This year, I made 6 suggestions to a group of fifth through eighth grade students.
1. The standard for satisfaction is not perfection.
This is advice I gave last year, but I decided to use it again based on the good response it received. Instead, focus on getting better each day, learn from mistakes, and appreciate a growth mindset.
2. Define your acceptable minimum.
With each of us, there is a line between satisfaction and dissatisfaction. We also have finite amounts of will power, attention, and energy. It is important to know when good enough is good enough. When is your work at a standard to ship, that you can be proud of, that defines the authentic you to your audience? When is it time to move on to your next project or idea?
3. Who is on your team?
Sometimes, school gets tough. Having a team to help you get through the rough spots helps. Pay attention to those around you and nurture those relationships. You never know when you might need a helping hand. Build your learning team by starting with your family and teachers.
4. Reflect, often, on these two questions: What did (will) I do today to be a better student? What did (will) I do today to help someone else get better?
These are, in my opinion, two essential questions. This is even more true in the connected world we live in today. Answer these two and you will rarely have a bad plan for the day.
5. Break it down.
Remember #3? Things will get tough, especially new and unfamiliar concepts. When faced with such circumstances, break things down into manageable pieces and try to work from your existing strengths.
6. Lack of understanding is not the same as a lack of education. Lack of understanding is an opportunity for education
Not knowing is not a lack of education. Not knowing is an invitation to learn. If the purpose of school is to inspire learning and the creation of knowledge, then there is great value in identifying the unknown and the misunderstood.
On an unrelated note, my YouTube channel is up and includes my first 4 Thrivapy Moment videos. Check it out. If you like it, subscribe and share it with your friends.