Monday, December 19, 2011

Mind Games (Part II)

Personally, I set very big goals and then set up intermediate goals to attain the big goals. For instance, I set a goal when I graduated college that I would retire when I was 40; and I set a goal to climb the highest mountain in all 50 states; and I set a goal to climb all 55 fourteen thousand foot peaks in Colorado; and I set a goal to attain distinguished member of the technical staff at work. Over the course of years and decades I had to complete dozens of intermediate goals to achieve these main goals I set for myself. Sure, life will throw some curveballs at us and force us to change direction, but we can adjust – especially if it is going to take decades to accomplish some of the main objectives. If, for example, I never planned ahead I would have been in no position to help an ailing family member. But since I was planning in advance I was able to put in place risk mitigation plans in case of emergencies – and there will always be emergencies. Injuries and some weird ailments have hindered some of my climbing goals, but there is nothing wrong with modifying those goals to be realistic. The point, at which an individual stops visualizing the future, by continuously setting goals, is the time at which they have become a failure. Unfortunately, this point, for some, comes very early in life (grade school). What exactly is an individual living for if they have no goals and or future ambitions?

Visualization is the key to obtaining a positive attitude in not only education, but also in life. It is the best way to program the brain for success. I constantly find myself awake at nights trying to visualize some algorithm or the moves I need to make to successfully climb that 5.10c wall that I have failed time and time again to conquer. The bottom line is that individuals must be thinking about the future to both solve and achieve short and long term goals.

At home and in the classroom students must have a positive mindset or they will not succeed and fail to meet their full potential. Yes, teachers and parents have a responsibility to make sure each child and student is focused on visualizing the future and setting both long term and short term goals. It is essential to get students to start thinking forward instead of what is going on today or what happened in the past. The difficulty of this task is what motivates each student is unique. Thus, it is imperative that families and teachers must find out what makes each student tick and that information has to be passed on to their future teachers. Unfortunately, teachers are forced to teach to standardized tests and are therefore; not focused on what is best for each child, but what is important to the government and bureaucrats. Schools that are cutting special education classes such as physical education, music, and art will fail to find the strengths of students. Unfortunately, these are missed opportunities to identify potential future goals for students. It is essential that parents work with teachers and educators to ensure the strengths of their children are being focused on in their studies. This is the best way to motivate students. For instance, if a child likes sports, it is easy to incorporate this into reading assignments and math problems.

Liberal policies, without question, hinder students. Is a child who grows up on welfare learning about how to excel in life? Of course not, chances are this child is going to be a burden on society and never accomplish anything positive towards society let alone for themselves or their children. Are unions that support failing teachers building an educational system that fosters success? Of course not!

The bottom line is we need to stop promoting an educational system that is governed from the top down with bureaucrats (and unions) forcing their standards on individual students. Education needs to start with the focus on the individual student by implementing their aspirations into the classroom without any bureaucratic interference. Let’s face it; education and life are both a mental game and those with the strongest mental state are the more likely candidates to succeed.

My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

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