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Good Morning Families, today is Monday April 27th 2020 and it is now time for our Moment of SEL.
For the next few days we are going to be focusing our social emotional learning lens on perseverance, sometimes also referred to as persistence. For our purposes we will use both of those words to present the same idea.
Perseverance means the voluntary continuation of a goal-directed action in spite of obstacles, difficulties, or discouragement.
Or, it means to keep working toward your goal, even when it’s difficult.
A lot of things people do require them to persist, or keep working toward something, even when facing challenges.
Like learning to play an instrument, learning to read, becoming a writer, a dancer, a nurse. Learning in a second or third language, learning with neurodiversity, learning in an unfamiliar culture.
In fact, even right now, our whole country is needing to use perseverance to continue to keep social distancing, even with all of the difficulties it presents. And when it’s over, we’re all going to need to persevere through the aftermath as we rebuild parts of our society.
So, perseverance is a great skill. But actually, it’s not a skill. It’s the combination of several skills.
You can think of perseverance like a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie is great! But the cookie isn’t a cookie until you take the flour, the sugar, the chocolate chips, and everything else, and then combine them and then bake them.
Sometimes adults just say, use perseverance. But that would be like just telling someone to give you a cookie. Sure, if there is a cookie just sitting on the counter, then give it! But if there isn’t a cookie made, you have to make one. Which means you have to first have the ingredients and second, know what to do with them.
Most adults understand and use perseverance all the time. But, we do sometimes have a tendency to forget that it can take a lot of years to learn the individual skills (think ingredients) and know how to use them. And this can be particularly true if the adults used the old “trial and error” method of social emotional skill development.
Trial and error can work for sure. But if you set out to make cookies and you were given. the choice between using a recipe or using trial and error, first you’re cookies would probably suck. And second, how many cookies and how many ingredients would go to waste while you were trying to figure it out?
Of course, you can still use trial and error to build perseverance, but we suggest you use this recipe. In fact, there are tons of recipes no matter what kind of cookie you want to bake and that’s true for SEL skills as well. There’s lots of ways to get there, this is just one of them. this is one possible recipe for baking a super tasty, perseverance cookie!
For this amazing cookie you will need:
One-part motivation, one-part, strong self-esteem one part time for reflection and curiosity, and one-part creative re-approach to the task incorporating new learning from reflection and curiosity, probably better termed, adaptation.
How much or each and in what order? Great question. Tomorrow we will begin at the beginning with motivation. Wednesday we’ll look at self-esteem. Thursday we’ll focus on reflection and curiosity and for casual Friday, adaptation. A perfect thing for casual Friday.
Saturday, you can start to bake your own perseverance!
But, to prepare our mind kitchens for tomorrow try this for the rest of today. If you fall down, get back up. If you meet a challenge, embrace it.
Try, try, try, and never give up.
Say it with me, try, try, try, never give up. If we were doing this in school, I’d be adding a “WOO” at the end. As in try, try, try, never give up, WOO!
You will face difficulties in your life. Struggle is real. Suffering is real. Pain is real. Trauma is real. However, motivation is real. Self-esteem is real. Reflection is real. Adaptation is real. CBT is real. SEL is real. The zone of proximal development is real. Okay, too far.
Here’s the point to remember, everything comes in balance in duality. If it doesn’t come in balance, then it’s not duality. If it’s not duality, it’s singularity or oneness. Which is great because there is no suffering in oneness because there is no measure of anything other than oneness. So, either way. YOU WIN!
So, if something is difficult, that means there is also something that you can draw upon to support you. That’s what we’re focusing on this week. Perseverance.
Try, try, try, never give up, WOO!
I look forward to connecting with you in whatever way we can, tomorrow. Until tomorrow may your thoughts and feelings be with you.