Last week in Atlanta I spoke about The Five CHOICES for Student Success. In reality, this was a session about LIFE success. The choices I examined went beyond the classroom and college campus. If we can practice and adhere to each of these choices, our chances for success increase. Think of the following as our call to action. Make the CHOICE to act with:
- PURPOSE. Know your direction and act with specificity. What is it that drives you? Why do you put your feet on the floor each morning? What pulls you from bed day after day? While I find long-term goals quite motivating, they can be rather intimidating to others. In our fast-food-I-want-it-now-world, they lack immediacy. And they require work. Don’t sabotage yourself with shortcuts and—dare I say—laziness. Evaluate your goal and the steps you must take to make the goal a reality. If you really want it, start with one step—even if it is a small step.
- RESPONSIBILITY. Know what you need to do and take the initiative to get it done. If you are responsible, your are accountable for your actions. You have to answer for what you do. Here is a strategy I heard John Maxwell articulate: At the end of each day, ask yourself three questions: What should I stop doing? What should I keep doing? What should I start doing? Answer honestly and then take responsible action. Doing so can move you closer to your goals.
- INTEGRITY. Know that you are acting with honesty, respectfulness, and responsibility. Integrity is doing what is in alignment with our core values. Parker Palmer (Courage to Teach) reminds us that when, “The work we do lacks integrity for us, then we, the work, and the people we do it with will suffer.” Are your goals aligned with your core values? If they are not, then why are you moving toward them? Some people reach a goal, only to ask themselves, “What the heck was that all about? Is this all there is?”
- DISCIPLINE. Know how to develop powerful habits. One author has poignantly said, “The way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives.” How true. Build habits that lead you toward your dreams; avoid those behaviors that move you further from your dreams.
- EQUILIBRIUM. Know how to work for balance and well-being in your life. This can be difficult with the stressors of daily life bombarding us. BUT it is vitally important. In an earlier post on this blog site, I suggested that acting selfishly can, in fact, be very healthy. Consider that here. Understand what you need to do physically, emotionally, and spiritually to maintain balance in your life. And then do it.
You will notice the acronym formed from our call for action is PRIDE. This call for action—these five CHOICES—reflect pride in your life; pride in your goals. What are you doing to do to get what you want?
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.