Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Not Personal...

As I reflect on the last chapter of Drive, I want to awaken my motivation, professionally and personally. There are several of Pink's nine strategies that interest me. The first strategy I would employ is to give myself the "Flow" test. At forty random times in a week, I would need to set an alarm to go off and record what I am doing, how I am feeling and whether I am in "flow." I need an iPhone app to help me in this endeavor...how could I set a timer to go off randomly forty times in one week? This data would be interesting! What would my trends show? How many times could it catch me not in "flow"? Would there be a time of the day that I am in more "flow" than others? How could I use this information to help me make better "life" decisions?
The next strategy is to define myself in one sentence...The author states that in 1962, Clare Booth Luce gave advice to President Kennedy. That advice was, "A great man is one sentence." Abraham Lincoln's sentence was: "He preserved the union and freed the slaves." Franklin Roosevelt's sentence was : "He lifted us out of a depression and helped us win a world war." What is my sentence? I think this is always hard for educators; to toot our own horn.
This would make a great staff activity. Have people write each other's sentence. This could be an eye opening experience.
To focus on mastery, Pink recommends these five steps:
1. Deliberate practice has one objective: to improve performance.
2. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
3. Seek constant, critical feedback.
4. Focus ruthlessly on where you need help.
5. Prepare for the process to be mentally and physically exhausting.
The most crucial area is probably the most difficult area, seeking constant, critical feedback. Critical feedback requires "thick skin." Many years have gone by and people say, oh you have to get thick skin. Which I think my skin has gotten thicker, but it must have been see-through in the beginning if it is only as thick as it is now. People always say not to take things personally, which seems logical, but not possible. I am on a never-ending journey to mastery that has more than a few potholes, with one being finding ways to accept critical feedback without taking it personal...

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