Many of us have a tendency to do a little too much. We lose ourselves in our work, devoting all of our time and energy to it, but what are we sacrificing in return? Our sanity perhaps? Or our peace? And as a result, are we accomplishing what we set out to do? Are we being good role models for our students?
What can we do? There are many self help books out there that make suggestions on how you can simplify your life. Some of what I have learned includes remembering how much we have to be grateful for- people we love, people who love us, a roof over our heads, among other things.
Another thing I’ve learned is to silence my inner critic. You know the old saying, “You’re your own worst enemy”? It’s true! When you can be nice to yourself, and not beat yourself up, then you can truly move forward. There was a time when I would berate myself for something that happened in grammar school- over twenty years ago! I would think about an embarrassing moment and really do a number on my self. Then one day, mid-thought, I said to myself, “STOP!” From that day, I continually silence my inner critic, and whenever those thoughts enter my head, I just stop the thought and move forward.
Mental rehearing is a great tool for living that was developed by Weight Watchers. This tool teaches many great ways to accomplish a weight loss goal. But this tool can also be tailored toward everything else we want to accomplish. If you have a particularly hectic day approaching, you could take some time to envision how that day may go, and prepare for how you will deal with the other day to day conflicts and issues that may arise. This way, when your busy day arrives, it will not be so overwhelming.
My friend Sharon once shared a piece of advice she got from a colleague of hers. She talked about focusing, and how that can impact us on our journey- whatever journey that may be. Sharon’s friend shared this acronym with her:
Isn’t that a great piece of advice? It reminds me of a book I read once, called The Alladin Factor, by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. The book talks about how we can get anything we want in life, we just have to ask for it. The trick is, we have to ask the right questions, and often times we are afraid to do that. The book focuses on how we create and can conquer our fear. They suggest we complete the following sentences, When it comes to asking for what I want, I’m afraid to __________. The next step would be to go over each item, and change the structure of the sentence to, I would really like to __________, and I scare myself by imagining __________. What’s important to notice is they key words are I SCARE MYSELF BY IMAGINING __________. What we need to do is analyze our fears. What is the worst thing that could happen? Could you survive it? What’s the best thing that could happen? What’s most likely to happen?
Enjoy your time as an RA, and remember, KEEP IT SIMPLE. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift: that’s why we call it the present” (From an Essay written by the CEO of Coca Cola).
Submitted by Kerri Mahoney, Assistant Director of Residential Life/Resident Director, Iona College
Note: Information adapted from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Inspiration Sandwich by Sark, Succulent Wild Women by Sark, The Alladin Factor by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, and Weight Watchers International.