Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

Hold on. This isn’t the flowery journey-versus-destination post you’re thinking. In fact, I’m rethinking my daily thought patterns, processes, and habits. I’m systematically restructuring my time, energy, and mental rhythms (if that’s possible).

I LOVE what I do! I love people and their lifelong learning stories. I have a whole ton of passion; a relentless drive about me that wants to do it all–really well–all the time. While it may sound great–and inspiring even, it can also be an unhealthy way to live life. Please–Journey with me to shift gears from what once was to what could be.

The Ride

A few times a year, I drive from North Carolina to visit my family in Indiana. Along the way, I observe and experience:

  • Roads that are straight, curved, uphill, and downhill;
  • Signs indicating warnings, limits, commands, distances, information, advertisements, and suggestions;
  • Landscapes featuring mountains, valleys, national forests, state parks, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, elevation changes, fallen rock zones, blasting zones, bridges, tunnels, windmills, wind turbines, construction zones, and the fullness of the deciduous forest biome;
  • Lines outlining states, capital cities, counties, towns, townships, and aircraft-enforced speed zones;
  • Expected rest areas, toll booths, truck stops, waffle houses, and hotels; and
  • Unexpected detours, traffic jams, accidents, and changing weather.

How I’m Changing: As a single guy a few years ago, and with ideal conditions, I made this drive in just under twelve hours in one day. As a husband and father of an eight-week-old now, my drive has been segmented into two days, spanning eighteen hours. Believe it or not–The drive is actually a lot less stressful now. I’m growing to appreciate that the ride will be all of: relaxing and stressful; exciting and scary; fast and slow; happy and sad; calm and crazy; and wild and wonderful. And that it’s all a part of the ride.

TO-DO List Versus Checklist

Scrolling through innovative-thinking George Couros tweets–as many growing educators and learners do–I saw one featuring an empowering reflection from AJ Juliani that really got me thinking:

In rule number three, AJ Juliani described how he simplified his life by changing his TO-DO Lists to Checklists. Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s waaay deeper than that.

How I’m Changing: For a TO-DO List guy like me–Imagine if you could take the pressure off of yourself from once feeling like you had to conquer the whole world all day every day to now focusing on: progress and growth instead of completion; parts instead of wholes; time invested instead of tasks done; and baby steps instead of leaps and bounds. For me, this is a dynamic mental shift that’s already changing my life!

Processing and Reflecting in Segments

Especially over the last few years, I’ve been really blessed to surround myself with brilliant minds at conferences, workshops, edcamps, social media–especially twitter–and professional learning sessions around the country, state, surrounding counties, and even just down the road.

Waiting until the end of one conference day or even just one, two-hour professional learning session to reflect, was once a very daunting, overwhelming task to be done–if done meaningfully.

But WHY do many presenters and speakers rarely or never give opportunities for their learners to have a rest stop along the ride? Equally–While at the rest stop–WHY do many learners not take the opportunity to archive and share learning through meaningful reflection–right there on the spot? Why do learners often not interact–right there on the spot–about topics presented that may better equip them to tell their story to their communities?

How I’m Changing: I’m no longer conquering the world in a one-day drive to reach my destination. I’m committing to learning and growing in segments DURING the ride:

Baby Steps

As a single, young educator, I had huge blocks of time. I could literally conquer the world of professional and personal all the time, or so I thought. As a husband, father, and veteran educator now, I don’t have large blocks of free time, let alone ME-time anymore.

That’s a huge lifestyle shift for me right there.

How I’m Changing: How can I rationalize finishing a blog or doing a twitter chat at night instead of holding my baby or spending quality time with my wife? Although it’s still a fierce tug-of-war inside of me–balancing career and family–I’m embracing what really matters. In addition, I’m open to seeking advice and accepting help.

Some of the greatest advice ever came to me thru a tweet. Have you read The Best Blog of 2017 by Bill Ferriter? Wow!

There’s a difference between living life in full and living life in whole.

Life is not lived in whole. Life is lived one part, segment, and moment at a time.

2 Replies to “#OneWord2018: Segments”

  • Great reflections Kyle! Welcome to parenthood! I think the thing I struggle with most as a parent is that my kids view me as a workaholic and yet many days I don’t get to check enough boxes on that list you talk of. Rather organically I’ve been shifting to a time invested approach to my to-do lists, but it’s nice to see it in writing that it’s a good approach.

  • Kyle, I respond with this quote that spoke to my heart long ago…”How long the road is. But for all the time the journey has already taken, how you have needed every second of it in order to learn what the road passes by” Dag Hammerskjold

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