“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn
I heard this quote for the first time a few years ago. After hearing it, I began to think about the people with whom I spend time. I reflected on how those people make me feel. I quickly recognized the people who make me a better person, teach me new things, push me to reflect, inspire me to be better and help me grow. I created a list in my head of people who help me bring up my average and also started to recognize those people who bring down my average. Most importantly, however, I reflected on myself. I started to think about whether or not my words and my actions were adding value to others? I definitely don’t want to be a person who would bring down the average of someone else!
The theory of being the average of the five people you spend the most time with directly connects to the values we embrace in our school district. In Hilliard City Schools, we are immersed in R Factor training. One of the principles of R Factor is the concept of no BCD. BCD stands for Blame, Complain and Defend. In a recent blog post, Tim Kight explains that BCD “afflicts millions of people every day, and is often triggered by work stress.” This time of year brings about a lot of stressors-testing, end of year assessing, data team meetings, IEP meetings, moving grade levels, new initiatives, and more. So now more than ever, we need to reflect on our own mindsets, words and actions. We can all fall into the habit of BCD. BCD makes things worse. When we BCD we bring down the average of those around us. I challenge us all to think before we BCD. We control our self-talk and we control the story we tell ourselves.
As we continue on our journey to ELITE we must surround ourselves with people who raise our average. Take a moment to think about the five people who you spend the most time with at school, at home, at the gym, etc. What do these people do to your average? Are these people habitual BCDers?
Now think about yourself. Do you inspire others? What do you do when you’re stressed? Are you raising or lowering averages?
To read Tim Kight’s blog that was referenced in this post, click here.
I always think of Spring Break as the equivalent of coming down the home stretch of the school year. Before I completely destroyed my ankles from years and years of running and never adequately healing from injuries I ran many, many races. For me, there is nothing like the feeling of coming to the last mile in a race and then the last half-mile and then finally seeing the finish line in my field of view. No matter how tired or sore I was; it seemed that when I came down the home stretch I was able to dig deep and keep running. If I dug really deep I could even feel myself speeding up and I would start passing people. I never raced because I wanted to win, in fact I knew I would never win a race; I ran because I wanted to push myself to run faster than I did during my previous races. I ran because I loved the feeling of accomplishing something that was hard. Just like the races I ran, the end of the school year is hard. It’s easy to want to slow down because we’re tired, but now is the time to dig deep, keep the end in sight and not give up.
Throughout the past week, I have had to keep myself focused, push myself forward and remind myself that I have not yet crossed the finish line. Positive self-talk always helped keep me moving forward as a runner and it has the same effect in my professional life. On many occasions this week, I found myself thinking about the answers to five questions. These questions have helped me as I have dug deep to push myself down the home stretch:
It would be easy to slow down and say, “It can wait until next year.” It’s also easy to get lost in the minutia of the school year and forget about the importance of taking time to truly connect with the students, parents and staff who are so important to me. I will continue to reflect on these questions as we move into testing season and then the final part of the home stretch, which is the month of May. I hope that we can all continue to dig deep and if we do, this just might be our best finish ever.
I hope my blog posts inspire risk taking and new ways of thinking. I hope to connect with other educators on our journey to always do what's best for children.