Hey you!

Yes you!

The one reading this blog!

Yes you!

Now don’t be shy, I’ve got some questions for you – yes you!

I’ve always been a big advocate of the Five Ways to Wellbeing model. Probably because there’s only five to remember, but also because it is so simple and makes heaps of sense. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about the Five Ways to Wellbeing centres on five key thoughts: Give, Take Notice, Be Active, Connect, and Keep Learning.

Here we are in the middle of another lockdown, we’re as busy as that proverbial place of fire and grimness. Coupled with this, it’s mid-term and we’re about to head into that part of the term when everyone gets crazy tired, people lose patience and it’s hard not to feel just a little swamped. 

What better time then to Take Notice of where you are at …. Yes you!

David talked in last week’s blog about the need to “Get your figurative oxygen mask on so that you can continue to be amazing”.

Part of this process is Taking Notice of where you are currently positioned – and I’m not only talking about this from a professional point of view – but also as a human being.

This week I decided to throw in some  extra thoughts and provocations to help me personally take notice of where I’m at. Some of the answers weren’t too flash, but all in all they showed me some things in my current predicament that were missing and gave me a heads up as to what I could do next in terms of grabbing that oxygen mask and taking a bit gulp of goodness. Maybe they’ll help you too.

# When was the last time you had your blood pressure taken?

# When was the last time you went on a romantic dinner with your significant other?

# When was the last time you got away for an entire weekend with your significant other?

# When was the last time you said NO at work when normally you’d say YES?

# When was the last time you said YES at home when normally you’d say NO?

# When was the last time you felt like you were the BEST Principal/Leader in the world?

# When was the last time someone did something that made you really happy?

# When was the last time you did something for the first time?

# When was the last time you did something just for you?

# When was the last time that you went somewhere that you’ve never been before?

How do these questions make you feel? What are the keys to getting to these points?

We live in crazy, crazy uncertain times. As principals and leaders much is expected of us. There is very little out there in terms of research and study to tell us how to do it – well not without spending a whole heap of time finding the info – time that you likely don’t have.

A great friend and fellow principal of nearly 30 years standing, Grant Willocks, once said that principalship is a bit like running a marathon but with an increasingly annoying quirk. In a marathon, every five kilometres or so there is an aid station. There are toilets, and a drinks/water station. You know that they’re going to be coming up, because you’re all following the same route and you can plan where to have your rest. The difference in education is that no-one now seems to know where those aid stations are. The route is continually being changed, and the aid stations are never where and when you need them – if they’re there at all. 

Because of this, we need to have our own walking aid stations. So take time to take notice of where you are at. Use the questions above to help you take stock of you. You’re the best aid you’ve got.


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5 thoughts on “Take Notice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Steve! Love the reminder. The trouble with “aid stations” is in the current climate they often need to be hidden away because they are percieved as a sign of weakness or worse as a “perk” by those outside of principalship. Time to own the aid stations!

  2. Sandi Abel says:

    Appreciate this wise words Steve – as usual they are thought – provoking and timely. Sometimes we do need to put ourselves first no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. Thanks Sandi Abel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Sandi. In our job we’re programmed to take notice of everyone else so much that we forget to take a look at ourselves!

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