Feb 21

Problems Are Waiting To Be Solved!

By Judy | Employment , Leadership , Personal Development

Problems Life Skills

Problems Are Waiting To Be Solved – Master This Life Skill

Problems are waiting for you to solve them. Are you someone who sees a problem in your life as a bad thing? or

Are you someone who sees a problem as a good thing? It’s like the age-old question “Do you see the cup half empty or half full?”

Problems are not bad to have in your life.  If you have nothing you need to solve or overcome in a day how full is your life?  Problems do not need to mean DRAMA or crazy making stuff that happens to all of us.

Problems are things that arise in our lives every day they are given to us to learn to solve.  A problem is something that needs you to deal with it. Just think back on the last problem you solved and how great you felt.  Solving your own problems will help you raise your own self-esteem.

When we are children we have parents, who help us solve problems, sometimes they even solve them for you.  Not always a good thing for you.  The younger you are when you start to learn to solve problems the better you will get when you get older.

Teenagers want to solve their own problems.  This is a good thing.  What teens need is guidance, a chance to figure things out, fail, get back up, dust themselves off and try again and master this life skill.  The parents become the biggest cheerleader.

As a child, teenager or even adult when we face problems we will often do one of three things: freeze, run, or fight.

Sometimes our instincts will kick in and we will solve our problems based on impulsive emotions.  Not the best solution.

Problems Life Skill

Below are seven things to consider when you face a problem that is looking for a solution.

1. The way you look at the problem will decide how you solve the problem.

If you look at it with determination and resolve you will find a way to overcome the obstacle and find the solution.  If you look at it as if it is something that is being “done to you” or from a place of “why me” then you need to consider changing your mind.  Feeling “done to” or asking “why me” will not help you solve your problem.

Solving problems takes practice.

The more problems you solve the more success you will see in your life.  Very successful people learn to solve many problems and they do not stay stuck (or frozen) for any length of time.  They move on and make things happen, even if it does not work and they must try something else.  They are not afraid to fail.  They just keep moving along with calculated action to solve their problems.

2. Is the problem life threatening. 

Do I need to get help immediately or is it something that I can solve given a cool head and time?

If your problem is something that is putting you, someone else or an animal in danger and you cannot stop it on your own, get help!

The longer you wait to reach out to someone the worse the situation may get.  If you are unable to get help leave.

As I stated above, freeze, and get help or run and get away from the situation.  It is not the best idea to fight, as someone is going to get hurt, even though it could be your first response.

Nothing good will come from a head-on fight with someone when both parties are angry.  It is not a great way to solve a life-threatening problem.  If you are in danger run and get help to solve your problem!

3. This problem will end. 

There are several studies on anxiety and worry and I have read that often 8% of what we worry about will come true. Source: The Essence of Success by Earl Nightingale. Edited by Carson V. Conant.

What that means to you is that 92% or what you are worrying about will not happen.  Just knowing that will help you to stop and think about your problem in a different way.

Problems will come and go in your life.  The better you get at solving them the more life you will have.

If you find yourself stuck in a circle of worry stop and ask yourself some questions:  What am I afraid of?  What step(s) can I take now to help me feel better?  Is what I am worrying about really true or is it something I have made up in my mind?  If you are not sure and it involves someone else, go to them and ask them questions to help you confirm your thoughts.  Endless worry is a freeze response that will keep you stuck and even sending you spiraling out of control if you let it.

Stop and breath deeply at least 5 times.  Remember:  All things eventually pass and change into something else.  Nothing stays the same.

If you work at making it better it will improve.  Give it time and relax into the process of solving the problem.

4. Always be accountable – you have created the problem you are in. 

Accountability is a hard concept to understand. There are hundreds of books written on this very topic.   Everything we go through in life we have created for ourselves.  If you can simply accept that what you are going through you have created, then you can take steps to never let it happen again, solve the problem and move on.

Blaming other people or things for our problems does not make the problem go away.  It just keeps you frozen.

If you are taking responsibility for what is happening, you are likely moving in a forward motion of making the problem better.  Sometimes it may seem easier to blame everyone around you for what is taking place but, in the long run you will be the one that stays stuck and does not get the results you want in your life.  Own up and start thinking of solutions instead of blaming the world for the problem you face.

If you have created this, you can also create a solution to fix it.  We all are born with a genius inside.  Stop, breath and listen to your instinct, the answers will come.

5. You are not on this planet alone. 

For every problem you face, there are thousands of people out their wanting to help you solve the problem.

If you want to solve all your own problems get your own planet.

Solve your problems sooner by asking for help. Not asking for problems is a form of flight, running from the problem instead of letting others know you have one and getting the help that you need.  Stop running and start asking for support.

6. Feel the fear and do it anyway. 

Often when we have problems we start to worry, we allow our brains to dwell in negative thoughts and the problem somehow seems to get bigger.  Fear is the problem you are having.  A fear of what others might think, of not being good enough, of getting hurt….what ever it is, it is likely not real.

Sometimes the fear we think about is not reality based and we need to simply do something or stop thinking about what might go wrong.  Many people have the fear of failure.

Successful people feel fear but they know they will must go through some failures to find the gem and success they are looking for.

We all need to go through times of solving problems, some more difficult than others.  Don’t let the fear of anything stop you from solving your most pressing problems today!

7. Own up to your responsibilities as a leader

Leaders solve more problems than most people.

If you strive to lead, you will need to see problems as something that needs solving.

If you come up with a solution you think is going to work and it does not, move on to plan B.  Having a back up plan is always a good plan when solving problems.  If that, then this.  If that does not work, then do this.  By having a plan for what might happen if your first plan does not work.

The next time you have a problem take it on like it is your best friend looking for help.  After all a problem is looking for a solution and needs you to solve it. Mastering this life skill is a great problem to solve.

Till next time,

Judy

 

Feb 18

How to Plan Your Perfect Day Off – Just RnR!

By Judy | Employment , Personal Development

Life Skills Planning

How To Plan Your Perfect Day Off - Just RnR!

Take a few minutes and let’s just relax.  If you are like most people who are employed you work at least 5 days per week, business owners and entrepreneurs probably more.

Many times you may find your work very challenging and sometimes may not even enjoy what you are doing at all.

If you are one of these people who go through each work day wishing you were somewhere else or feeling drained you are not alone.  According to Hays Recruiting experts, half the workforce is unhappy.

How can we help change that?

Let’s look at creating your perfect day off.  Transform your days off so you can have true rest and relaxation.

Life Skills Resting

Time off (average two days per week) makes up almost 30% of your entire year.  Often our “weekends” are Saturday/Sunday but,  you might be required to work on the weekends and your “weekend” is then Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday or you work shifts and may get one week off every two weeks or some other combination.

It is inevitable that your day off could come and go and you may still feel just as unhappy and unsatisfied about life as you did before you had time off.  You know you have time off to look forward to, what are you planning to do with this time?  So often we take time for granted – yet it is one of those things we cannot get back.

Some people spend their time off thinking about how much they don’t want to go back to work.  They dwell on their work days, how much they can’t stand their jobs, and waste this valuable time off being unhappy.

That type of thinking and action is certainly not going to transform you into feeling better.  Why not change the way you think about your time off?

Planning your RnR time can help you look forward to something when you are off.  It can also take the burden off the day of trying to figure out at the last-minute what you want to do and maybe not being able to because you waited to long.  When you think of what you would love to do in advance you can save yourself money (by buying your activities on sale in advance), save yourself wasting your day off trying to plan, and sucking your energy dry just trying to make a plan at the last-minute.

Let’s look at the 3 quick things to do to Just RnR on your perfect day off –  transforming your day off.

Life Skills Activities

ACTIVITIES

In order to have a perfect day off you will need to plan some thing to do.  The first item you will want to think about is what activities do I want to do.  Try not to pack too much activity into your day so it feels relaxed and remember to plan in nap time and sleeping in.  When you get plenty of rest you feel better, your body rejuvenates itself while you sleep and you will begin to feel stress leaving your body.

WHO WILL YOU RnR WITH

Think of your activities above and decide who you want to invite to be a part of your perfect day and what activities they will take part in with you.  Maybe it’s a whole day at a resort with that special person in your life.

Once you have activities planned work out, who you are going to invite, put when during the day you will do that activity (especially if you booked an activity like golfing, etc. or a dinner reservation), you don’t want to miss it or be late.

RELAX AND INVEST IN ME TIME

Me time is time where you get to know yourself better. You are never too old to learn more about who you are as a person. Me time is also a time to take care of your health, body, and mind. Examples: Get a haircut, manicure, pedicure, go to the gym, make my favorite dinner, journaling, watch a sappy movie, curl up with the dog, shopping, sleep in, nap, go  swimming, make a date with yourself.

Some people find spending time alone and with themselves difficult.  They may find it boring or just weird.  They may even feel lonely.  It takes practice spending time with yourself to getting to know you better.  Once you get good at this you will want to have Me Time more often, trust me, it is awesome.

Life Skills Me Time

Just a couple of rules you should follow if you want a great day:

  1. Stay off your technology and enjoy your time with your friends and family
  2. Stay engaged in the activities you are doing.
  3. Stay in the moment of now as much as you can all day.  If you find yourself drifting off to the future or the past simply stop and get back in the moment of now (unless you are reflecting to learn more about yourself and how you can grow as a person).
  4. Turn off your work phone, emails, and other technology. Only use these to connect with the people you are spending your perfect day with.
  5. If you get tired, stop and nap, guilt free.
  6. This is your day, not anyone else’s make yourself important and do what you planned.  Don’t let anyone or anything derail your day.
  7. If you for some reason can’t make the date you set for Your Perfect Day Off, make it up to yourself and do it right away on your next day off.
  8. Plan Your Perfect Day Off as often as you want, the more the merrier.

If you want to make sure you don’t forget anything so you have that plan right in front of you, I have created the Rest n’ Relax Worksheet – Plan Your Perfect Day Off to help make your day perfect.

You can get your copy here.

If you want to feel good on the job, rest and relax on your days off.  This will help you get through your work days and have things to look forward to on your days off.

Having a Perfect Day Off does not just happen, you make it happen!  Judy Michaud

Dec 16

4 Goal Setting Lessons For Leaders

By Judy | Leadership , Personal Development

4 Excellent life lessons every high achiever should know!

Goal setting is something many people do usually at the end of every year.

I don’t know about you but maybe you are a bit like me.  Nearing the end of the year, every year, I spend some time looking back on the year and reflecting on what have I learned, what was my contribution to this world and how can I improve next year.  This is how I decide what goals are important to me going forward.

Four lessons I have learned over the past year:

One big lesson was: 

How to become more grateful.

This was not always easy for me, especially when life got tough this year.  2016 was a challenging year for me in many areas of my life.  Professionally I took on one of the biggest projects of my entire career and I’m so thankful to have had a team of people who helped me through this.  Personally, I struggled with family issues that have proven to test my resilience, faith and patience but have been all worth the effort.  Spiritually I have grown in ways I never thought I would, learning from my coach and other mentors.

For me, being grateful is easy when things are going well, but what about when things are not going my way?  Practicing things I’m grateful for, helps me to think about good things.

I make a point of practicing being grateful first thing in the morning and just before I fall asleep at night.

Really, before I even leap out of bed.  I take just a couple of minutes to think of 5-10 things I am grateful for.

When I began this my mind would often begin to race in a negative direction.  Thoughts would come up immediately like I’m still tired, I did not get enough sleep, I have so much work to do, I need a vacation, there is so much to learn everyday and on and on these negative thoughts would begin…. BUT I AM LEARNING TO SHUT THEM DOWN FAST! (NOTE:  I’m still in the learning phase)

We are all in control of our own thoughts and man, I was not about to allow my brain to just keep doing whatever it felt like doing, taking me down a dark and deep rabbit hole with no light at the end of this tunnel.

What I have learned is the more I spend time practicing being grateful for what I have now, the more I find it easier to find things I’m grateful for.

To be honest, when I started doing this in the morning all I could think of was the warm bed, cozy blankets, peaceful feeling I was having.  I then started to add my husband and his support, my children(grandchildren) and their smiles and love, my job and the laughter and fulfillment I always feel when helping someone else feel better….and now, with practice, this 5 minutes’ in the morning, flies by and it’s full of great things I am grateful for.

Each night before I go to bed I also try (I’m not perfect, I don’t always remember when I’m tired because I can fall asleep in two minutes) to do this again based on the day’s activities.  It’s a great way to go into sleep at night.

Try it and see if it helps you to start to temper down those negative thoughts.  It really helps me to see and feel lighter and more joyful about the world in general.

Another big lesson for me was to: 

Practice living in the moment,  NOW!

One of my biggest challenges is staying in the moment.  A few years back I started to learn the value of living from one moment to the next,  and this year I intentionally tried to live moment by moment, more often.

In my job, I’m often planning education programs that are going to take place in the future for students.  I project my thoughts and ideas off into a future time and spend time envisioning what that looks like and then write down all the details so it can happen in the future for students.

Planning these programs and event means I spend a lot of time thinking about the future and not a lot of time living in the present moment.

What about you?  How often in one day are you working on something that is not happening now? Something that may or may not happen in the future or what about thinking about the past?

When I am planning these programs I also do a lot of reflecting on past projects, what worked, what did not, how can this one take in all that worked, etc.  I’m reliving the past.  That’s a lot of time in the future and or in the past…. what about NOW?

For me, I found just learning to practice being present in the moment, is refreshing and wonderful.

Last nights Christmas concert for my Grandson was so awesome and I found myself spending time in the present, listening to all the singing the children  practiced, for our entertainment, it was awesome.  They were all so great!

Living in the moment,  takes practice.

For me, one way I purposely practice living in the present moment is by using a technique I learned called mindfulness training or simply being aware of what I am thinking.

Learning how to become aware of your present state of mind is now being taught in school to preschoolers and has been proven to help them learn to manage their stress levels better from a very young age.  Where was all of this when I was growing up?

Living in the present moment is one way to stay in a mindful state.  Not thinking about what you are going to do in 5 minutes even, just what you are doing RIGHT NOW.

Maybe, try this simple exercise:

Simply, stop what you are doing, and breath.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath in (inhale right down into your belly), then let it out (blow out your breath hard if you like, it feels great).  Take another deep breath in…and let it out.  Take one more deep breath in….and let it out.

Now, YAWN (Yes, I said yawn).  If you don’t feel like yawning fake it.  Yawn again.  One more time, take a deep yawn (you may find after three times you will start to want to yawn).  Yawn one more time and now as you yawn, slowly move your head around.  Very slowly, either in a circle or anyway that feels right for you.  But do it slowly and continue to yawn.  Keep yawning and moving your head and shoulders, and if you feel like it slowly move your whole body, one area at a time.  Do it with our eyes closed it helps to keep your mind focused on the moment you are in.

Continue this exercise if you want, to help you begin to relax, how long you do this is up to you.

I like to do it once every hour for just 5 minutes or so, just to get centred and bring myself back into the present moment.

As you do this simple exercise you will find you will probably not be thinking of anything else beside yawning and moving your body slowly.  This mindfulness exercise has been proven to help your brain to calm down.  It has helped me when I am suffering with anxiety or feeling overwhelmed.  The more anxious I feel the more often practicing mindful techniques help me.

Another way to get into the moment is to go for a walk and simply breath in the fresh air.

Breathing in and smelling what you are breathing, like home cooked food, baking, fresh grass that was just cut, ocean sea salt water, your favorite perfume, other smells you love, smells will help you stay living in the moment.

Even better yet taste some of that great food you are smelling.  Take your time.  Saviour every bite.  Try even letting out a sigh and a big wow this is so…. delicious.

While you are walking or even just sitting, just listen.  Make a point of listening to the sounds around you.  If you have a bell of some kind, practice ringing the bell and then just listening to the sound of the bell if you possibly can.

These simple techniques help you to appreciate your surrounding, the moments you are in and the joy the world brings.  (Hint:  it will also help you to think of what else to be grateful for).

My Third Lesson was:

Learning how to become more socially mindful

I wanted to become more socially mindful of others.  Being grateful more often was a great start.

Doing random acts of kindness.  Paying the bill for the person behind me in the drive thru at the coffee shop.

Calling students out of the blue just to see how I could help them with what they were working on in their program.

Emailing ideas and sharing new things I have learned to my friends and family.

Posting more positive and up lifting things on social media.

Sharing more job postings and career opportunities daily with as many people as I could.

Stopping to help people living on the street.  Striking up conversations with strangers who just seemed to need to have someone to listen to them.

I even started Lifeskills4employment community.  This community is open for sharing not only from me but from others.  By sharing with others what we have learned and reflecting on what works, slowly, we will all learn from each other.  My dream is if we learn to share, we can all learn how to be more socially  mindful to each other.

Giving my time for Indigenous women in need.  Women struggling with violence, domestic abuse, the sex trade, poor self-esteem, working on projects for the future of Indigenous women and mothers…it seems  be turning  into a social cause. for me

By purposely spending time working on being more socially mindful I found myself feeling more empathy for others, more patient, easier on myself, wanting to help others at a deeper level, and even searching for more ways to be more socially aware and mindful.  This will continue as a lesson I want to get better at going forward.

 

My fourth big lesson was:

 

Keep on giving, failing forward if that’s what happens, but stay living on purpose.

I worked on some very difficult projects and had some challenging teamwork this year.  Some projects have worked out and have been very successful and others I have not seen a lot of results from yet.

The one lesson I have learned from all of this is to learn from every project I work on and keep living my life on purpose.  My purpose.  What I believe in my heart I’m  meant to do.

To live on purpose, I find I ask myself a lot of questions:  What did I give?  What did I do well?  How could I have improved?  Did I give it my all?  Do I still love what I am doing daily?

Often, I find myself failing, sometime it seems more often than I succeed, but as I look back over 2016, I have been extremely fortunate.  Big thanks go out to my husband, family, friends and clients.

I live my life doing what I love to do everyday, working with some great teams (too many to mention personally but you know who you are, thanks), learning along the way (even through the tough lessons), and realizing that the more I give the more I get.

  • If I give a lot of love, I get a lot of love back.
  • If I give a lot of effort, I get a lot of effort from others given to me.
  • If I give to the best of my ability, I get paid for my time and effort.
  • If I give random acts of kindness, I receive it back.

The opposite is also true as well.

  • If I give anger, I get back anger.
  • If I give bitterness, I get back bitterness.
  • If I do not forgive, I won’t be forgiven when I mess up.
  • If I give impatience, I get back someone being impatient with me….and this list could go on and on.

GIVE GOOD THINGS AND YOU WILL RECEIVE BACK GOOD THINGS IN RETURN (maybe not exactly when you want them to happen but they will happen, just keep your mind positive.)

What is something you have done for others that you are proud of?  Please leave a comment below or shoot me an email at info@ohoeducation.com.

Regards,

Judy

Dec 07

Online training, is it a good way to learn?

By Judy | Personal Development

Employment Life Skills Training

Online training, is it a good way to learn?

I don’t think the question is right. Maybe the question is: How do we make online training a good way to learn for Indigenous youth and adults?

I want to take you back in time for a minute…..

Just a quick storey….it was eight years ago, I woke up very early one Sunday morning and began to write. It’s common for me to wake up early and start writing, but….that morning, was very different.

I did not just start to write, I began drawing pictures, diagrams, and charts as well as words that flowed out of my head faster than I could physically write.

It was like watering flowing from a tap.

After over 45 minutes of writing I realized what I had drawn out was courses online for Indigenous youth and adults.

Eight years ago I was pretty good on Microsoft office, using word, excel, and a few other smaller programs but I had no clue how to develop an online course or even begin to think about putting it online and my first immediate thought was, online courses will not work for Indigenous youth and adults.

Even though my first thoughts were forget that, I started down the journey to figure out how this might work.

Struggling, learning, testing, researching.

Does online training even work?  Do students even learn?  Will students learn this way?  Is this possible in the communities I work in? The questions for me went on and on…

At one point in my career I was part of a team of professionals’ who tested a pilot computer lab in a community.  It was a university project.  The life skills training program took place first, and then the lab opened and students  started learning online, it was mildly successful and at that point I thought, mildly successful, was not good enough.

At that time many people told the team training online was not a good idea.  Some were hopeful.  Others tried to help make it happen.  Over the years, with technology changing rapidly and our young people embracing new social medias (YouTube) signs kept pointing to online as a very practical solution, given the right circumstances and setup.

In late 2014, Oho Education launched their first online training program into communities and every student that enrolled, completed.  Yes, it was a hybrid online training program (more on that in my next post), but it worked.

Since then we have launched several online training programs, not all as successful as the first (for a number of reasons, all learning experiences), but all our online training programs can now leave a bigger, more positive footprint.  What I have realized is, I can only teach so many students in one year in a class room, now I can help far more.  If I can reach more students and help them, so could many other great programs, we just need to get this started.

Of course many questions kept creeping in…..

Will online training work for everyone?   When I teach, I want to do my best to make sure that what I am teaching is going to work for all….but that is not a reality, not even in a physical classroom.

Online training does not work for everyone either…

But it will work for many.

Let me tell you about a brief Ted Talk Video I watched recently.

What the speaker spoke about in the Ted Talk was:

  • education is expensive
  • costs are increasing
  • in the past, it has been difficult for many people to take training of any kind and this is not getting better
  • College and university classrooms have limited class seating
  • one teacher can only teach so many people physically at once, in a classroom
  • even when students do manage to get a higher education they often can’t find work in the field they trained in and find themselves in jobs they don’t like, even after years of training
  • thousands of people around the world that want education can’t access it because of limited seating for the amount of people who want to enroll
  • the program is not offered in their community
  • there is no funding for the community to put these program on and/or
  • students can’t afford to leave to take training outside of their community

All that being said top Universities from around the world have done some experimenting with some of their most popular programs.  These program seats in a class are normally full, with sometimes over 400 students at a time taking one program.

Some experiments showed that if they took one popular program and offered it for free online around the world, they could enrol thousands of students at a time, instead of hundreds.

One example was over 100,000 people enrolling in one online training program through a top University in the USA.

What they found was amazing.

Yes, not all students completed the training.  But….what might have taken them 45 years or more to teach to that number of students, took them one class online.  The overall results were staggering.

Thousands more students completed the program than could have completed in a physical classroom in the same time frame.

I’m not saying it’s okay for people not to complete successfully,  but what if we could offer more students in communities basic skills online, getting them used to the platforms and then they began to branch out to college and university courses?

Our footprint could be much larger, faster.  We could impact more people, faster, significantly impacting both rural and urban communities.  We could help more people faster, making a more significant shift in education than any other teaching platform.

Let’s explore this for another minute.

The beauty of online courses is the student has a lot of flexibility.  They can start when they want and stop when they need to.  They can mute the instructor so they can catch up and rewind when they don’t understand.  They can watch something over and over again until they get it.  That’s why our young people love YouTube Videos.  They are learning already online.

Often with online there are forums they can go into to get support as well or a course could be designed to give them more hands on support and still be less expensive than the traditional methods we are now using.

Yes, procrastination is still very much alive, where many students may not complete the training.  But, what if they did learn, maybe slower than the other people in a classroom setting, but learn on their own, when they need to, and they begin to embrace learning on their own terms.  Would this not be a significant break through?

What if we could offer more students training, more often for less cost?

Students could learn technology while they were also learning concepts that interest them.  Keeping them up with the world around them.

Getting them exciting about learning one small course at a time.  One concept at a time. At their own pace.

Instead of training 10-16 students in a class in a community at one time we open it up to more.  Give them the opportunity to take it when they want and how they want.   They can design their own training and take what they need, not all the fluff they already know.

What often happens in many Indigenous communities today is the community decides they need to do training in a certain area, an example might be Life Skills Training.  The solution: offer Life Skills Training in community.  See the problems below:

Solution Problem Student Problem
Offer a Life Skills Program Program takes place at a particular time They are not able to take it at that time
Program only offered at a particular place Student cannot attend at that place, at that time
# of Student limited seats They miss out because not enough seats
Costs are high Students don’t realize the costs of the programs, therefore may not value the training

 

I have seen the model above used for years.

If you are an Educator, Education Coordinator, Education Director or Teacher in an Indigenous community:  Is the above class room model helping enough people annually in each community?

or

Should we try something else?

Is, how we are training now, going to work into the future?

I am aware that there are Indigenous communities who are embracing technology and training online and it is working for them, but there are many that are still not.

What about a flipped classroom model or a form of this model?

Online training lends itself perfectly to this model. (more on that in next post)

I have more ideas on how to help make this work but I would love to hear from you as an educator or even as a student who is or wants to take courses.  What do you think?

How do we embrace technology in a big way to help more students get the training they want and deserve?  What is working for some communities with regards to online training?

Please share in comments below.

If you are a student would you take online training in your community or better yet in your home if you could?