Life of Virtue
Can you imagine a world where everyone had this standard of living? What would this world look like? I believe most people strive for good but lose it in the matrix of life. Living a life of virtue isn't easy with all of the life's distractions. The older we get the more we see and the less we see. What if every day we saw virtue and goodness - of joy and calm - of self-love and worthiness with everything around us? All living things working together with virtue as the end goal.
How about doing this today - As the day passes by seeing the things around you as good and honorable - the trees, the leaves, the people, the water, the animals. See if it makes you feel something new.
"If we judge good and evil only the things in the power of our own choice, then there is no room left for blaming gods or being hostile to others." Marcus Aurelius
Cheer them on!
"It's in keeping with Nature to show our friends affection and to celebrate their advancement as if it were our very own. For if we don't do this, virtue, which is strengthened only by exercising our perceptions, will no longer endure in us."
Have you ever caught yourself feeling jealousy or selfishness when looking upon others successes? I hate to admit this, but this has happened often in my life. It's the toughest thing to overcome especially if we are struggling. Our brains sometime take us to the mentality of "if they win - I will lose." Their gain is my loss. Having compassion and empathy for other's successes is just like anything. We get better with practice. It's a muscle - once we are aware of the muscle and the exercises to strengthen it, then we slowly rejoice in other's accomplishments. Next time something great happens to your friend, colleague, or families life cheer on their success. This doesn't have to be out in the open. It could be a text message or just a nice thought. This might be difficult but your morality and integrity desperately need it.
“If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.”
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Organization - 3 Ways to Organize your Life and Work
Welcome to another edition of Monday Meditations, I am your host Jon Belt, I hope this Monday is a great start to your week!
My focus this week and the focus for this episode is organization. I would consider myself quasi-type A. I want to be organized, but I don’t lose sleep over it if I’m not. I know the more organized I am the more my brain relaxes and focuses on the important stuff. Benjamin Franklin is quoted for saying “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned."
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned." Benjamin Franklin
And I know this to be true. Some of the most successful people I know whether it be administrators, teachers, coaches, entrepreneurs are detailed oriented and plan ahead for everything. If you tend to procrastinate like me there is hope. One step at a time. Here is a short list of how to get started. This list is based on the research I have done that fits my personality, so you might look into what works for you. If some of the things I list sound like a good idea then test them and see, and if they don’t work try something else. Do not give up because it doesn’t work, keep pushing through.
Number 1: Write it down
Our brains get inundated with new tasks sometimes minute to minute. So writing down the essentials is key. Start with just making a wish list of what your ideal environment would look like (your office, desk, classroom if you’re a teacher). Then make a list of things you need to fix (too many papers, add more binders, place for your pens and highlighters)
Number 2: Priority and Timeline
Turn that list into a number of priority. One being the first thing you tackle. Remember the things you would least like to do tend to get pushed to the bottom, but usually need to be bumped up to the top. If you knock those out first then your momentum starts to take hold, because the things you were dreading got done first. Next to each item put how long you think it would take to get started.
Number 3: Time Block
Use the days of the week to tackle one or more of the priorities. For instance, if you want to move all of your files into binders and to keep that a regular thing then maybe make it "File Friday." Or if you want to have a day where your focus is organizing your random small items make it "Small Item Sunday." The alliteration is corny but makes it easy to remember and keeps your mind focused on one thing instead of many things per day.
That’s my simple list that I am going to start working on this week. Do you have something that works really well for you? Leave a comment below.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
by Jon Belt
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." Dr. Seuss
If you are like me you love to collect journals with the hope of filling them up, and then months go by and nothing. I always have these grand ideas of "I'm going to journal today!" I get pumped and at night I write my thoughts - maybe even the next day I write something down and like any new skill, the excitement slowly fizzles and the journals start collecting dust. I have a nice collection of journals.
There are numerous amounts of health benefits to journaling, and here are some blog posts I have found to be helpful plus this helps me to justify having so many blank journals.
Last year I found a journal I can actually fill in. I fill in this journal every morning and most nights, but it's not the type of journaling you are thinking. It's called the Five-Minute Journal, it's a beautifully designed hard back journal that focuses on being grateful for the day. It's more or less fill in the blank, and its mission - to take five minutes to fill it out. It comes with a daily quote and a weekly challenge. I love it, and I will continue to fill it. So, that is where I started, and lately, I began having a 'Google Doc' practice. I made a 'Google Doc' and put the date, and then I googled two-minute timer, and I have two minutes to type my thoughts, feelings, or whatever is on my mind. At first, I began with one minute, but have gradually added more time. It's a practice I get excited for, and many of the health benefits are happening from it, such as:
We can all do two minutes a day.
Begin this week by just thinking about this positive practice
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” Ernest Hemingway
Jon Belt is a middle school teacher in Oklahoma City, and the host of the Teacher Tunnel Podcast.