10 THINGS TO LIVE BY

As a person and teacher I have several things that are important to me.  Below are some of my personal philosophies and things that I attempt to live by – am I always successful – no I am not perfect, but they remind to continuously make the effort to improve myself.

1.  “Give me a reason so I can say Yes”. What do I mean by that? I usually am juggling multiple projects simultaneously, plus my teaching responsibilities and which means my time is rather limited. If someone calls or e-mails with a question, it really helps if the person making the request, gives me some help in getting to yes. That sometimes means them doing a little research before calling or e-mailing, having/listing references, so I don’t have to hunt it down or looking it up and providing a good reason or justification for what they want to do. If they do these things getting to “Yes” is much easier.

2.  What is the actual question?  This is really important in my job and for me. Sometimes (often) the person doesn’t actually know what they are asking for or just how to put what they really want or need into words. So I need to think about what they actually are asking for or about versus the initial or obvious question/comment. I also try to look at the underlying factors for the question, before trying to give an answer which is not related to what they are really looking for.

3.  Let others finish what they have to say – completely (orally or written).  I sometimes have a bad habit of not letting someone finish their entire question/comment or stop reading carefully before finishing something because I think I know what they are going to ask or what is being asked of me. Then I sometimes attempt to answer the question or do what they are asking for based on something less than all the information that I have available to me. This has caused me several headaches throughout my life, but I have worked hard at not doing this and am a lot better at waiting until someone is finished or completely reading something. This little phrase does remind me to listen until the person is finished or read all of what they have written carefully, and think about what they actually are asking or why before acting or commenting/replying

4.  Do the right thing for the right reason. My personal motto, just because you can do something, doesn’t make it the right thing. A reminder to maintain my ethical standards.

5. Honor: I believe that honor is honesty and integrity in my beliefs, actions and what I do when I know no one else is looking or when what I believe or know that I am right is unpopular or difficult for others or myself.

6.  Truth: Is hard to define, but the closest I could find to my belief is was stated by John Dewey, …, held that inquiry, whether scientific, technical, sociological, philosophical or cultural, is self-corrective over time if openly submitted for testing by a community of inquirers in order to clarify, justify, refine and/or refute proposed truths. But truth is and can be a difficult concept and what was the truth one day, may not be the next, so I go back to my definition of honor.

7.  Loyalty: That I owe loyalty to the organization that I am a part of and to those who are above and below me there. Does this mean I will have unswerving loyalty…no that ties directly to my definition of honor.

8.  Consistency: That my choices and behaviors are such that what I do in one situation is what I will in the same or similar situation the next time if possible. I try very hard to treat people and situations equitably.

9.  Compassion: It’s pretty simple to me at least use the Golden Rule “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” It is part of that “doing the right thing for the right reasons. Look at the situation others are in and act in ways that you would want to be treated if you were in that situation. It works.

10.  Be flexible – I think that one speaks for itself. When I am not flexible it is then that stress seems to become overwhelming.

These sayings and words could be looked at as just a bunch of words, but I believe in them and attempt to use them daily at my work and my personal life. I guess that I am a bit old-fashioned about some of these “values”

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