You Can Sleep on a Train

On the way home tonight we were stopped by a train in downtown Orlando. It was an Amtrack passenger train and I pointed out the people you could see inside eating and moving about, and the sleeping cars that followed.

They had no idea you could sleep on a train. I said, "Sure you can. Like in 'Some Like it Hot'. "

They said they had no idea what that movie was either, so I showed them clips when we got home. Now they are insistent that we watch the movie tonight.

It's fantastic how how one simple observation can turn into many wonderful teachable moments, among them..........that life is wonderful when you're together, the classics have no age limit on appreciation, and that you actually can sleep on trains, dress as a woman, and still get the girl :-)


Give Yourself a Rare Gift

One morning last week a student came up to me and said she had me figured out.

"You know Mr. Stuart, when you get really tired you tell us that you're running out of energy and that if we don't learn how to give back to ourselves you're not going to be able to keep working with each one of us. You're going to give us assignments out of the book and have us sit quietly at our desks doing it.....But you never do. You never give up that we all can really get smarter every day and really become big in life, getting our dreams."

A smile came across my face and I said, "That's right. I never do. Your parents never gave up on you because they KNEW you could learn to walk and talk, and BELIEVED in you UNTIL you believed that much in yourself too....and finally developed those abilities.

I KNOW you all can learn to do what I'm asking you to do too. And no, I don't know how to give up on any of you, so I tell myself I can do this again for just one more day. But appreciate it for what it is........a rare gift, one that fewer and fewer people will see in you and help you see in yourself, because they're going to be too busy trying to see it again in themselves.

All I'm asking is that you accept this and give it back to yourself. KNOW you CAN make your dreams come true by making YOURSELF come true.........and please BELIEVE in yourself UNTIL you do BECOME big enough to make your big dreams BECOME big realities.

Give this gift to yourself, feel energized and focused beyond belief, and you will have given it back to me. Because you can't give this gift to others by buying it, you have to BECOME IT.


Chapter F: Successfully React to Failure

Failure is not good or bad. How you react to it makes your failure a good or bad thing.

Since failure is part of life, one of life's most important lessons is learning how to successfully react to failure, and one of the most important things we can teach our students how to do in school.

If you fail to learn and grow from what caused you to fail, you are doomed to repeat it. This is probably why so many of us stop trying.

We lose faith and belief in ourselves and begin to reduce the size of our dreams to match.

Easier and smaller dreams are easier to accomplish. This is like putting the least weight on the bar to workout with. Sure you can lift it, but it doesn't allow you to become any stronger or healthier.

Instead of focusing on where others are better than us, and using what's good about them as role models, we focus on what's wrong with them in order to make us feel better about ourselves.

What if we judge Tiger Woods when we are Tiger Woods? In the meantime we can focus on the part of his life where he has shown greater strength and commitment, such as developing his athletic skills and mental concentration.

Instead of focusing our thoughts on the part of his life we don't approve of, we pay attention to what we do approve of and admire.

Then after we reach our own perfection we can gather all the stones we want to throw at all the imperfect souls around us......just look in the mirror first....and as we see our own imperfections to work on, and refuse to justify or accept this is just how we are......we react successfully to these failures by not throwing stones at ourselves, but throwing all the love, belief, courage and intelligence we can muster.

Over and over, again and again......because we know we are worth it.

We are the greatest project we will ever have in our entire lives.

I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong” ~ Benjamin Franklin quotes (American Statesman, Scientist, Philosopher, Printer, Writer and Inventor. 1706-1790)

 Colin Powell quotes (Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93). At present, US Secretary of State, 1937)

And finally, my BIG dream that school is a place where EVERYONE'S courage and confidence are developed to such an extent that seeking and learning from failure is so prized one would pay for it:

 Walter Brunell quotes

This song used to make tears stream down my face. It was after my second divorce and I felt like an utter failure as a husband, father and as a man. During the female vocals I would see my little sister's face, who refused to believe I was a failure, and threw all of her love my way to help me get back up and believe in myself again.

Socrates said, "The only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing".

The only two things I know for sure is that love is the most powerful and precious thing in the world to learn how to have for yourself and others......and that TEMPORARY failure is the road that takes you there.


Those Other 3 Wonderful Words

Besides hearing "I Love You" from someone who truly does, the three other most wonderful words you could hear when you've been overcome by failure are, "Find a Way".

If this is coming from a person who sees you for all you could be, it can be very empowering. They are saying to you, "This temporary failure ISN'T who you are. Who you REALLY are is someone capable of finding a way of overcoming ANYTHING you truly believe you are......no matter how many times it takes you to find that way".

If this message of just "Find a Way" is coming from yourself, to yourself, I think it is liberating. It sets you free to continue moving forward, causing you to become stronger and smarter, and therefore, more than you have ever been before.

And the more thunderous this message is sent to yourself and others, the faster and greater the process of becoming and achieving more than ever before begins to really happen....and desperately desired dreams finally become fully fulfilled.

And this my friend, is a truly exciting way to wake up each day and live your life.....believing in yourself and others without limits......and without end.