Tag Archives: attitude

I recently had an opportunity to read student evaluations of a class we ran in a local school. What a roller coaster! Despite all my excitement over big score improvements, glowing recommendations, and insightful feedback, I was equally dismayed by comments revealing indifference or dislike. The constructively critical points were, as always, welcome. Harder to make use of, however, were the reviews from students who took pains to point out that their parents forced them to take the class. What can you do when a student doesn’t want to learn? No, really… what can you do when a student doesn’t want to learn? You can provide opportunities to learn. You can force attendance at learning opportunities. You can encourage engagement with learning opportunities. You can offer rewards to learn. You can threaten punishment for failure to learn. You can connect learning to desired short-term outcomes. You can connect learning to…

Read more

How about that Super Bowl LI? Even if you’re not a football fan or managed to avoid the most-watched television program of the year, you might have heard how the New England Patriots stormed back from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons. How did this organization, infamous for egregious amounts of excellence, engineer the biggest comeback win in Super Bowl history? Without getting into the Xs and Os, the Patriots’ first step towards changing the course of the game came from a simple realization: “If we play the same way in the second half as we played in the first, we are going to lose.” “The thing about football–the important thing about football–is that it is not just about football.” Terry Pratchett’s observation rings true, especially when analyzing pivotal moments in competition and performance. Most sports include breaks during halftime or other notable intervals. Whether athletes go into…

Read more

“If you think you can or can’t, you are right.” Henry Ford may not have actually uttered the quote attributed to him, but he certainly exemplified the enduring impact of a can-do attitude. Norman Vincent Peale, legendary proponent of The Power of Positive Thinking, also shared similar insights along with countless others who have made the connection between thoughts and deeds. Observing the influence what we tell ourselves has on our performance always matters, but never more than when the stakes are high. At that moment, too many succumb to debilitating fears (“What will happen if I fail?”) doubts (“I don’t think I can do this,”), and self-loathing (“I’m not good enough to succeed and never will be.”) And these bitter prophecies fulfill themselves, initiating new cycles of negativity and missed opportunities. Break the chain of negative self-talk in two simple steps: 1. Identify any self-defeating or negative thoughts that…

Read more

3/3