Thursday, June 6, 2019

You Is Kind, You Is Smart, You Is Important

I recently applied for a position in a different school. It's not that I don't like my current job because I do like it. I love my school and my coworkers. I enjoy being there. But this other school is much, much, MUCH closer to my home, it has better hours, and it's a year-round position so I wouldn't have to scramble to make ends meet in the summer, doing odd jobs, waiting tables, driving for Uber . . . Anyway, I mentioned my application to a couple coworkers and one immediately said, "I know the principal there. He's amazing! I'll write you a recommendation letter!" Right away, she emailed him a letter of recommendation that was overflowing with praise. She forwarded the letter to me so I could read it and let me tell ya, I teared up at her kind words. And although I was extremely flattered by her accolades, I was totally humbled.

As I read her words, I asked myself - is this really how she sees me? Because I don't think I deserve her commendation, but I want to. I want to live up to her opinion of me.

And that got me thinking. This letter filled with complimentary sentences about my character and accomplishments at work made me want to do better, be better, live up to her generous words. What a simple, but super-effective idea! Our words are powerful tools, and a sincere compliment can elicit a positive change. 


When you take the time to notice and lift up another person, it not only makes that person feel good for the moment, but it makes them want to live up to that compliment as well. Think about the last time someone said something nice to you? How did it make you feel? Of course it works conversely as well. When you say things like, "You're stupid. What did you do? What were you thinking? That was dumb," the recipient of such phrases will begin to believe those negative words and will start to act like - Why bother trying? I'm stupid. 

After all -
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your character.
Your character becomes your destiny.

And not only do you need to watch your words to others, but you have to watch what you tell yourself. This is forever a work-in-progress for me.



Paula said...

So true. And like you, I feel like I have to remind myself to be kind - to ME. I am so critical and say things to myself I would never say to another person!

Gigi said...

"Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your character.
Your character becomes your destiny."

These words have been posted on the side of my refrigerator for YEARS. I put them there when my son was younger - hoping that the sentiment would sink in for him since I need to remind myself of this daily; as my self talk can be extremely negative. I'm a work in progress. Slow progress; but progress.

Ernie said...

That's great that she wrote such great things about you. I have no doubt that you do deserve high praise. I am putting together a grad video for my high schooler. I went thru hours of video footage to pull clips of him. Apparently years ago, my husband videoed the kids and asked them to say something about me. He never ended up doing anything with the clips, so it was like a time capsule. An incomplete one - because he didn't video each kid. Might be why he never compiled the videos.

Anyway, Eddie said, 'I love her because she always does our laundry. I love you Mommy. Happy Mother's Day!' He was about 12. Pretty sure I am still living up to that amazing compliment.

I know that isn't the example you were looking for - but that 'compliment' cracked me up. Hope like Hell you get that job!!!

M McCarthy said...

You are so right! Positive feedback reaps many more rewards than criticism. My mom used to say, “ if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” But, saying something positive, bringing out the best in someone , highlighting their best attributes always is an opening for things to come.
I used to suggest to teachers, when I was a principal, and they were having a challenging time with a student, to think of two positive things about that child and create a plan to increase those attributes.

It doesn’t always work of course and often the situation is far more complex, but it can be a start. It works the same with adults. I certainly wish I had followed my own words when I was dealing with difficult times with my own teens at home. (Hindsight is 20/20.)

Any school, I’m sure would be fortunate to have you inspire and work in their environment. Well done to you coworker for seeing and supporting the opportunity to share your skills with the broader educational community.

I’ve been inspired by you since I began reading your blog long before you moved to Florida.
Well done. You deserve the best!

Janice said...

Thanks for your inspiring words. I hope you don’t mind that I shared a link to this post with my FaceBook friends. And then it occurred to me that I probably should’ve asked first!

Vanessence7 said...


Good luck with the other school! I'll be saying a prayer that it works out for you. :)

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