Monday, April 24, 2017

10 Things That Matter More Than Grades

10 Things That Matter More Than Grades

1. The Ability to Learn - Today’s definition of education revolves around studying for tests. These tests teach that the only thing that matters with intelligence and learning is memorizing for a test. When they’re over, most students simply forget everything they learn. The ability to truly learn, not just study or memorize, is priceless.
2. Responsibility - Responsibility is something lacking in our culture. Diligence and responsibility can’t be measured by a grade!
3. Compassion - Compassion and kindness can take a person far in life, and the rewards are far greater and long-lasting than an “A” on a report card.
4. Integrity - Integrity matters more than grades, and is something that cannot be measured by a test! Integrity is the foundation of character, and people with good integrity will do the right thing, even when it’s difficult or unpopular. 
5. Wisdom - Wisdom and discernment are more important than intelligence, and both can’t be measured by a test. Proverbs 1:7 NIV: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
6. Real life experience - Real life experience has been invaluable in my life, and is among one of the top reasons I love homeschooling so much! Real life experience offers the job experience many employers are looking for, and some subjects, like entrepreneurship, just can’t be taught fully in a classroom.
7. Time management - With running a business and having a full time college course load, time management is crucial. Effective time management allows for more time to spend on the things that matter, and can help you feel more organized.
8. Ambition & goals - It’s important for young people to think big, and truly make the most out of their lives and youth. Goals, ambition, and passion can take a kid far in life, regardless of their academic standing.
9. Resilience- Life can be rough sometimes, and bad things are inevitable. It’s important to keep a resilient spirit that’s willing to spring back up in the midst of life’s hardest moments. Resilience can also grow courage and problem solving skills!
10. The love of learning -Learning is infinite, and is a lifelong process. The more you learn and explore, the more you realize how little you know in life.
11. Public speaking and interview skills
In today’s highly competitive world, solid written and oral skills are a must. Despite speech and writing classes, the quality, persuasion and passion when speaking simply cannot be conveyed in a grade.
12. Enthusiasm - A person can have the best grades with the worst attitude! Enthusiasm is much more important than grades, and can’t be bought or taught!

Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity Is Forever

Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity Is Forever
Amy Rees Anderson
Nov 28, 2012 @ 02:53 AM
If I could teach only one value to live by, it would be this: Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.

We live in a world where integrity isn’t talked about nearly enough. We live in a world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many. Sales people overpromise and under deliver, all in the name of making their quota for the month. Applicants exaggerate in job interviews because they desperately need a job. CEOs overstate their projected earnings because they don’t want the board of directors to replace them.  Entrepreneurs overstate their pro formas because they want the highest valuation possible from an investor. Investors understate a company’s value in order to negotiate a lower valuation in a deal. Customer service representatives cover up a mistake they made because they are afraid the client will leave them. Employees call in “sick” because they don’t have any more paid time off when they actually just need to get their Christmas shopping done. The list could go on and on, and in each case the person committing the act of dishonesty told themselves they had a perfectly valid reason why the end result justified their lack of integrity.

It may seem like people can gain power quickly and easily if they are willing to cut corners and act without the constraints of morality. Dishonesty may provide instant gratification in the moment but it will never last. I can think of several examples of people without integrity who are successful and who win without ever getting caught, which creates a false perception of the path to success that one should follow. After all, each person in the examples above could have gained the result they wanted in the moment, but unfortunately, that momentary result comes at an incredibly high price with far reaching consequences.  That person has lost their ability to be trusted as a person of integrity, which is the most valuable quality anyone can have in their life. Profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever.

Every one person who trusts you will spread the word of that trust to at least a few of their associates, and word of your character will spread like wildfire. The value of the trust others have in you is far beyond anything that can be measured.  For entrepreneurs it means investors that are willing to trust them with their money. For employees it means a manager or a boss that is willing to trust them with additional responsibility and growth opportunities. For companies it means customers that trust giving them more and more business. For you it means having an army of people that are willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will never bring damage to their own reputation of integrity. Yes, the value of the trust others have in you goes beyond anything that can be measured because it brings along with it limitless opportunities and endless possibilities.

Contrast that with the person who cannot be trusted as a person of integrity.  Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A +% said it best:, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.  And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”  A person’s dishonesty will eventually catch up to them. It may not be today, and it may not be for many years, but you can rest assured that at some point there will always be a reckoning.

A word of advice to those who are striving for a reputation of integrity: Avoid those who are not trustworthy. Do not do business with them. Do not associate with them. Do not make excuses for them.  Do not allow yourself to get enticed into believing that “while they may be dishonest with others, they would never be dishonest with me.” If someone is dishonest in any aspect of his life you can be guaranteed that he will be dishonest in many aspects of his life. You cannot dismiss even those little acts of dishonesty, such as the person who takes two newspapers from the stand when they paid for only one. After all, if a person cannot be trusted in the simplest matters of honesty then how can they possibly be trusted to uphold lengthy and complex business contracts?

It is important to realize that others pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends. Why is that?  It is best explained by a quote my father often says when he is reminding me to be careful of the company I am keeping:  “When you lie down with dogs you get fleas.” Inevitably we become more and more like the people we surround ourselves with day to day. If we surround ourselves with people who are dishonest and willing to cut corners to get ahead, then we’ll surely find ourselves following a pattern of first enduring their behavior, then accepting their behavior, and finally adopting their behavior. If you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then surround yourself with people of integrity.Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity Is Forever

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review - It's Catching: The infectious world of germs and microbes.

OK, I admit it, I'm 60 years old. I've been a clinical laboratorian and a schoolteacher all of my life. I worked in a bacteriology lab as well as many of the other labs in hospitals and for The Office of Laboratory Services for the State of Florida. This book is so well written, designed, and laid out; I think middle school and high school students would love it. College students, you could also use this book for not only a broad-spectrum (ha ha) of human pathogens, but for all the fun little trivial facts that make this so interesting. As a former gifted teacher, I know precocious fourth and fifth graders would love all the fascinating little factoids. The contents are set up so that you can read about the pathogen you're interested in, but I found myself reading it page by page, cover to cover, over two weeks, just soaking it all in and enjoying it. It's a great introduction to public health and some of the challenges we face as a planet. It's a great book to have around. I will probably buy a copy for my granddaughter who is nine and reads on a middle school level. If you have a little scientific researcher in your family, I would highly recommend purchasing this book, because your child will go back to the book time and time again through middle and high school. I can imagine the sides of  Dr. Gardy's notebooks teaming with adorable little personified germs with a plan to share all of this cool stuff with kids, young and old, someday. It is illustrated by Josh Holinaty, and the layout in the book is so attractive. It really IS catching!