On your way to realization, you need to go from visualization
to verbalization to transformation.
Being able to teach my student success classes continues to be a wonderful personal learning experience. As I tell my students (continually), a student success class is so much more than how to take notes or score high on tests. The class—when taught properly—is a life success laboratory. So many practical strategies; so many useful exercises and life lessons.
One activity that I learned years ago from a mentor of mine (Terry Whisnant) always creates a lot of energy. Called “My New Best Friend,” it is an energizing ice-breaker exercise. You can structure questions to meet the needs of your particular situation. I have had success with:
- What is your name?
- Why are you with us (in this class; this training; this career; this team….)?
- What do you have to offer?
- What is your dream?
The third and fourth questions typically draw the most interest and reaction. “What do you have to offer?” allows a person to dig deep and share what he/she brings to a situation. Do you offer our group patience, a sense of humor, or a particular skill? I find many people have never thought about this. They are better equipped to answer “What do you do?” Or, “Do you have kids?” Or “What do you want to become?” In other words, they are more apt to identify a role than an attribute or contribution. Some people have never been encouraged to focus on what gifts they offer to the world.
How would you answer the question, “What do you offer?”
The other question that always brings about thoughtful response is “What is your dream?” I did this exercise recently in a faculty professional development session. People paired with someone they did not know (or did not know well). When I asked for some volunteers to share with the larger group what they learned about their “new best friend,” people were surprised. We heard about one person’s desire to work with rescue dogs. Another surprised her co-workers with a desire to become a florist.
Each person learned something new about their colleagues. More importantly, each person in that room had the opportunity to verbalize an aspiration.
Just giving voice to these dreams can be motivating; a great step to move from the fantasy to the goal to reality realm. On our way to realization, we need to go from visualization to verbalization to transformation. I have found that for many of my students this exercise represents the first time anyone has ever asked them to share a dream; has ever taken interest in what they may want to do with their lives.
What is your dream?
This week, identify and commit to doing one thing that will get you closer to your dream. Ben Franklin reminded us long ago that, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
Video recommendation for the week:
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may be interested in my next webinar. On June 5, I will offer a special encore edition of my personal well-being webinar. I will expand on the V.P.E.E.R. model above. Click here to register now for “Five Steps to Build Habits of Well-being and Balance.” Or go to my website for registration information.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli). If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Make it a wonderful week!
©2013. Steve Piscitelli
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