Inspiration

Why do I have to learn this?

women run race

 

When I was younger and complained about anything my mother would say, “C’est la vie”, which basically means, that’s life. Often, I hear students complain about how boring school and homework is and how much they don’t like certain subjects, activities, or people. We can’t change the people, we have to take certain subjects to graduate, and we have to complete specific activities to accomplish our academic goals. Sometimes when students complain they say, ‘Why do I have to take so much math if the job I want in the future is not going to require me to understand geometry?’  I also hear, ‘When will I use this stuff in the future?’ Keep in mind that not everything your instructor teaches will be relevant right away. Sometimes we have to trust our instructors that what they are teaching is important for you to learn right now, even if it seems confusing, silly, or unnecessary.

As for when you will use everything you are learning no one knows because no one has a crystal ball to see your future. Take it all in. Learn what you can and try your best because you never know when you might need the knowledge that has been imparted on you. You never know what you will learn about yourself from any challenge whether it be a boring math concept or a history research project that you are having trouble organizing and comprehending. You are not just in a math class or just in a history class. You are in a success class! Learning how to succeed in spite of challenges is what prepares you for a successful future. For now, like Oprah says, “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” Keep the “big picture” in mind as you do the things you have to do to be able to achieve your dreams.

Reach for the stars!

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

 

If You Were the Bravest Version of You

brave

If you were the bravest version of yourself today, what would you be doing?

Being brave means accomplishing your goals and following your dreams even though there is a part of you that is scared out of your mind. There are things that hold us back from reaching our goals. One of those can be fear. Students in middle school, high school, and college, experience fear on a regular basis.

Students’ Top Fears

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear they won’t be liked
  • Fear they will get in trouble
  • Fear of bullies
  • Fear of talking to parents
  • Fear of the future and life after graduation
  • Fear of bad grades
  • Fear of talking to teachers
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of not having enough money

Benefits of Fear

Fear is an emotion and emotions, whether negative or positive, remind us that we are human. Most fears are not real, but made-up.  They are usually not true threats to your life and success. Being mindful of our fears and recognizing where they come from can help us work through challenges. Analyze why the fear is taunting you before it worsens. Facing our fears helps develop confidence. Confidence derives from achieving what we never thought possible. Listen to your fears and show it who’s boss!

How to be the bravest version of yourself.

Maybe it’s just by showing up to class on time, sitting down and doing the work, and sticking with it even when it feels scary and tough.

Maybe it’s by saying no to the things that will distract you from achieving your dreams and reaching your goals.

Maybe it’s by finally getting started on something new  like a project or something new that you have been wanting to learn or improve upon.

Maybe it’s by reaching out to a friend, coach, or mentor, asking them for help, and giving yourself permission to not have to do this journey on your own anymore. 

Your fears are not going to just vanish. It is human nature to experience fear. It will always be a part of your life. The biggest challenge is to be fearless. It’s to follow our dreams and continue to work towards our goals despite any fear we might have. Be brave.

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

 

Words of Wisdom: Gordon Hinkley

rope climb

As the middle of the school year approaches students tend to feel overwhelmed by projects, tests, mid term exams, etc. Gordon Hinkley’s quote reminds us not to give up. Keep going. Do your best. If there is a quiz, test, homework assignment, etc. that you did not do well on or you downright flunked no worries. You have many more opportunities to improve. Think about what you can learn from your disappointments and use those experiences to make the future better. The school year is not over yet! Keep your head up and continue to work towards your goals. If you need any help don’t hesitate to contact me. Academic coaching has helped so many students reach their academic goals and achieve success.

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

What have you learned about yourself from a current challenge?

highschool football

Being a student in middle school, high school, or college comes with many challenges every day. They could be academic, social, emotional, etc. Think about a recent challenge you had and how you dealt with it. What did you learn about yourself? How do you want to deal with similar challenges in the future?

“When you go through life’s challenges, you have the choice to either fall apart and become a victim of the circumstances, or you can rise up high and above others.” — Mo Seetubtim

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

Gratitude Can Transform Your Life

Gratitude
Gratitude

 William Arthur Ward‘s words of wisdom remind us how gratitude can transform your life.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

10 Questions That Lead to a Thankful Attitude by Adam Gragg

  1. What is a unique skill or talent I have?
  2. Who is a person in my life I’m blessed to know and why?
  3. What is a life experience (good or bad) that has made me a better person?
  4. What am I probably taking for granted?
  5. What’s a modern convenience I’m thankful for?
  6. Something positive about my home environment is _______________ .
  7. What is one thing someone has done for me that has improved my life?
  8. Who can I thank today and why?
  9. What is an opportunity, big or small, that I have ahead of me?
  10. Something I have learned recently that has made my life better is _______________ .

Pick one of these questions each week to focus on and transform your life with gratitude.

Benefits of Gratitute

Feeling more satisfied at school

Less stress and anxiety

More resilience

Build stronger relationships

Less materialism

Fewer symptoms of depression

Happier with life in general


mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

What would you change?

Magic Halloween Sunset Bounce Magic Wand Witch

If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in your life what would it be and why?

There’s always something we want, something we would want to be different in our lives.

I love the magic wand question because it allows for infinite possibilities.

Think about your values. Think about your goals. Think about your senses. What would you like to see, feel, hear, touch? Let your imagination fly.

If you had a magic wand, what life would you create for yourself? What would you do in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years and then 10 years? There’s no limit! Think freely.

Be brave in your thinking and find solutions to what holds you back.

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

 

Words of Wisdom: Walt Disney

Disney words of wisdom

Disney words of wisdom

Worry means to feel or experience concern or anxiety. Students tend to worry a lot about their grades, appearance, and much more. Parents worry about their children, job, finances, and other things. Too much worry, anxiety, or stress can affect the way you feel and live your life. Have you ever been so worried about how you will do on an exam that you can’t remember all that you have studied and end up not getting the grade you wanted? Don’t worry. Be happy!

Keep things in perspective.

Most things we worry about already happened or are temporary. Most things are solvable. Ask yourself, “How can I solve this problem?” “What can I do about this?” 

Focus on the positive.

Ask yourself: “What did I learn from this?” 

What if?

 Suppose, just for a moment, you live in a world where fear and anxiety do not exist. What could you do now?

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

Writing Letters to Our Younger or Older Selves

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsdkrebs/

Volunteering and being a mentor at yesterday’s Generation Wow Conference at the University of North Florida was a positively inspiring experience. One panel discussion consisted of 4 women, two teens and two adults, who shared letters they wrote to themselves. The teens wrote letters to their older selves and the adults wrote letters to their younger selves. I couldn’t wait to get home and write a letter to my younger self. I encourage everyone to take part in this powerful experience! It forces us to reflect on our life, what we want and what we have achieved. It is a great activity for parents and teens to do together. Parents, save your teen’s letter and give it to them in ten years.

Benefits to Writing Your Letters

  • Enhances your mission and passion
  • You will connect with yourself on a different level
  • You are reminded of your accomplishments
  • You lay out your dreams and goals for the future
  • Gives you evidence to trust your own judgment
  • Promotes self-confidence
  • You can clarify what is important to you
  • You will get motivated!

My Letter

Below is my letter to my teen self. Hopefully, other teens may be influenced by my words. After reading my letter I have some tips that will help you write your letters.

Dear Teen Self,

Have no fear about growing up. It is a wonderful journey. I know that you have been through a lot over the years, but I can assure you that as the years carry on you will become stronger emotionally and physically. You will find all the happiness that you dream about, which at the moment seems so far out of reach. It is important that you figure out how to learn from all your experiences, good and bad. These lessons help you help others.

Stop trying being so concerned with finding love. You don’t need a guy’s love right now.  As you get older your constant search for love will only cause more confusion in your life. Instead, learn to love yourself first. Then, you will find true love.  You will find the type of love you see in the movies, but only after you love you. Be patient.

Focus on your education. It will take you places! Learning is an adventure. Embrace it!

Take the time to explore who you are. You are awesome! Enjoy making your art and having new experiences. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there! Stop being that shy little girl and start talking to people. Find people who are inspiring and talk to them. Seek out as many new experiences as you can. Find your passion and follow it! Let your passion be your drive.

Your health is important. I know your family tried to explain this to you and you’ve shrugged it off. Seriously though. Focus on your emotional and physical health.  Enjoy food and the outdoors! Oh and sweet potatoes are actually really delicious aside from your prior experience with them. Also, curry is part of your family’s culture. Try it more often. You will love it!

Family is a gift. Practice empathy when it comes to disagreements with your parents. Try to understand where they are coming from.  Don’t use hateful words with one another. Remember to reach out and keep in touch with family. I know we are pretty spread out, but it’s important that we stay connected.

Now, go forth and be awesome!

Lots of love,

Your Older Self, Melanie

 

Tips To Getting Started:

Question to Consider from Jeanine Cerundolo

  • What hopes do you hold for yourself in the future?
  • What fears and obstacles do you currently face that you wish to overcome?
  • What internal resources do you inherently possess that will help you, now and always?
  • What goals do you have that you aspire to? Tip: Commit to the vision, but be flexible to the form.
  • What is the ultimate and underlying reason why these goals matter to you? (i.e.: I want to be a public speaker. Why? Because I want to share my knowledge openly!
  • What faith do you hold in your own strengths?
  • How will you remember what you have to offer, and how will you continue to know yourself and your presence as a contribution to this world?
  • How would you react if you met your future self? How would you interact? Create a sample dialogue—see where it goes!
  • And finally: What are ways that you can seek to love your future self no matter how much the future varies from what you expect it would be?

Sample Template for Letter Writing from Simple Kerry

Dear Future Self,

I love you because…

I am proud of you because…

I am sad because…

I forgive you for…

I hope that you…

I am thankful for…

I wish for…

I will show my love for you by…

Have fun and enjoy writing your letters! Student Futures wants to give students experiences like this one that promote success. Student Futures helps students develop leadership skills through academic coaching. We give students strategies to increase self-efficacy, self-motivation, and self discipline. Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here to learn more about academic coaching and how we are helping students in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.

Reach for the stars!