Follow a map. Be happy. Do the sweaty work. Mop up spills. Be adventurous. Enjoy unexpected success. Ad lib. Treasures come in different forms. This year’s pirate-based theme for the 4H State Arts In Program is “I’m ready!” I hear a different message every time I sit through the show. (I attend many shows since my eldest son is living on the MN State Fairgrounds and performing 38 shows over the twelve day event with 68 other talented singers, dancers, musicians, techies and costumers.) For me, the theme fits the strategic plan for my business and my role as a parent of teens, who are very active in 4H.
Each message from the show invites reflection; the concepts of success and failure are percolating the most in my head. How is success measured?
Is it taking high point in the county-wide horse show as an 8th grader, as my middle guy did in July? Could it be singing a solo and dancing in front of hundreds like the first-born? Or does success masquerade as failure sometimes? For example, being struck with a case of nerves, unable to perform, and then preparing to re-write the ending? Yes, I am proud of my daughter as she overcomes her obstacles, whether related to horse or human. It seems to me that success depends on the goal.
Goals and visions
Setting goals is a life skill. I rejoice when adults nudge youth into action with simple questions like, “What is your goal this year with your horse?” Or asking a group of kids, “How do you want to serve the community this year?” It is so empowering to build the goal. The energy from setting intention creates forward momentum to spring into action.
For me, when I began my business rebranding process this year, I knew some of my goals/objectives. I also had visionary ideas for other aspects that required outside support. I completed online courses in order to transform my vision to reality. Just like the messages from the 4H show, there are still some spills to mop up. I know that my e-newsletter is not mobile responsive, yet. The blog is live (yahoo), but the posts remain sporadic (boo). And, the list continues. I am the first to admit that some tasks feel adventurous, like video editing. However, my perception of other tasks, like working on the invisible part of my website, has been known to put me in a state of procrastination.
My business map keeps gaining complexity and invites continuous learning. The transformation is quite an adventure. The successes are numerous… new logo, business card, website, online teaching, and more. The journey has tears and laughter, along with unexpected successes. I see a lot of parallels to raising teenagers.
Recently, I posted on Facebook that I had a lot to celebrate, which raised some questions. What was I celebrating? My latest achievement is publishing my Keys to Literacy book as a digital download available in two parts: Theory and Lesson Plans or bundled together. It is being used in the Montessori graduate training program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and it is available to the public. I am proudest of the theory that integrates my learning about the relationship between the mind and body into Montessori language and literacy for 3-6 year olds.
Getting the book from my Dropbox to Digital Downloads was relatively easy. I simply had to move the task from the bottom to the top of the priority list in order to invest an afternoon, sweat and tears. After multiple trial purchases and an assortment of error messages along the way, it worked! Time to celebrate! For me, celebrating had many parts:
- Stepping away from the computer and taking a walk.
- Texting a mentor.
- Informing the course participants that it was available.
- And, when the first purchase was approved, whooping and dancing a jig!
Whether it is personal or professional, family or work, transition from one season to another is on the horizon. Are you ready? Have you mapped out a plan? Can you spontaneously ad-lib? Will you recognize treasure, whatever its form? Is there joy and happiness?
As the 100+ kids encourage in the video below, be sure to celebrate each step along the way!