Change the way you look at the situation
Recently I was at a virtual educational event for business people, and it had hundreds of attendees. It was great, but like all live events … things happen! People get cut off, can’t see or hear speeches, or whatever.
We had breakout groups and a leader, who would answer questions for the participants.
Often our group leader would be asked questions she couldn’t answer, or have to deal with complaints and difficult questions from participants, but one of the greatest things I got from that whole event was the way she handled these type of questions.
She would always say “That’s amazing!”.. and find then a benefit or great thing in what the participant said before she solved the problem for them.
So for example if someone said “I got kicked offline and missed part of that last session” .. she would say: “Thats amazing!, because you had some extra rest time you’ll be recharged and ready to learn in the next session!” And then she’d say “Here is how to catch up on what you missed …”
Now this is important. Because her focus, and the way she directed the focus of all participants was on the benefit of the situation. Of course she would direct someone to the solution to the problem, but she didn’t go there first. She always, and I mean ALWAYS did this. This is really important. Its not sometimes, it ALWAYS.
There is always a silver lining. I firmly believe that nothing is ever “good” or “bad”. Even the worst possible event in memory, has a silver lining.
In his book called the “Gratitude Effect” Dr. John DeMartini wrote more than 50 blessings that occurred as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
I’m NOT saying that people dying and terrorist attacks are a good thing, of course not! But the point is that nothing is inherently good or bad. Events or situations just are what they are. And there are blessings and benefits to everything.
So let’s look at how my trainer from my business seminar would have responded to this question about teaching in a school with no technology or instruments!
Thats Amazing! I can see that you’re in a wonderful teaching situation with some brilliant students and colleagues. Because your students don’t have access to recorded music you’ll be able to shape their minds like clay!
They won’t have preconceived ideas on what music is good or bad, and you’ll be able to introduce many wonderful styles of music that other kids would be too closed off to already.
Plus because these kids only have access to live and not recorded music, they’re going to develop as wonderful, sensitive musicians who understand music as a live thing that THEY create and participate in. What an amazing blessing!
Also how great is it to be in a school where the recorder is seen as such a cool thing? You don’t have to deal with that negative perception from students and parents about this instrument!
The lack of technology isn’t a problem – you’re going to be able to spend every minute teaching.. .and not playing around with cables and trying to get the internet working!
Of course I could go on… and If I was teaching in this situation I would. Every day. Every day I would write these things down on my list of blessings and find new variations of things that I can be grateful for in my situation.
However this isn’t my situation today. Today I run a business, and things do come up for me every day. Things costing more than they should and things going wrong etc.
Every day I write down my gratitude list and blessings, morning and night.
If something “bad” happens, I force myself to write down the blessings that have occurred, could occur, can occur and will occur as a result.
We all need to focus on the benefits in the situation, and not the problems. If we focus on the problems, we’ll just get more of the problems.
So that is my first piece of advice for anyone in this situation. Focus on what you have, and what the benefits of your teaching situation are. Do this every day until it becomes your entire focus, and you don’t even think about what the limitations are in your setting.
This is not just “positive thinking”… I’m not just saying “think positive and it will be ok”. I’m suggesting to you that reshaping those beliefs about the situation on a consistent basis, until you really feel that your situation is a benefit, and not a limitation will result in a massive shift in your success.