t exist.

🚀

Day 37

‘Sonder’

The profound feeling of realising everyone, including complete strangers, has a life with just as many (and often more) problems than your own, which they are constantly living despite not telling you about it or you being aware of it.

🚀

Day 38

There are two types of ideas.

The ones you have.

The ones you do something about.

Only the second one can change anything.

🚀

Day 39

Something I’ve recently learned.

Asking “What’s the rush?” is a pretty good prescription for life.

🚀

Day 40

Be kind.

You might not remember being kind to someone.

They might never forget it.

🚀

Day 41

Stop trying to be perfect.

The flaws, rough edges, and cracks make us interesting and unique.

No need to be perfect.

🚀

Day 42

Be a conscious consumer of information.

Especially news, social media and gossip.

Have control in a world of abundance.

🚀

Day 43

There

Is

No

Competition

You’re

Only

Against

Yourself

🚀

Day 44

There are better days in the future.

One of them might be tomorrow.

🚀

Day 45

If the news bothers you.

Choose not to watch it.

🚀

Day 46

If you want to improve yourself and be happier.

It takes one small step at a time.

Being 1% better tomorrow than today is hardly noticeable.

But after a year.

You’ll be 37 times better than when you started.

Be patient.

🚀

Day 47

Tarzan can’t hold on to the vine in front and vine behind at the same time.

You’re like Tarzan.

To move forward you have to let go of what’s holding you back.

Sometimes to grow, you have to let go.

🚀

Day 48

The problem in your thoughts is usually much bigger than the problem in real life.

🚀

Day 49

Life isn’t Top Trumps.

It’s not about being better than anyone else.

🚀

Day 50

Scroll less.

Think more.

Live better.

🚀

Day 51

Be kind.

To others.

And yourself.

🚀

Day 52

Did you know?

You don’t have to be good at something for it to be good for you.

🚀

Day 53

The ‘stuff’ you have won’t make you any happier.

🚀

Day 54

Your attention is a currency.

Choose wisely how you spend it.

🚀

Day 55

What is the smallest thing in your life you take for granted?

Show gratitude towards it today.

🚀

Day 56

Things worth doing are usually not easy.

Embrace the challenge.

Savour the reward.

🚀

Day 57

If you think you can’t.

You won’t.

🚀

Day 58

Putting out someone else’s light won’t make your flame burn any brighter.

🚀

Day 59

Have values.

Ask yourself what you stand for.

Then what you stand against.

Live your values. Don’t laminate them.

🚀

Day 60

Growth mindset

>Repetition

>Make mistakes

>Fix mistakes

🚀

Day 61

If you had friend who spoke to you the way you speak to yourself – would you be friends with them?

🚀

Day 62

Don’t hold onto a mistake just because you spent a long time making it.

🚀

Day 63

Problems are never solved by people who only want to complain about them.

🚀

Day 64

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

🚀

Day 65

Did you get up this morning to ordinary or extraordinary?

Did you even realise you had a choice?

🚀

Day 66

To thrive rather than just survive, try to engage in active rest by getting into a flow state at least once a day.

🚀

Day 67

You SMELL.

You are:

Shaping

Minds

Every day to

Love

Learning

🚀

Day 68

Sometimes, in some cases, things really do need to get worse before they get better.

When the worst happens – just remember – it isn’t permanent.

🚀

Day 69

Your ability to inspire the minds in front of you is your greatest superpower.

🚀

Day 70

How not to be happy.

Stay indoors all day.

🚀

Day 71

If you always try and be perfect then you will never finish anything or get anything done.

🚀

Day 72

Times are tough.

But so are you.

🚀

Day 73

If you want peace.

Accept.

If you want dissatisfaction.

Expect.

🚀

Day 74

Being positive can be hard.

But without positivity – life can be harder.

🚀

Day 75

The feeling of pride for what you have achieved should always be greater than the feeling of worry for what you haven’t achieved.

🚀

Day 76

Appreciate without expectation or comparison.

🚀

Day 77

Extinguishing the light of someone else won’t make your light burn any brighter.

🚀

Day 78

Life isn’t a competition.

You don’t earn points for beating or beating others.

🚀

Day 79

You earn respect by being yourself.

Not by being the person others want you to be.

🚀

Day 80

“They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be.

They only lack the light to show the way.

For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you…

my only son.”

Be the light.

🚀

Day 81

Running faster makes no difference if you’re going in the wrong direction.

🚀

Day 82

There is no one better at being you than YOU.

🚀

Day 83

There are seven and a half billion types of normal in the world.

Why would you want to be like everyone else?

🚀

Day 84

Remember to breathe.

🚀

Day 85

Action is the enemy of procrastination.

Which side will you take?

🚀

Day 86

The future is forged one moment at a time.

The present moment is all you have.

Win the moment now and forge the future you want.

🚀

Day 87

1% better is all you need.

Two planes take off from the same point.

One has a course difference of 1 degree.

By the time they circumnavigate the world they will be 500 miles apart.

🚀

Day 88

When you think what you’ve always thought.

You’ll feel what you’ve always felt.

🚀

Day 89

Listen without defence.

Respond without offence.

🚀

Day 90

On your own you are a small ripple.

All of us together is an unstoppable wave.

Keep being a ripple.

It’s worth it.

🚀

Day 91

Choose less over more.

🚀

Day 92

People will always:

Criticise

Question

Challenge

Protest

Object

Blame

Just carry on being amazing anyway!

🚀

Day 93

Be kind.

The world is a small town.

🚀

Day 94

Nobody sees the world in quite the same way you do.

It is what makes you special.

It is what makes you stand out.

🚀

Day 95

The killer of focus.

Endless tasks vs endless distractions.

With you caught in the middle.

Intentionally choose where to direct your attention.

Change your environment.

Change your default.

Forge a new path.

🚀

Day 96

“You have to find your own rainbow to follow.

There is no gold at the end of somebody else’s rainbow.”

🚀

Day 97

You’re not perfect.

Why would you want to be?

Perfect isn’t interesting.

It isn’t exciting.

🚀

Day 98

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”

-Pablo Picasso

🚀

Day 99

If you want to live an amazing life.

No one will live it for you.

No one will gift it to you.

It’s all on you.

Shaped by the daily choices you make.

Focus your attention.

Make your choices.

Improve daily by 1%.

See you on the other side.

🚀

Uncategorized

You might not be happy every day

Bouncebackability is your ability to quickly bounce back from disappointments and setbacks. The quicker you can bounce back, the quicker you can get yourself back on track to improve. Bouncebackability is not an innate skill you are born with. It is a learned skill that takes time and practice to develop.

If I offered you a magic pill that meant if you took it you would never experience any sadness again for the rest of your life – would you take it?

I would argue it is in your best interest to not take it. Why is this? Plain and simple, the bad and sad times help us to enjoy the good times even more. How do you know you are happy and having a great experience? It is because you are comparing it to every other experience you have ever had. You need some bad experiences, some mediocre, some indifferent, some good and some great. When you say “It was the best day of my life”, it is because you are comparing it every other day of your life. If your potential for sadness was taken away, every time you compared an experience with the rest of your life, you would become habituated to a certain feeling.

Habituation can happen in many forms. If you earn £25,000 per year for all of this year, and get a pay rise to £28,000 next year, at first you’d be excited and delighted at the sudden pay rise. But come the end of the year and you would be seeking another pay rise. This is because you have become used to the monthly amount offered from earning £28,000 per year. It can manifest in many other ways – living nearby the motorway and being distracted by the constant sound of the traffic seems problematic at first, but in time you come to hardly notice it.

If you become habituated to never feeling sad then you become complacent in feeling happy and do not make the most of it. You actually need some sadness and disappointment in your life to help you grow, develop resilience and appreciate the good times more.

The key to developing resilience, or bouncebackability, is dependent on the level of your positive habits and how you conceptualise failures, disappointments and setbacks. An important step is learning to understand your current state of disappointment will not last forever. It is equally important to allow the feeling of disappointment to flow through you and accept it is legitimate – but not permanent. The strange thing about failures, disappointments and setbacks is nobody thinks they should have any. The real truth is these moments at the foot of the rollercoaster are what make us who we are and shape who we become. Without them you wouldn’t be you. Without them we’d be nothing.

I remember moving to work at a different school when I was in the middle leadership phase of my career. Almost immediately I asked myself what I had done and if it was the wrong decision. When I look back, I realise it was an awful time because of how we were treated as teachers, the impact it had on my own health, and how detrimental the school culture became to the quality of learning offered to children.

But I don’t regret it for a moment.

As awful as the experience was, I learnt so much. I mainly learnt how not to do things and how not to treat people. As soon as I realised the situation I was in, I did whatever I could to get as much out of the experience as possible, whilst at the same time looking for a solution in the form of an exit. On reflection, the experience of this school, as bad as it was, made me stronger and taught me so much. In fact, when I became a headteacher I felt well-placed for a number of the challenges I faced because of my previous experiences. Even though I didn’t want them at the time, I am grateful for the fact they did happen.

Embrace your challenges and understand they will make you stronger. Your future self will thank you for the determination you showed in doing your best in dealing with the challenge. Understand it is justified, normal and human to feel disappointed – but know this feeling is not who you are and it is not permanent.

Failure doesn’t mean it is the end. Failure means it is the start of a new journey. When we fail or get something wrong and tell ourselves we are not good enough, smart enough or strong enough, we chip away at our level of self-esteem and self-worth through negative self-talk. Carol Dweck’s research into growth mindset reinforces this. She suggests we should not fear failure or seek to avoid it. Instead, we should embrace it as one of the best learning strategies.

Using valuable emotional and cognitive energy dwelling on past failures will do little to change the present moment, and even less to improve the future. How could you use that energy differently so you are more productive and well-placed for future challenges? What opportunities are you missing by looking back, instead of forward?

Uncategorized

Why wellbeing matters

The reason I feel so strongly about wellbeing is because it makes me sad to see so many good people struggling (and even drowning) in their roles.

I have worked with NQTs who quickly start feeling burnout and overwhelm with their new careers. I have spent time with experienced teachers who are struggling to adapt to the moving goalposts within the profession – and many of them are becoming (if they haven’t already) disillusioned with teaching.

And then there’s the headteachers I have worked with and coached. Speaking from experience, being a headteacher is, at the same time, the most rewarding and enriching job – as well as the most pressured, lonely and overwhelming role.

Some days, the only way I can describe what it’s like to be a headteacher is to quote Mr Scott from Star Trek: “it’s like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse.” I am in no way surprised that there is a shortage of headteachers.

That is why through my work I am determined to supercharge our staff members so they can be well placed for the challenges ahead, through coaching headteachers to help make sure they stay in the profession to continue their amazing influence, and support teachers to be able to consistently teach great lessons.

I worked hard to develop systems and processes to enable my staff to best manage the psychological, emotional and social issues they face with the resources they have. This is what enabled high levels of wellbeing amongst staff – as well as the fact we taught people how to take personal responsibility for their attitude.

Ensuring that staff have high levels of wellbeing will also take steps towards safeguarding the wellbeing of those children who come to school in desperate search of seeing someone, anyone, with a positive attitude.

If you get wellbeing right for one group of people, then through the magic of compounding it can spread amongst an entire community – and genuinely change lives.

🚀

Uncategorized

What is ZIP?

ZIP is you at your best.

When you have ZIP, others around you catch on as well. You become a life force and a life giver. Through ZIP you are able to breathe life into others. It leaks out of you and into them, lighting others up and helping them reach the dizzying heights of life. This is also your job as a teacher. Some people describe it as a calling. The simplest job description for teacher is to have ZIP and spread ZIP.

You don’t just want children to come into your class and ‘do’ their work. There is a massive difference between learning and doing. The latter is passive and the former is magical. The conditions for effective learning can be described with all your favourite buzzwords. Passion, engagement, motivation, purpose, relevance – we could go on. ZIP boils it down into the only three words you’ll ever need.

Zeal, Inspiration and Positivity.

Zeal isn’t just yours and the children’s enthusiasm for learning. It’s the enthusiasm and energy for life. As a teacher your job is to make sure every possible door of opportunity stays open to as many children as possible. A good attitude is the key to this. Anyone van have all the credentials and qualifications for any job – but if their attitude stinks, their application goes straight in the bin.

Inspiration doesn’t mean you do whatever you can to light the fire in the bellies of others. You need the light the fire in your own belly first. If you’re not raging with inspiration then how can you expect your children, colleagues, friends and family to catch on? You need to seek out what inspires you, sets your fire alight and ignites your passion. If you can hit that sweet spot, you’ll magically inspire others around you.

Positivity is the key to unlocking not just a successful teaching career, but a successful life as well. In short, the world will never be changed by people who only want to complain about it.

It is in your interests to develop ZIP. People with ZIP are happier and have higher levels of wellbeing. Research tells us people with ZIP have more energy, optimism and motivation. They collaborate with others more effectively, are more creative, and learn faster. They also have higher levels of physical health and become unwell less frequently. When they do become unwell, people with ZIP bounce back more quickly.

If you have ever worked in a toxic school culture, and sadly they do exist. Just the swap word ‘more’ for ‘less’ in the above paragraph. There are too many teachers working in too many schools where negativity, mindless autonomy, box ticking, illness, pessimism, and the endless grunt of a dying horse pervades the culture they enter every day. Schools are at breaking point. Underfunded, underappreciated, overworked, and over-scrutinised. Teachers are constantly looking for a way out of the career they first entered with sparkling enthusiasm. They feel as though they teach because they have to, not because they want to. Sometimes this is blamed on the senior leadership team. But here’s something most people don’t realise: it can be just the same for leaders.

The external pressure from governors, the local authority, the government, and Ofsted is never ending for those at the top. Trying to manage the top down pressures, whilst maintaining the smooth running of a school, and trying to keep every member of the school community happy is Everest-sized task. I was a headteacher for a number of years – and the long hours, discontent from some corners, the pressure and accountability can at times feel entirely overwhelming. Is it any surprise that so many senior leaders are also looking to leave for a different career path?

Sadly, this results in teachers and support staff within schools creating a tally chart at the top of the staff noticeboard and chalking off the days one at a time as a countdown to the next half term. The Education Support Partnership conducts an annual teacher wellbeing index survey. In 2019 their findings from surveying over 3,000 education professionals cemented the harsh reality of what it feels like to work in a school. 72 percent of all educational professionals, and 84 percent of senior leaders, described themselves as stressed.[i] The sad case in many schools means that often you could either be off with stress – and if you’re not, you’re picking up the pieces of someone else in your team who is.

Some schools have gone ahead with so-called wellbeing initiatives without actually understanding what wellbeing is. Wellbeing is not duvet days, PPA at home, drinks at the pub on a Friday, yoga during lunchtimes, exotic fruit in the staff room, delicious soap in the toilets, and a mug filled chocolate treats and a note saying “I love you” anonymously left on people’s desks. These things all have a name. They are called being nice. I am not saying don’t do them or that they are not good for showing staff you care about them. All I am saying is they are not wellbeing. They are often plasters being placed over the grazes on the skin of the organisation.

Wellbeing has become a word people use to label nice things. In some schools I have visited and worked with I have started to see a growing expectation of staff wanting their senior leaders to ‘give them’ wellbeing. They believe their wellbeing is someone else’s responsibility. They don’t believe it is their own personal responsibility. The real truth is: you are the only person who can take responsibility for your own wellbeing. The headteacher of the school has a responsibility to create an environment where teachers are able to flourish and be their best selves – but not to go inside the minds of staff and be responsible for their wellbeing.

So, what is wellbeing? The Oxford Dictionary definition of wellbeing is: our general health and happiness.[ii] I find that to be a little bit fluffy and not deep enough to be really sure what it truly means. Inspired by the work of The Mind Architect, Peter Crone, I like to add in two words to enable a deeper understanding: freedom and ease. Freedom from suffering. Freedom from our worries, stress, anxieties and illnesses. Being at ease with ourselves, who we are, our feeling of self-worth and self-esteem, and also at ease with how the world is. Then if we reverse engineer this to truly define what wellbeing is not – we arrive at the following: the absence of ease. More commonly known as dis-ease. Finally, if we reverse engineer this definition we arrive at the true meaning of wellbeing: the absence of dis-ease. [iii]

As educators or school leaders we need to look at how we are shaping the school culture and environment to enable staff to be at ease with the physical, emotional, social and economic challenges they face within their roles. For children we need to ensure we support them to be at ease with who they are, their place in the world, and the trajectory they are on.

Your sense of ease with who you are, what you stand for, what you stand against, and the decisions you make within the world can only ever come from you. You are the only one who can identify and take control of areas in your life where you are experiencing dis-ease. Are you a product of your circumstantial situation, or are you a product of all the choices and actions you have made within your circumstances? The world out there, outside of your head and mind, is as it is. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t fair, and there are some injustices. You cannot control every aspect of what is out there. But you can control what goes on inside your own head. When you do it will change the way you look at your job and life, help you notice and understand your impact, and give you more energy.

It isn’t easy, it takes practice. It isn’t instant, but it can be done.


[i]  https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/sites/default/files/teacher_wellbeing_index_2019.pdf

[ii] https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/well-being?q=wellbeing

[iii] Chatterjee, R. (2019). How to create the life you were born to live with Peter Crone (Episode 82). Feel Better, Live More Podcast. Available at https://youtu.be/hiKrZprvjUM [Accessed 5 June 2020]

Uncategorized

26 things about education…

1. Schools are like factories.

2. Children are the products.

3. They are created in batches and time stamped.

4. They’re all measured and assessed by how well they perform in a test.

5. An expected behaviour for good learning is good sitting and listening. Usually at a table.

6. Those who do well on a test are labelled as clever and those who do not are labelled as not clever.

7. Society has come to generally believe clever and not clever is the same as academic and non-academic.

8. A lot of brilliant people fail to reach their potential of fulfil their brilliance because they’ve been labelled not clever or not academic.

9. Traditional schooling has been designed for children to learn what they need to get jobs in the economy of NOW.

10. No child alive today will get a job in the economy of NOW.

11. Schooling should be designed for children to learn what they need in the economy of the FUTURE.

12. Most children will grow up to enter careers and jobs that don’t currently exist.

13. Children should be taught to think outside the box or redesign the box completely.

14. Instead they’re taught to take the shape of the box the same as everyone else in all the other batches of times gone by.

15. We are adamant a knowledge rich curriculum is the best foot forward – but a lot of it is focused on knowledge of the past or on concepts and ideas that are stored outside the human brain.

16. What you know is not as important as what you do with what you know.

17. The curriculum given to us by the government is more about what you must learn about, instead of what you may learn about.

18. Creativity comes through choice.

19. Children are curious. To learn they mostly need access, space and time.

20. Maybe we just need to get out of their way.

21. We don’t measure how happy children and staff are.

22. We don’t measure how much current learning makes children what to pursue future learning.

23. The prescribed curriculum doesn’t cover teaching children to discover how they learn best, how to experience happiness more often and how to navigate a future world that is becoming more alien with each passing day.

24. Money is being spent on all the things except for those that really matter. Serious investment on developing the wellbeing and mental health of our children now would have an incredible compounding effect felt for years into the future.

25. Society takes for granted how much teachers are able to bend and flex within a system trying to hold them down from all angles. They are trying to carve a masterpiece by using whatever they can find – sometimes blunt instruments. Now should be the time we give them everything they need and more.

26. Developing and enriching the children of today will improve the world of tomorrow.

🚀

Uncategorized

The point of what I do

Teaching is a vocational choice – and often believed to be a lifestyle choice. As teachers we all want to believe that we have something special to give, that we can impact on and make a difference to children’s lives, and in our own small way we are helping to shape the future of the world.

Usually at the start of your career you imagine the future of your job to revolve around sparking awe and wonder within the hearts and minds of the children in front of you.

However, I’m sure for lots of you that bright, idyllic world has been darkened by the gloomy clouds of modern life. Maybe the repetitive nature, frustration and mediocrity of daily life has formed an insurmountable barrier of effort and hassle which has stopped you even trying to return to the possibility of the idyllic world you once imagined.

Perhaps as well, not only has your ideal blurred, but also the passion and vigour you once held for living as the very best possible version of yourself. Maybe you have lost confidence in what you are capable of and in the person you have the capacity to become.

My work now revolves around teaching school communities how they can live their best life every day, rediscover who they are capable of being and returning to them a superpower I call zip.

Zip is possessing the superpower of energy, enthusiasm, vigour and vitality required to become the best teacher in the world.

It lies within you. It always has. You just need to rediscover it.

When you do, you can be unstoppable.

Uncategorized

What you say around children is just as important as what you don’t say

Children are not always the best at listening to you – but they are very good at becoming you.

Those turns of phrases, gestures, and throwaway comments. They hear and see them, internalise them, and reuse them.

Do you tut or kick the table leg when the SIMS register doesn’t load? Do you roll your eyes when lunchtime ends one minute later than it should?

There are children who will pick up on this.

Noticing it for one day might not seem much or feel like it matters. But imagine seeing it every day for a whole school year.

If you’re a child – it becomes hard not to copy.

Your small behaviours – including when you do nothing – compounds and has a huge impact.

Every. Single. Day.

Uncategorized

Ten things happy people do differently

1. Have a strong sense of community

They are connected with family, friends and the local community. Strong connections to wider areas of life can provide a shield to depression.

2. Use their strengths regularly

When you use what you’re good at more often, you’ll perform better, and be more motivated.

3. Are thankful.

There’s a difference between saying thanks and being thankful. Gratitude helps people cope with stress and anxiety, builds self-worth, and heightens positive emotions.

4. Feel optimistic

Optimism is learned as a habit over time. It helps you understand what is in and out of your own control.

5. Understand it is good to do good for others

Being kind and helpful to others creates something called volunteer’s high. The act of kindness is just as good for the person performing the act as it is for the recipient.

6. Not materialistic

Author, James Wallman calls it stuffocation. All our stuff is suffocating us. No amount of stuff will ever make us happier. We habituate, desire more, and continue to never be satisfied. I think of it like this: is any television ‘actually’ big enough?

7. Know how to let go

Bad stuff still happens to happier people. They have setbacks, failures and tragedies. They acknowledge how they feel – but have built a foundational belief of knowing one day they will start to feel better. They don’t ignore their past hurt, they change their relationship with it.

8. They act happy

Sounds ridiculous. But happy people act in all the ways you expect happy people to act. They smile, they are engaged, have energy, enthusiasm and they are positive. The only way to act like this more often is to choose to act like this more often.

9. Have a sense of belonging

This might be religion or a shared community. When you feel part of something of bigger it helps you have greater purpose.

10. They have momentum

Thinking about doing something and actually doing something are two different things. Happier people have values they care about, things they stand for and against, outcomes they want to achieve – and they are acting on all of these aspects of their life.

🚀