What Do People See In You?

#COINTRACKER16
I sat at the head of two, rectangle shaped tables, pushed together end-to-end, and listened to my class talk. There had to be 7 different conversations going on at once, and yet, I heard nothing. No, I hadn’t gone deaf- my mind, amidst an epiphany, had muted the noise in the room to allow me to process, and it was in that moment that I finally understood. I understood what my teachers, coaches, and mom had been saying about me all those years growing up. See, I was the kid; the student and athlete that my schoolteachers, dance teachers, lacrosse coach, and mom said didn’t work up to her potential. I didn’t know what in the world that meant, and for that reason, I hated hearing it. I never understood how I was failing to work up to something I’d never shown them I could do. So I just added it to the list of weird things adults said, but never bothered helping kids understand.
Years later, as I sat looking at my students, I saw in them what my teachers had seen in me. I could see everything they were capable of becoming, all their latent abilities, sparks that were waiting to be flamed into fire, all they could achieve and accomplish. My teachers saw in me a student who had the ability to excel, even if she didn’t have the desire. They saw what I was capable of achieving if I were willing to work harder; I wasn’t. They saw what could be. When I sat with my class that day, I saw the same thing in them, potential. As the volume of the room slowly turned up, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and knew that helping them recognize their potential and put great work into the world would be my work.
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Lead Greatly

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.28.39 PMYou’re never too young to lead. You’re never too old, either.

Don’t be fooled though, you probably shouldn’t call yourself a leader if you turn and realize that no one is following you or walking beside you.

Leaders come in all sizes and dynamics. You can be the leader of a household, a team, a group of people at work, you can even lead other leaders.

I remember having teachers and mentors who were great motivators, they were very encouraging,  extremely supportive, and were always kind enough to express how much they believed in me and my peers. That was great and I am very grateful for them, sometimes all you need is an encouraging word or to know that someone sees something great or greater in you.

Other times though, I remember wanting, not so much a cheerleader or supporting cast, but a director, an instructor, someone to help me pull all the great things other people saw within me, out of me.

I don’t think I have found one of those yet and maybe I no longer need one, but I know for those who look to me for help, advice, and encouragement, I’d like to be able to offer them the best of both worlds.

I think about my little cousin, who at age 8 was helping my mom learn to work her new phone. She was such a patient and encouraging teacher and at the same time she was an instructor, she showed her what to do then had my mom try it on her own. She never once doubted that my mom would get the hang of it and just say forget it, like I would have, and just bought her one of those phones that only has like 4 buttons. It was funny and adorable. Whether you lead by doing  something simple like showing someone how to use their phone, edit a video, or learn an instrument, or something greater like helping another person discover how to use their gifts, or how to stand up for themselves, or how to reach their potential, greatly lead.

Straighten Up

cool-teenage-quotes-5_copyI think it’s completely normal for teenagers to act entitled.

I don’t agree with it, nor do I give into it, but, it does make sense.

From birth, most kids are revered (adored, placed on a pedestal, worshipped).

Our parents break their backs working hard to provide beyond necessities and they have a hard time telling kids no. Birthday parties, vacations, surprise gifts, taking off work for performances, sick days, all that stuff.  And there isn’t a thing wrong with that.

However, you cannot very well expect a person who has gone from being the center of their families’ universe at age 3 to be expected to understand that the game has changed by age 13. (Unless of course a good job of instilling appreciation, character, initiative, etc. was done).

Teens get a bad wrap sometimes, but, their way of thinking and their ‘world revolves around me’ perspective is not all their fault.

That however does not get teens off the hook. From the moment the first person checks you (sets you straight/puts you in your place) your awareness should be heightened and your role should then begin to change.

It’s easy to think you know it all when you don’t even know what ‘all’ means or to think that every answer you have is better than those who’ve already been in your shoes.

It’s also easy to think people should continue to do for you, but the reality is, no one owes you anything beyond the basic needs and protections in life.

The things you enjoy today exist because someone thought of them and then put in the work and created them, books, ipods, tv, fast food restaurants, parks, sneakers, etc. You have all those same abilities too, if not greater.

Enjoy your teenage years. No one wants you to speed through your life.

We recognize that you;

  • are full of potential yet emotional at times (and that’s ok)

  • want to be successful but you are lazy sometimes and want success to just happen

  •  are strong and have great endurance and resilience however, you are still a child who is vulnerable and sometimes easily hurt and discouraged

  • forgive people easily and often teach adults a better way of handling things

Read some words of tough love from a judge below:wpid-Screenshot_2013-01-24-19-50-33.png