Relentlessly Positive and Relentlessly Demanding
Here is a little inspirational piece (hopefully) that gives you a reminder to make the world a better place. Whether you know this or not, you are always teaching. You teach by showing people, both those you know and don’t know, what to do, how to act, what to say, and how to approach life. You are also always showing people what not to do, what not to say, how not to act and how not to approach life. You taught your parents lifelong lessons, both good and bad. You taught your classmates things throughout school. You teach your peers daily and if you have children you’re their main teacher in life. You are what some would call a lifelong teacher, not just a lifelong learner. Nobody’s perfect and therefore no one can be the perfect teacher. Fortunately we don’t need to be perfect as teachers. One of the only tools we should use to measure ourselves as a teacher is the number of lives we have positively impacted.
There are countless ways to get through to someone. Some prefer a teacher who is patient and kind. Some prefer the teacher of action and few words. Some prefer the teacher who is high energy and in your face. Regardless of your teaching strategy there is a universal approach that reaches everyone. It is an approach I took from the head strength coach of Wake Forest Men’s Basketball. It is coined as “be relentlessly positive but relentlessly demanding”. This philosophy applies to any and all who teach: teachers, coaches, parents, mentors, volunteers, service members, etc.
Be others’ source of inspiration through positivity. Praise them endlessly when they do something right. Let them know that you’re proud of them. Let them know they made your day. Always be “relentlessly positive” and you will always brighten their day.
At the same time, it is your job as a teacher, coach or mentor to demand the best out of someone and do so ALL THE TIME. The best people to have as friends, partners, employees and leaders are those who always go above and beyond. Not because they want to. But because it is the right thing to do. You should expect this of everyone. If you always demand their best you will almost always get their best.
As teachers we get measured by the number of lives we have impacted and changed. It’s not about grades, it’s not about winning and it’s not about being the best. But if we can instill relentless positivity and relentlessly demand everyone’s best then we have a real shot at doing something special. If you can be someone’s source of inspiration and hold them to a high standard in everything they do then you will, without a doubt, change someone’s life forever.