Look for the perfection

Look for the perfection

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

It is easy to feel bogged down by our circumstances. In those moments, when we are struggling, it can feel like we are victims of forces beyond our control. While it is true that most of life is outside of our square of influence, there is one thing we can do which always turns things for the better. What we choose to focus on is the key to determining the type of experiences we will have.

The fact is that no matter how many things seem to be going wrong, there are infinite things going right. The difficulty lies when our thinking magnifies the challenging situations and relationships to the point that we no longer see the good. It is in those moments that we feel powerless. The great news is that, with practice, we can get better at directing our focus toward magnifying the good in our lives.

Choosing to see the good in life allows us to continue giving our best, even when faced with circumstances that would normally derail us. Taking time to consciously choose the direction of our thinking is a worthwhile investment. Doing this opens us up to expanded possibilities and allows us to see the best in everyone and everything.

As teachers, our job is to play the role of detective. We are to locate the very best in our students, and then help them to access and activate that potential. In order to do this, we must learn to be undeterred by behaviors and thinking that is anything less than the best. This takes a great deal of intentional focus and a desire to see the perfection in everyone. When approached this way, the act of teaching becomes its own reward.

Shining a light on the best in our students feels good and the results are remarkable. Behavior improves, academic scores go up, and new relationships are forged. The reason for this is simple; when a student feels good, he or she wants to discover and experience the best that life has to offer. These students begin to take into account the feelings of others. They begin to see and feel that their teachers are on their side. As they stop taking life so personally, they are better able to learn from their mistakes and enjoy, rather than resist, the process.

I once met a girl who was always suspicious of others. I could tell that she was constantly testing me to see if I could be trusted. Knowing where she came from, this was understandable. Rather than blame her for her cautious and sometimes withdrawn way of being, I marveled at her willingness to continue to show up at school. Over time, she began opening up to me and her classmates. The more respected she felt, the more she blossomed. This renewed energy eventually translated into greater success in the classroom.

If you have been struggling with seeing the good in life, it is time to slow down. Rather than letting your old ways of thinking steer the ship, choose a new course. It is as simple as making a list of all the positive things about yourself, your life, and the people around you that you may have been overlooking. You can write it on paper or make a note on your phone. Either way, you will feel a boost in your mood and start your mind moving in the right direction. As you relax, you open up to greater success. The best part is, you will enjoy your life in a whole new way.

Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District.  He is also co-host of the popular radio show, Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed, to find out more go to www.DarrellandEd.com or send an email to:  EdwardBiagiotti@ccusd.org