Our thoughts are powerful. In our minds we can do anything. Making our dreams reality requires the power of believing they can happen. So many people see the glass half empty, but there's no hope in a pessimistic attitude. Life is all about possibility. I've always wanted to start a blog and I've wasted a lot of time thinking about it. But now, I've finally put my thoughts into action, simply, because I can ...
There's no such thing as a road to nowhere. Every road leads somewhere and the experiences along the way are enriching. It should never be about the destination. It should be about the journey ...
It reminds me of the song 'Road to Nowhere' by Talking Heads. The lyrics in part are:
We're on a road to nowhere come on inside. Takin' that ride to nowhere we'll take that ride. I'm feelin' okay this mornin' and you know. We're on the road to paradise here we go here we go. People don't have the patience anymore to enjoy travelling. It's all about the destination. Their impatience in itself translates their lack of desire to move in-between. Leaving is effort and arrival is anticipation, but the in-between ... well, that's futile. We would want some kind of quantum teleportation in our homes, "Beam me there." Enter the destination and "POOF", we experience instantaneous departure and arrival.
In effect, the road is important. It's spiritual. It tests us at times when we are most vulnerable. Whether confined in an aeroplane, bus, train or car, we have limited choices of what to do. So, our patience is tested. We learn to wait. Our courage is tested. We learn to face everything we encounter.
Figuratively, we aren't on a road to nowhere. We're heading forward into the unknown. We don't know what obstacles lay ahead, but we push forward because we must. Faith inspires us to focus on the here and now and just believe the future will come.
What is our motivation? Fides, Spes et Caritas (Faith, Hope and Charity). Without these three things, we may feel as if the road is going nowhere.
Life is not just about the literal journey. If our spiritual road is well-maintained, with all the necessary signs of protection and guidance in place, we will travel all literal roads with confidence and patience. Whether or not the road is long, we will enjoy the journey (the in-between).
It is so important that teachers strive to be their best in the classroom. The classroom is a place where children develop certain beliefs and children are motivated by their beliefs. The classroom is a place where children form opinions, make judgments and determine values. Children use their beliefs to assign meaning to the learning
situation, to form an opinion of working efficiently and effectively, and to
evaluate a teacher and the teaching methods that are used. Children have certain
expectations. The results that they get for their work, form their beliefs about
success or failure. Because the work that is done in the different classrooms varies, children can easily lose interest. This happens mostly when the work is too difficult for them to understand or so boring that they aren't stimulated by it. A teacher can determine whether work is difficult or boring. In determining this, teachers should do everything in their power to help the children to achieve good outcomes.
A child's motivational beliefs are developed through direct learning
experiences, observations, verbal statements, and social comparisons. These
beliefs guide a child's thoughts, feelings and actions. From one subject to the
next, a child will never think, feel or act the same. Whether positive or
negative, his beliefs are very resistant to change. A good example to use is
mathematics. When a child doesn't make progress in mathematics and his teacher
has no patience with him, he will learn to dislike mathematics. He will like it
even less if his friends tease him about his results. This negative belief that
he has formed about mathematics will not be changed easily.
Teachers spend a lot of time with the same children during a year. It's important that teachers learn to understand their students. A good teacher
will know more or less what each student's motivational belief is regarding her
subject. This belief (positive or negative) may have been formed in a
previous grade. Students usually hide their thoughts and feelings, and so the
teacher needs to have more insight into their beliefs. A student's
level of participation in a subject, his commitment to classwork, homework and
assignments, as well as the results he gets determine his beliefs.
Teachers can help their students by looking at the following basic
The classroom: Make
the classroom beautiful and interesting. Learners must be keen to enter the
room. They spend a lot of time in the classroom and need to feel comfortable
there. The classroom also affects the teacher who spends a lot of time in it.
The environment should motivate both the teacher and child, and make them feel
children come into a classroom, they need to know that the teacher likes them.
They need to feel loved. A warm, kind and considerate teacher will always win
Discipline: It is good to remember that discipline is just as important as empathy. A firm hand is necessary. A chaotic
environment cannot motivate or bring any good. When learners behave in an inappropriate way, it will help to discuss the situation with them. Treating children with the needed respect can help them to change their ways.
Of course, some children are very difficult. Taking them to the principal or
calling their parents will not necessarily solve the problem. In most cases,
however, a good lesson with interesting work will help with the discipline. A
well-prepared teacher will always have more discipline in her class than an
work: Try to make tasks and activities meaningful and never give more work than
that which is necessary. Giving too much work is ineffective. Teachers shouldn't give work to keep children busy. When we want a child
to practice something, the purpose is not to punish him in the
process. If a child says, "It's too much. I'll never finish in time!"
it doesn't necessarily mean that he is lazy. Try and find out why he thinks
that it is too much. Help him to see that he can cope by adapting the exercises
according to his capacity.
There are many other ideas that can help teachers to motivate children.
These are basic ideas to work with. The key to success of course is that a
motivated teacher will always have a better effect on her students. Teachers,
therefore, need to be motivated and enthusiastic about what they're doing in
We experience so many different situations every day and, without having to
think about each situation, we adjust quite naturally to what we see, hear
and feel. The minute we find ourselves in a situation that clashes with our
desires, we battle to adjust.
A good example to use is sound. If we don’t like noise, our desire is to
have peace and quiet. We want sounds around us that we can actually tolerate.
The minute our peace and quiet is disturbed, and any given sound starts to
irritate us or make us feel anxious, we are no longer able to adjust to the
sound naturally. We become more and more aware of the sound, and it affects our
We are truly amazing! We've been created to be flexible and adaptable.
From a very young age, we are able to adjust to the world’s demands. The problem
then doesn't lie in the situations we experience. It lies within us. We have
different desires (wants and needs). These desires affect how we respond in
situations. To be able to cope successfully, we need to control our thoughts,
emotions and actions.
Controlling ourselves is not easy. Life has positive and negative energy
and we are strongly influenced by this energy in our daily situations. We've
been created to recognize negative energy, and also to make alterations and
override our responses. The secret lies in how we react when we realize we are
no longer happy within a given situation. In order to maintain balance, we have
to learn to constrain our desires and gain control of how we respond.
How can we learn to control ourselves? Here are four steps to consider:
Adjusting to meet the standards in life: There are different standards in life. We have to humbly comply with the
standards that are set, especially if they're standards in a situation that we
have no power to change. These standards can be found at work, in our
neighbourhood, in relationships, in services and many other things. We may have
higher or lower expectations. In the case of having higher standards than those
we have to cope with in a given situation, we need to learn to be less
critical, less demanding, less selfish and certainly less affected by the
things that are not as good as we want them to be. We need to learn to be
patient. If we can't change and improve a standard, we need to learn to accept
it. On the other hand, if the standards are higher than our own, we may feel
inadequate. We may feel we have to remove ourselves from the situation, whether
it is work related or a relationship, in order to cope. We should never allow
higher standards to make us think less of ourselves. We should rather strive to
achieve more. We have the ability to adjust ourselves and improve in
order to meet the standard.
Understanding ourselves: It is important that we understand ourselves. We need to monitor our
thoughts, emotions and reactions. When we fall short of a standard and it makes
us feel unhappy, we need to initiate some kind of action to change how we feel.
We need to remember what our reaction was to a situation so that we don't
repeat unnecessary mistakes. We learn to change the way we think and react by
focussing on our emotions. For example, if a dog's constant barking next door
irritates us and we find ourselves in a situation where we have to move to a
new neighbourhood or town, not because of the dog, but for other reasons, we
need to remember that barking dogs irritate us. So, we react to this knowledge
by looking for a place to stay where there are no dogs. It's not always easy to
find a solution to a problem. Sometimes we can't change the situation, so we
change our attitude. Instead of hating the dog, show love. Throw biscuits (not
poison) and see if there isn't some sort of initiative that can influence the
situation for the better.
Applying willpower: We need to focus on willpower. It's an inner strength that we
can rely on. If we want to see any change in our lives, we need to be willing
to make sacrifices. We need willpower to change ourselves: the way we think,
feel or react. It's an extremely tiring thing, though. When we land in a
situation where self-control is necessary, we drain ourselves of energy. Therefore, we need to make sure that we eat healthy and keep fit. A healthy mind
and body can cope better with emotional strain. In order to remain strong, we
need to be motivated.
Applying inner motivation: Inner motivation uses all three steps above to achieve its goal.
Let's look at the following example to explain this. We are drunk at a party.
We do and say whatever we please. The minute our parents or boss walks into the
room, we are highly motivated to be in control. We set the standard. We monitor
our state of mind and make sure we are in control of our emotions. We focus on our
inner strength and manage to speak carefully, even if it is very difficult. Of
course, we know that our attempt will only work to a certain point, but we do
everything in our power to adjust to the situation. Without motivation, we will
not be able to do this.
Yes, we are truly amazing! We've been created to be flexible and
adjustable. We can change our minds and our emotions, and effectively cope
better with life. The difference lies in what we usually do and what we are
capable of doing, what we want to do and the effort we're prepared to put into