One word comes to mind as I reflect on this semester. GROWTH. I began this semester thinking I wasn’t going to get much out of this class. To my surprise I was WRONG! I saw growth in all areas to which I am truly thankful. I think by taking this course I have found some new techniques that I can and have implemented in my life, that help me deal with various situations. God works in mysterious ways. There were things to which I prayed for help and I got my answer throughout this class. I highly recommend this class. I look at it as free therapy!! Thanks Science of Happiness!
I had the great pleasure of tracking my poor eating habits!! This week had been stressed filled and full of meetings. I have to be at work everyday at 7: 30am. I am not a morning person so eating breakfast is out! I then have class everyday at 2pm. My classes end at 6:45pm or 9:40. Unfortunately this means I am eating on the go. Mainly processed fast food. This week I tried to eat breakfast. I ate walnuts and raisins, drank a cup of water, juice, or milk. Lunch consisted of a fast food combo meal with a soda. Dinner was optional most nights. I frequently get side tracked and forget about dinner. I learned that I feel better when I eat more balanced meals. Even though we only had to track 3 days I tracked 6. Three of the days I made a conscious decision to plan out my meals. It was time consuming but I felt a physical change. I had more energy and woke up early to complete a homework assignment as suggested by Professor Dick. I have decided to try to plan my meals in advance. I even took my lunch to work 2 days. At first it seemed odd since I don’t take lunch but it saved me a few dollars.
I enjoyed the reading and class discussion. The “in the box” analogy stood out to me. When we are “in the box,” we see things in terms of the self-justifying images that we’ve created. We see people who challenge these images as threats and those who reinforce these images as allies. Hence perpetuating the cycle. I have chosen to view this context in a positive aspect as well. I know that it is easier to blame others instead of taking ownership of our own actions but I have decided to own my own b.s. and jump off the negative band wagon. I am reminded of the saying if you friends jump off a bridge will you too? No I will not! I beat to my own drum and I am accepting positive band members!
This week I did several acts of kindness. Most of it was done out of my normal habit but this this time I focused on the persons reaction.
I read a quote that said NO ACT OF KINDNESS HOWEVER SMALL IS WAISTED-Aesop
My first act of kindness was accidental! I was being the potato chip loving person I am. I patiently waited for my turn at the vending machine when the girl in front of me chips got stuck. Oh no I wanted those. Now I was faced with a huge dilemma…try to get the same chips or make another selection? I chose to risk my cravings and follow her lead. I inserted my $1.25 and slowly two bags of chips fell! Mam I got your chips I said. She turned with a smile and said you didn’t have to do that. I told her it was no problem I like these chips too!
My second act of kindness was sharing my parking slip. I had purchased 2 hours but only needed 45mins. I saw a woman parking and told her she could have the remaining hour and 15 mins. She seemed relieved. No one likes paying the City of Richmond so why not share!
I felt happy that I could help with even the small things. Like I said before NO ACT OF KINDNESS HOWEVER SMALL IS WAISTED. Since I focused intently on doing these acts of kindness I see how doing something unexpected, giving a smile which can improve someone’s day or cheer someone up, goes a long way. I plan on doing more acts of kindness throughout my day.
I wasn’t able to attend class this week but I enjoyed reading the Managing Yourself: Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Want article. ? This article resonated with me the most. I just began working a new job less than 2 weeks ago and I already see several things I dislike. After reading this article during the week I returned to work and began thinking of how I could view my task, relationships, and perceptions which = job crafting. Right now I am just thankful for the income. I know this job is temporary and I keep the bigger picture in my mind. I already see a lot of work on relationships will need to be done. Honestly, I’m not interested in being friends with my coworkers just remain professional and cordial. I have no issue with the task I’ve been given because it is all about the children. As far as perception I try to make sure I am projecting a positive and enthusiastic attitude even though there is much I dislike. These observances have helped me in all jobs I worked. I’ve worked in corporate America, public and private schools, and retail.
Article 2 talked about changing your actions, not your circumstances. I thought this was profound. I immediately thought of how I react in those times. You aren’t always able to control what circumstance you end in but you can always control your reactions while simultaneously gaining happiness.
Article 3 asked “What role work plays, in the context of your life?” I immediately answered everything. My career aspiration is to become a special education teacher. I want to teach persons with disabilities how to live with their disability not let their disability over take them. Even now as a caregiver I implement that mentality. I leave work and think about what else I could’ve done that day. As a teacher everything you see becomes a lesson or something you could incorporate in class. When I’m out shopping something catches my eye and I think oohh I could use that for this!
This weeks readings and discussions in class made me realize that I wasn’t as aware or present in my life. I liked reading the article “Wherever You Go, There You Are. I finally understood that what has happened has happened any you can’t change that. What you can do is decide Now What! Decide your next step instead of dwelling in the past. This week I began a new job and had death in the family. These events presented a great deal of stress. My new job is working with young children 12 month-18 month. I began to observe parent-child interactions. We had a new child attend. Day one and two mom dropped off the child, mom was very nervous so the child cried and cried. Days three-five dad dropped off the child and the child transitioned to a new staff member easily. There were drastic differences in the parents demeanor. I believe the child picked up on the emotional changes. Secondly, staff was nervous because it was an unfamiliar child. By the end of day two things, were smooth sailing. I feel this is a clear example how your emotions are contagious and how your behaviors affect other people. On Wed. I attended my aunt’s funeral. Some family members were more distraught than others and expressed their emotions clearly. When dealing with those family members I had to show more compassion, speak softly, be comforting. Because I was aware of their emotional state I knew how to deal with them.
I am a problem solver, relator, analytical, have strong beliefs, and responsible! Who would’ve thought all that was inside me? Who knew? I did! But never knew what to call it. I learned so much this week. My favorite exercise in class was thinking about the person that annoys me most. I wouldn’t have thought that their annoying trait is their strength. I was totally floored. I even spent this week talking to my dad about my results. He said I could’ve paid him $15 to tell me the same thing. We both really liked the descriptions given. They were spot on.
I also liked how each person expresses their strengths differently plus most strengths manifest themselves within other strengths. For example I spoke with an achiever and discipline. They both acknowledged being planners although one planned everything down to the hour and the other set her mind to do something and made sure it got done by whatever means. Two different approaches same end.
My goals remain the same. I am continuing to work on my health and finishing school. I saw my health event as a delay but my restorative nature won’t allow me to quit. I must finish. I see clearly that my strengths define who I am and how I live life. I envy some other strengths but I feel they will develop more over time.
Competence by definition means the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. Did I have competent relationships in college? My initial answer is yes for that temporary period of time. As an adult I realize that what made me “happy” was not true happiness. I discovered ME just as the article asked. I wanted to be like everyone else. That meant being seen by my peers holding hands and smiling. Something others desired. You can say I was fronting!! As an adult I focus on more intimate things like support, having common interest, reliability, trust, and a strong foundation.
I use my parents as a coupe that inspires me.
They have been married for 26 years. Happily? Not all of it! Because of their beliefs and convictions divorce is not an option. I see them daily fight to have a good marriage. They constantly reflect on what’s most important to them and strive for those things.
I can vouch to the truthfulness of the positive interventions article. I recall my month long stay in the hospital. Part of my therapy included recreational therapy. We played card games, board games, listened to music, danced, and even cooked. The belief behind recreational therapy was to reduce stress and give hope.
As I mentioned previously I had high anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. Anxiety did not seem to be of major concern to my doctors. They actually said some anxiety was normal and they would be more concerned if I denied having anxiety. Because of that I would say some anxiety is good. My doctors watched me closely for sign of depression. Depression is said to lead to many additional health concerns and suicide. I was even required to speak with a therapist regarding my emotional state. In this case I would say depression is not good.
I know three people who have gone through periods of depression and or anxiety. I could tell by the way the spoke with no motivation and said they saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I also saw two of the persons have panic attacks. They all sought out medical attention and were taught coping skills.
I was not shocked by my results. Actually the results put a name to what I had been feeling. I went through a medical event in 2014 and 2015. While in the hospital a similar assessment was conducted . My results were very different. Actually my results have done a 360. During my event I scored high on hopelessness now I scored low and high on anxiety. I like to trust my “gut” instinct. I call it being lead by the holy ghost! I don’t recall a time when I have been lead wrong.
This process of finding my authentic purpose was easy in the beginning. I think I’ve known my entire life that my purpose is to be a special education teacher. It’s not trying to figure out my purpose that is difficult it’s trying to achieve my purpose. The obstacle I am facing is an internal and external struggle. Internal= my emotions when I feel I am unsuccessful. External= health issues. I overcome these struggles by remembering my end goal of working with persons with disabilities. This thought is also an incentive for me.