Hello and welcome to MySelf Builder! It's a nice, cloudy spring day in North Carolina with some light rain. Looking outside on a day like this allows me to think about our climate, or the conditions, mood, and way the atmosphere feels to us.
The question for the day is: Are you in the right climate to grow?
I heard a story about a plant that a lady received as a gift. It was a nice plant, with big leaves. The woman kept the plant indoors, watered it regularly, but noticed that the leaves kept falling off. She tried moving it towards a window, kept it in a cool area near a fan, but the plant continued to lose its leaves.
One day, the woman decided to move the plant outside. Most of the leaves were gone and she thought,”Well, this is just a bad plant.” She planned on throwing it away. A few days went by and when she finally got back to the plant and prepared to get rid of it, she noticed a small leaf that was beginning to grow.
The plant had been in the wrong climate. Even though the woman tried to care for it inside her home, the plant needed natural sunlight, fresh air and rainwater. Sometimes if something isn’t working well or thriving like we hope, we have to take a step back and look at the climate.
In schools, a student may struggle with a subject or new lesson for a variety of reasons. A good teacher will work to figure out why a student is having a difficult time instead of saying, “Well, this is the way I teach. They need to keep up.” Great teachers will consider how the climate, or additional outside factors, may be presenting challenges. Is the student hungry, are they able to see and hear well from where they are seated, are they easily distracted by certain classmates or worried about something else?
In order to help determine if we are in the right climate to grow and be successful, MySelf Builder has 3 blocks of advice:
- Make Observations: Consider how you are feeling and what challenges you’re facing? When does your mood change? What is causing your stress level to increase? Are you able to make any progress, no matter how small it
- Try to Adapt: Think about what you can control or influence. While we are not always in control of what happens around us, we can choose how we respond. Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of students who had complaints about rude comments their classmates made or felt that an adult was being unfair. I always tell them to consider their reply: what they say, who they say it to, and how they say it.
- Make Adjustments: If we’ve made observations and tried to adapt, but are still not improving, we have to work on adjusting our climate. Today it’s raining, so I adapted by wearing a jacket. If it rains harder, I’ll remain indoors. Making adjustments also applies to how we take care of ourselves: who we talk to and receive advice from, how we think, what we consume, how much we train, practice, or exercise, and where we receive support.
As we continue to work towards becoming the best version of ourselves, let’s remain mindful of how our climate is impacting our success. Keep building!