(#364) Your Legacy

May 14, 2017

Whatever you build, destroy, hand down, create, or undo will be your legacy.

Legacy: Something handed down from one generation to the next; from one person or group to another. Whether for good or ill someone or some entity passed something along. It can include a memory, an accomplishment, a deed, a message, a financial donation, or a physical resource.

A sports team, for instance, that wins a championship creates a legacy. No matter what follows, the team will always have the title of champion for that particular year.  I find it odd when I hear people say something like, “The Chicago Cubs will defend their championship this year.”

One defends something he or she may lose. The Cubs can NEVER lose the 2016 championship they won.  They may not repeat as champs, but they will always be 2016 World Series champions. No one can remove that distinction.

Every so often, I hear a report that so-and-so’s legacy will be eliminated.  I am not sure how that can happen.  The handoff occurred.  You cannot “unhand” it down.  If someone changes or eliminates a program or service, that becomes the legacy of the eliminator.  The person who created it will ALWAYS have the legacy of the creation.  Someone else can amend or end it but the previous act stands as part of history.

What you do today, tomorrow, or in ten years becomes part of your legacy. One experience, one dot, one moment, and one day at a time. You (and with whomever you collaborate) create a legacy. You can add texture and color to it. You cannot un-create it.

Whatever you build, destroy, hand down, create, or undo will be your legacy. What will your legacy be?


Video recommendation for the week.

Building and meaning of legacies. Check this view.


Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


(#235) What Are You Doing For Game Film?

November 23, 2014

“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”—Yogi Berra

Legendary football coach Paul Brown receives credit for being the first football coach to use game film.  He believed the film would help expose the weaknesses of his opponents.  Today, game film is pretty much a staple with athletic teams.  Not only can it help a team focus on other teams, game film directs a team’s attention on itself. What do its players do well and not so well?  It is a tool for raising awareness.

How about you? Do you have game film?  How do you know what you are really doing in any given space in your life?  (No, I am NOT talking about a “selfie!”)

Image: FrameAngel/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: FrameAngel/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just like the athletes, we would do well to take some time and watch what we do.  The Japanese refer to kaizen—small adjustments for consistent improvement.  But if we are not truly aware of what we are (or are not) doing, how can we make movement for improvement?

So, this week, let’s explore a few different “tools” we can use for our “game film.”  These techniques allow us to reflect on what we have done—after we have done it.

Video recommendation for the week:

Once you have read the following, take a moment and post a comment about what you do to raise your awareness level.  Let’s build a catalog of strategies!

Examples of “game film”:

  • Video. We would be hard pressed to find many people who don’t have some sort of video camera in their pockets. If they have a smart phone, they have a camera.  I have used video during rehearsals, in class, and on stage.  Sometimes it is difficult to watch (self-conscious moments) but every time it has been helpful for me to improve my speaking and teaching “game.”
  • Audio. When I rehearsed for my TEDx talk a couple of months ago, many nights I turned on my phone’s voice recorder. I then would listen to my delivery while in the gym or sitting in a quiet corner of my home. This helped me identify weaknesses in my delivery.
  • Mentor. This is the wise person (or people) you trust.  You ask for and they provide candid advice and guidance.
  • Accountability partners. Find someone who will hold you to a high standard.  This could be a mentor. Or it could be a close friend or associate who has permission to metaphorically kick your butt when you stray off course.  A colleague of mine refers to these people as NOBS (No B.S. friends).
  • Clearness committee. This Quaker practice helps a person seek answers from within.  During this Socratic practice the members don’t “give” advice; they ask clarifying questions.
  • Journaling. Consider writing your thoughts. Reflective practice (such as journaling) forces us to slow down and consider what we are doing/have done.  If we pay attention to ourselves, we will do well to question our own stories.
  • Read your archives. Story has it that whenever Harry Truman would write a fiery letter, he would then place it in his desk drawer for three days.  He would come back to it then, re-read it, reflect on it, and decide whether to send it.  As I remember the end of the story (apocryphal?) he often chose not to send the letter.  Look back at some of your email archives, social media posts or personal videos.  Are you pleased with your responses and posts? Were they “spot on” or reactive rants?  You might find yourself saying, “Did I really say that?”

Take time this week to make a plan for how you will capture your game film.  Without reflective time you may be missing a wonderful opportunity to raise your awareness of where you have been, where you are, and where you would like to go.

Or in the words of the New York Yankee Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 


(#212) Teachers Make a Difference—Everyday!

June 15, 2014

Think of your favorite teacher, counselor, or advisor.
What did she/he do to make a difference?

This blog post will be a repeat message for some who follow me on Facebook. It warrants repetition. So thanks for the indulgence

I just finished my 32nd year of classroom teaching. As I travel working with teachers around the nation, more and more I am asked to speak/facilitate about the non-cognitive/non-academic factors for student success. Academics is obviously important, but so much more goes into “building” and nurturing the total student.  And when these factors receive attention, they make a difference in the lives of the people in our classrooms.

Quick shout out and suggestion: Check out Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators (Joseph W. Underwood, editor. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2009). Uplifting stories of what the good ones do day after day.

Today-I-Made-a-Difference

Last week I posted a simple question on my Facebook page:

Think of your favorite teacher, counselor, or advisor. What did she/he do to make a difference?”

People responded with vivid memories of a teacher or two in their respective lives who made a difference to them.  Their explanations of what a teacher did to make a difference went directly to the heart of effective teaching (IMHO)…and here (in a nutshell) is what they remember the “good ones/effective ones/difference-making ones” doing:

  • set high expectations
  • encouraged
  • had confidence in them
  • respected them and their space
  • were interesting
  • valued, listened to and respected then
  • built a relationship with them
  • had passion
  • gave you a “gift” (like in the gift of love of music)
  • engaged and interacted with them
  • had a sense of humor
  • were real people
  • were involved in their school community and
  • made them think.

And more memories were shared.

So much is written (and ranted) about assessment (as in state-wide standardized tests)…and so many times in our media we find our teachers (in particular K-12) beaten up over test scores. If the so-called establishment leaders would help to assess teachers on the skills and relationships listed above maybe there would be a better gauge for what our teachers really do.


Video recommendation of the week:

Enjoy a song from my first CD. Turn up your speakers and sing along!


Yeah, I know these are so-called “soft skills.” But, you know, the more I read about successful businesses and leaders, the more I hear about the value of these soft skills. Obviously, we better know how to read, write, add/subtract and the like.

But I can tell you, the teachers I remember kicked me in the butt–and hugged me at once. I can’t say I remember many of the “facts” they taught me–but I do remember the building blocks of life they helped to put in place.  They helped build and buttress my core value structure.

If only we could “measure” caring, charisma, passion, encouragement, and respect—and more “soft-skills.”

So, your homework for today comes in two parts:

  • Think of the teacher that made a difference in your life. What did he or she do? My guess it went beyond preparing you for a test of facts that you soon forgot.
  • If you have not done so recently, reach out to those teachers who made a difference (whether it was last year or decades ago) and thank them. They would love it.

Go forth and advocate for the teachers of your community.  And give thanks for those who made a difference for you.

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 


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