(94) So Here’s Your Challenge

Got to make this short and sweet today as I have a family event to attend. I won’t be writing as much about this as I originally intended, but the essence of the message is here.

Today I pulled out the book A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. This book came out in 2006, and addresses the changes in our culture: most notably, that we have gone from an Informational model to a Conceptual model in a short period of time. Pink describes this well in his book, making a case for “High Tech, High Touch” systems in everything we do. We get there through what he calls “the six senses” — design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning.

The reason I pulled the book out again today is because I am thinking quite seriously about how I can create something different in the classroom. Those of you who know me know I am always doing this. What is different now is that I am taking a fearless posture, along with the fact that next year my students will all have their own tablets to work on. This will change my classroom, and I need to be ready with the goods.

So, what is the challenge?  It comes from the segment on Meaning. Pink suggests we take the “20-10 Test,” developed by an author named Jim Collins who wrote a book called Good to Great. I have never read this book — in fact, this 20-10 Test is something I don’t even remember reading about all the times I have read through this book. I guess it was meant for my life now.

Anyway, the 20-10 Test is basically two questions:

1. If you inherited $20 million right now, would you spend your days the same way you spend them now?

2. If you knew that you only had 10 years left to live, would you stick with your current job or career?

Yes, these are some pretty heavy questions. Maybe in the past I looked over these and answered “yes” — which could be the reason why they didn’t make an impression. But they are making an impression now.

I found a career website (careerhubblog.com)  that expanded the thinking on these questions in what I think is a useful way. Answering these 7 questions can bring more clarity. I intend on putting myself through these questions. I think it is a good Easter activity — resurrection and all — new beginnings, spring, etc.  Let’s do thing!

a. What lifestyle change would you make this year?

b. What career decisions would you make this year?

c. What would you stop doing this year? What would you start doing more of?

d. Who would you spend less time with? Who would you spend more time with?

e. What habits would you stop this year? What new habits would you develop?

f. Who would you spend less time supporting and helping? Who would you support more?

g. Where would you spend your spare time? Where would you travel?

Yes, these are heavy questions. Even typing them out makes me a bit nervous.  If I am honest, how do I answer these? It will be a fruitful activity, I’m sure.

So, there’s your challenge.  Answer the questions just for yourself. See where it leads. Report back if you want, or keep it to yourself. It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is honesty and clarity in your answers. Good luck!

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