My research today brought me to The Happiness Project that is being done by Gretchen Rubin. She’s a lawyer turned writer (see THAT my certain friend who was a lawyer and used to write?). Now Gretchen’s just a writer (and I hate the word “just” as though the item following it is easy or less important). Now she’s a writer. On her Happiness Project blog, she posted her twelve commandments that are “the precepts that I want to guide my actions and thoughts.”
I decided I would take a stab at some commandments for myself. I spent the day thinking about the precepts that I want to guide my actions and thoughts. I decided I really wanted to keep it to 10. I figure God gave us 10 commandments for a reason–He knew about our attention span and decided we couldn’t manage more than that. Gretchen, from what I’ve read, is infinitely more organized and enlightened so I guess she does fine with the extra two.
I want to keep my commandments short–something I can remember–see my ADD post–WHICH, by the way, I ended up writing when I wanted to write this! Everything is connected my friends.
First, I picked words that I really wanted to model and embrace in my core. I wanted to pick words that I wanted to hear people describe me when they were at my funeral. “Organized” and “responsible” were NOT two of them. I didn’t want to hear “practical,” “nice” or “analytical” (or “mentally healthy” as my dear husband suggested).
Words that rang true with me were: happy, joy, christian, grace, peace, love, mercy, humor, laughter. Some were words that I want to hear people describe me as–patient, tender, gentle.
And finally, that MS in instructional design is never far from my mind. In order for someone to learn something effectively, learning objectives should be SMART– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. When I write learning objectives it’s something like: “By the end of this lesson, the learner will, with minimal supervision, be able to…”
What follows are verbs that can be demonstrated. Understand is a bad verb. How do you demonstrate “understand” or “know?” I want to pick words like: practice, demonstrate, use, solve, predict, choose, list. All of those can be shown and proven–ah, the life inside a scientific, ADD, instructional designer’s mind. Join us, we have cookies.
Today, I’m just going to give you the list that I came up with. Future postings will further expand on what I mean. For now, you can either ponder my commandments or create your own. Gretchen’s blog has some more hints on creating your own or borrowing some that speak to your heart.
So this time on earth is my lesson. I am the student and God is my supervisor. So, by the end of my time here, Rebecca will, with minimal supervision, be able to:
- Come from a place of yes
- Promote laughter
- Demonstrate patience
- Seek God, model Christ
- Assume good intentions
- Live authentically
- Embrace love
- Find joy, choose happiness
- Surrender to not knowing
- Express gratitude
This was really hard to do. There were things I wanted to include that I didn’t in the name of brevity. I was committed to keeping the list at 10. I went back and forth on “acknowledge kindness” but that seemed to focus on responding to someone else’s actions rather than concentrating on my own actions. If I “express gratitude”, then I am acknowledging kindness. Plus, I can express gratitude to both God and man.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler. Henry David Thoreau
Wow. I have a lot of work to do.