To all the children starting school tomorrow, here are some words of wisdom from a former public school principal that I will not be able to share with you directly, but wanted you to hear, process, and incorporate into your routine and being:
1) Know that you were already born with all of the potential you will ever need. God took care of that.
2) Know that it is up to you and your teachers and families to “unlock” that potential over the course of time, like using a key to unlock a hidden treasure chest that awaits. Once unlocked, it is your decision how to use that potential, whether it be studying for an exam, helping others to study, creating a poem, dancing at a show, or even taking care of your little brother. Know that treasure chest keeps filling with other “goodies” such as confidence, empathy, compassion, and self esteem. You will have to continue to reach into this life long chest of treasures on an as needed basis. You will have to also give back to the treasure chest throughout your life as well, the self confidence you gained at a board meeting, the resilience needed after winning the state soccer finals.
3) Always do your best, even when people are not looking. Those are the times that practice has turned into habit! Always strive for excellence, despite the pencil erase marks, the “do over’s” and in what can only be perceived in an adolescent mind “asking the teacher a million questions!” Often times, its in the question that lies the best answer!
4) Always strive for excellence, not perfection. (turing off the electronics would be a huge push forward in the movement towards excellence)
5) Always create routine for yourself, go to bed at a specific time (tape the shows you want to see), get up early, eat a nice breakfast before you go and think about one question: “What one thing am I going to accomplish today?” You do not need to accomplish 50 things, just one thing.
6) And finally, ask yourself each day “Who will I reach out to today: to connect with, to dialogue with about my work, to help support me if I am feeling any strife or worry, or to just hang with….
My parting thought: We are all fallible, malleable, and in need of others. We all strive for interconnectedness and seek validation. Surround yourself with positive people who will honor the vision you have created for yourself and have fun doing it!! When in need, go back to the treasure chest. …..therein lies everything you need, for after all, it was a gift from The Divine!