I hope you all had a wonderful time at NYS CLSA this year! It was a privilege to work with so many of you and your students talking about how to go back to your schools and do the good, sometimes really challenging work of making people feel valued, important, and LOVED.
A quick review of what we talked about:
- Even though we might have different titles and positions and responsibilities as leaders at our school, our JOB is the same: to get better at loving people.
- Love looks like a lot of things and it can be confusing. That's why I like the Greeks - they used 4 words for Love.
- Storge: Family love. Feelings of affection.
- Philia: Friendship. Commonalities. Feeling of closeness.
- Eros: Romantic. "In Love." Feelings of attraction.
- Agapè: Unconditional love. Selfless. Love as a CHOICE.
- Most people love others whenever they feel like it - whenever it is comfortable or easy or convenient. But as leaders, we must CHOOSE LOVE even when it is challenging. Sometimes it is the people who are the hardest to love who most need it!
- We get better at kindness and compassion when we practice them during difficult moments. As my friend Tyler Durman says, "A commitment to growth is a commitment to PAIN!"
- Love looks like patience, honesty, kindness, forgiveness, humility, commitment, selflessness, respect - all SKILLS that are equally available to all of us! We aren't like Michael Phelps, but we can be like Mother Teresa!
- Like any skill we want to be as a habit in our life, we have to PRACTICE daily!
- Oftentimes, we only take time to look at people and we forget to see! Kindness and compliments depends on our ability to understand people deeply. This requires us to 1) Ask meaningful questions and 2) Listen to their answers!
- When we invest in people, our projects get better. Leadership happens in between the items on your to-do lists! Don't forget to write some postcards today!
Phew! A lot for just a few hours. The good news is this - our time together doesn't have to be over! Check out all the ways we can keep the ways to keep the message alive...
How To Keep The Momentum Going
I've done over 500 school assemblies. If you have me at your school, there will be totally different content than what your kids heard at NYS CLSA.. New stories, new material, new learning! Plus, a follow up 60-90 minute workshop with your leaders. I'll be in Buffalo in February!
Hand printed by a student who designed them for me from Iowa, they are incredibly soft and a great reminder of the message. We have "Make Kindness Normal" and "Choose Love" available in the store!
Download the CharacterStrong App.
The workout program for your heart <3
CharacterStrong will send you a daily push notification with a simple, practical way to exercise LOVE. Currently only available for iOS - but Android and web app coming soon.
A range of difficulties to help build effective habits from the ground up
Follow your friends to hold them accountable and encourage them
Track your character progress by earning points for each dare you complete
Be reminded with daily push notifications
Reflect on your experience & read inspirational stories
Shareable images and quotes that can be sent directly to your Instagram
I'm grateful for young people like you who are going to make your school and this world a better place. Let me know how I can help.