✍️✍️✍️ Speak-laurie Halse Anderson

Thursday, September 16, 2021 1:57:22 PM

Speak-laurie Halse Anderson

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Change teachers. Find a tutor if you have to. He was always challenging me, making sure that I never blamed someone else for the way I acted. Luckily my mom let me blame other people and things for my problems or I might have turned out psycho. Just get off my back and leave me alone. But, with hindsight, I see the wisdom in what he was doing. He wanted me to learn that there are two types of people in this world—the proactive and the reactive—those who take responsibility for their lives and those who blame; those who make it happen and those who get happened to. I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. Can you imagine doing algebra before learning addition and subtraction?

Not gonna happen. The same goes for the 7 Habits. Proactive or Reactive. Are you in the habit of reacting to these kinds of everyday things, or are you proactive? The choice is yours. It really is. How many times have you been driving down the road when suddenly somebody cuts in front of you, making you hit the brakes? What do you do? Scream at them? Flip them the bird? Let it ruin your day? Or do you just let it go? Laugh about it. Move on. Reactive people make choices based on impulse.

They are like a can of soda pop. When life shakes them up a bit, the pressure builds and they suddenly explode. Get out of my lane! They think before they act. Unlike reactive people who are full of carbonation, proactive people are like water. Shake them up all you want, take off the lid, and nothing. They stay calm, cool, and in control. You feel hurt and betrayed. Shove past her as you storm off. After all, she did it to you. Recently, a new employee joined the crew and he gets the coveted Saturday afternoon shift—the shift you were hoping for.

I was predetermined to be this way. You just ruined my day. You are. I must have things to be happy. Notice that reactive language takes power away from you and gives it to something or someone else. People infected with victimitis believe that everyone has it in for them and that the world owes them something. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Color has not stood in my way and I learn so much from white and black teachers and counselors alike. But it only resulted in him feeling that I was taking the side of the white man. I remain convinced that the only person who can hold you back is yourself.

I mean, like, all the time. There were times I wanted to pound the guy, but I somehow managed to keep my cool and ignore him. Whenever he insulted me, I made it a personal challenge to treat him well in return. I had faith that things would work out in the end if I acted this way. In a matter of a few months things began to change. Often all it takes is one person to create a friendship. To top it off he then has the nerve to question the price I charged him for the broccoli. To my horror, I discovered that he was right. I had put the wrong code numbers in the register for the broccoli. Now I was extra irritated and so tempted to lash out at him to cover for my own mistake. It will just take a couple of seconds.

It felt so good. I had apologized, but I had also said what I wanted to say. It was such a simple little thing, but it gave me such inner conversion and confidence in this habit. Being reactive is way, way easier. Without question, though, being proactive is the higher road and one that will take you much farther in the not-so-long run. The key then is to get in the habit of being proactive so you can run on autopilot and not even have to think about it.

Then Never underestimate the huge difference small changes can make. But there is one thing we can control: how we respond to what happens to us. And that is what counts! Picture two circles. The inner circle is our circle of control. It includes things we have control over—ourselves, our attitudes, our choices, our response to whatever happens to us. Surrounding the circle of control is the circle of no control. You guessed it! Ignore the rude comment, avoid making the mistake next time, and get an umbrella for the rain. You are the star of your own life. Focus on what you can influence. Renatha told me a story that illustrates this point. Instead of ignoring the comments, Renatha became angry and spent the rest of the week stewing. When the game arrived, her only goal was to prove to this woman that she was a good player.

To make a long story short, Renatha played poorly, spent much of her time on the bench, and her team lost the game. Proactive people, on the other hand, focus elsewhere. By doing so they experience inner peace and are primed for whatever comes their way. I can get through it. Mitchell, a self- made millionaire, a sought-after speaker, a former mayor, a river rafter, and skydiver. And he accomplished all this after his accidents. Mitchell says sometimes people try to guess how he was injured.

A car wreck? The real story is more astounding than one could ever imagine. On June 19, , he was on top of the world—young, healthy, and popular. The day before, he had bought a beautiful new motorcycle. That morning, he soloed in an airplane for the first time. The bike went down, crushed my elbow and fractured my pelvis, and the gas can popped open on the motorcycle. The gas poured out, the heat of the engine ignited it, and I got burned over 65 percent of my body. He was unconscious for two weeks, and then he awakened. Over four months, he had 13 transfusions, 16 skin-graft operations, and several other surgeries. Four years later, after spending months in rehabilitation and years learning to adapt to his new handicaps, the unthinkable happened.

Mitchell was involved in a freak airplane crash, and was paralyzed from the waist down. He had been a mountain climber, a skier, an active outdoors person, and he was convinced his life was over. Before all this happened to me, there were 10, things I could do. Now there are 9, I could spend the rest of my life dwelling on the 1, that I lost, but I choose to focus on the 9, that are left. First is the love and encouragement of friends and family, and second is a personal philosophy he has gleaned from various sources. I could choose to see this situation as a setback or a starting point. I have no time to ponder that which has been denied. I hope and believe that you will be proactive and strong in these defining moments. I remember a major setback of my own.

Two years after I had become the starting quarterback in college, I seriously injured my knee, had surgery, fell behind, and subsequently lost my position. I felt sick. It was my senior year. As a backup, I had a choice to make. I could complain, bad-mouth the new guy, and feel sorry for myself. I could make the most of the situation. Luckily, I decided to deal with it. I was no longer throwing touchdowns, but I could help in other ways. So I swallowed my pride and kept supporting the team, working hard and preparing for each game as if I were the starter. I chose to keep my chin up. Was it easy? Not at all. I often felt like a failure. Sitting out every game after being the starter was humiliating.

Keeping a good attitude was a constant struggle. Was it the right choice, though? Most important, I took responsibility for my attitude. I cannot begin to tell you what a positive difference this singular decision made in my life. It happened when I was at a fair. He took me on a long walk and we ended up down at the dugouts at the high school. That was where he raped me. You wanted this to happen to you anyway. I kept quiet about it for two years. Finally, I was attending a help session where people who were abused told their stories and this one girl got up and told a story similar to mine. When she said the name of the boy that abused her, I started to cry because it was the same one who had raped me.

It turned out that there were six of us who were victimized by him. Fortunately, Heather is now on the road to recovery and has found tremendous strength in being part of a teen group that is trying to help other abuse victims. By coming forward, she put a stop to more girls getting attacked by the same boy. That is a proactive and powerful act. Too afraid to tell anyone I tried to bury my hurt and anger. Now that I have come to terms with what happened, I look back on my life and can see how it has affected everything.

In trying to hide something terrible I ended up hiding myself. Many people have been through the same experience as I have or something that is related. Most hide it. Some are afraid for their lives. Others want to protect themselves or someone else. Confronting it is the only way to sew up that bleeding gash. Find someone to talk to, someone you feel comfortable with, someone you can trust. And the truth has to be told. Abuse thrives in secrecy. By telling another person, you immediately lighten the load you carry. Talk with a loved one or friend you can trust, go to sexual-abuse support meetings, or visit a professional therapist.

Sharing your secret with another is an important step in the healing process. Take the initiative to do it. Please refer to the abuse hotlines listed at the back of the book for help or information. One girl mentioned her mother. Another kid talked about his brother. One guy was noticeably silent. I asked him whom he admired. Unfortunately, this is the case with many teens. They come from messed-up families and may not have anyone to pattern their lives after. The scary thing is that bad habits such as abuse, alcoholism, and welfare dependency are often passed down from parents to kids, and, as a result, dysfunctional families keep repeating themselves.

Sometimes these problems go back for generations. You may come from a long line of alcohol or drug abusers. You may come from a long line of dependency on welfare. Perhaps no one in your family has ever graduated from college or even high school. The good news is that you can stop the cycle. Because you are proactive, you can stop these bad habits and circumstances from being passed on. I would hear them arguing over the money and how they were going to pay the rent.

The highest grade my parents went to in school was the sixth grade. I am the force. This was hard on her, and she could see the consequences of a lack of education. When Hilda was in junior high, her family moved from California back to Mexico. Hilda soon realized that there were limited educational options for her there, so she asked if she could move back to the States to live with her aunt. For the next several years Hilda made great sacrifices to stay in school. I wanted to prove to my dad that no matter what, he was wrong when he said than no one in our family could become a professional. I am teaching him how to speak English and Spanish. One day he will need help with his homework, and I will be there to help him. Shane lives with his parents and two siblings in the projects, a low-income section of town.

His dad drives a truck and is never home. His mom smokes weed with his twelve-year-old sister. His older brother failed two years of high school and finally dropped out. At one point Shane had lost hope. I treat myself better and I show myself respect. Although nobody in my family has ever gone to college, I have been accepted to three different universities. Everything I do now is for my future. My future is going to be different. No matter how bad your predicament is, you can become a change agent and create a new life for yourself and whatever may follow. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It takes forever to find a way out. II I walk down the same street. I fall in again. It still takes a long time to get out. III I walk down the same street. I see it is there. I still fall in. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. IV I walk down the same street. I walk around it. V I walk down another street. First, you take responsibility for your life. Instead of taking this class, however, I decided to create my own. So I put together a list of books I would read and the assignments I would do and found a teacher to sponsor me. I then went to the dean of the school and presented my case. He bought into my idea and I completed my language requirement by taking my self-built course.

They went out and happened to things. To reach your goals in life, you must seize the initiative. Find ways to meet people. Be friendly and try smiling a lot. Ask them out. They may not know how great you are. Be bold. Some people mistake can-do for being pushy, aggressive, or obnoxious. Can-do is courageous, persistent, and smart. Others think can-do people stretch the rules and make their own laws. Not so. Can-do thinkers are creative, enterprising, and extremely resourceful. Pia, a friend of mine, shared the following story. It took place a long time ago, but the principle of can-do is the same: I was a young journalist in a big city in Europe, working full-time as a reporter for United Press International.

The Beatles were coming to town, and to my amazement I was appointed to cover their stay. They were the hottest thing in Europe in those days. Girls fainted by the hundreds just by their presence, and here I was going to cover their press conference. The press conference was exciting and I was elated to be there, but I realized that everyone would have the same story—I needed something more, something meaty, something that really would make front page.

One by one, all the experienced reporters went back to their papers to report and the Beatles went up to their rooms. I stayed behind. I walked to the hotel lobby, picked up the house phone, and dialed the penthouse. I guessed they would be staying there. Their manager answered. What did I have to lose? I gulped down my nervousness and inexperience and tried to act like a world-class reporter. I spent the next two hours laughing, listening, talking, writing, and having the best time of my life. They treated me royally and gave me all the attention in the world!

My story was splashed on the front page of the leading newspaper in the country the next morning. And my more extended interviews with each of the Beatles appeared as a feature in most of the newspapers of the world within the next few days. When the Rolling Stones came to town after that—guess who they sent? Me, a young, female, inexperienced reporter. I used the same approach with them and it worked again. I soon realized what I could accomplish by being pleasantly persistent. A pattern was set in my mind, and I was convinced anything was possible.

With this approach, I usually got the best story, and my news career took on a new dimension. George Bernard Shaw, the English playwright, knew all about can-do. I would go to the library every day and read, hang out with my friends, and just get away from home—what better place to work than someplace I already hung out at? It paid off. When they finally had an opening, I was their first choice, and I found one of the best jobs I ever had. For starters, just push pause. Yep, just reach up and push the pause button to your life just as you would on your remote control. If I remember right, the pause button is found somewhere in the middle of your forehead.

Sometimes life is moving so fast that we instantly react to everything out of sheer habit. Your life is not predetermined and you are free to choose. While your life is on pause, open up your toolbox the one that you were born with and use your four human tools to help you decide what to do. These tools are self-awareness, conscience, imagination, and willpower. You might want to call them your power tools. Not only has she just broken up with her boyfriend, Eric, but she and her mom are barely on speaking terms. As she strolls down the sidewalk, Rosa begins thinking about the past week. This process is called self-awareness. Meanwhile, Woof sees a cat up ahead and instinctively takes off in a frenzy after it. Although Woof is a loyal dog, he is completely unaware of himself.

She can hardly wait for the school concert tomorrow, when she will be performing a solo. Music is her life. Rosa imagines herself singing at the concert. She sees herself dazzling the audience, then bowing to receive a rousing standing ovation from all of her friends and teachers. In this scene, Rosa is using another one of her human tools, imagination. It is a remarkable gift. It allows us to escape our present circumstances and create new possibilities in our heads. It gives us a chance to visualize our futures and dream up what we would like to become. While Rosa is imagining visions of grandeur, Woof is busily digging up the earth trying to get at a worm. All rights reserved. Suddenly, Rosa feels a vibration in her pocket. She gets a text from her new friend Taylor.

Major bummer. Rosa feels that being warm and friendly is the right thing to do. Each of us has a conscience. Meanwhile, Woof is relieving himself on Mr. Woof has absolutely no moral sense of right and wrong. After all, he is just a dog. And dogs will do whatever their instincts compel them to do. I called you a dozen times. While Rosa is using her fourth human tool of willpower to control her anger, Woof, who has been told not to chase the mailman, is overcome by his instincts.

Willpower is the power to act. It says that we have the power to choose, to control our emotions, and to overcome our habits and instincts. As you can see in the above example, we either use or fail to use our four human tools every day of our lives. The more we use them, the stronger they become and the more power we have to be proactive. However, if we fail to use them, we tend to react by instinct like a dog and not act by choice like a human.

He was unsure about his future. His family was struggling. Could he ever get out? While in his house, on a still summer night before his senior year, Dermell heard a series of gunshots. It was just straight downhill for the whole family. It felt like the only real way he could pay back his dead brother. At this point, Dermell pushed pause and caught hold of himself. Using his imagination, he thought about his past and his future. I weighed my options. I thought about the times Kevin would come watch me play football.

He always told me I was going to be a pro football player. I thought about my future, about going to college. About what I wanted to make of my life. Nine months later Dermell had made the honor roll and was graduating from high school. Like Dermell, each of us will face an extraordinary challenge or two along the way, and we can choose whether to rise to those challenges or to be conquered by them. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny. Drivers wanted! Are you conducting your symphony or simply being played?

Are you acting like a can of soda pop or a bottle of water? Come along. Leave your comfort zone and go for it. Ask someone out on a date, raise your hand in class, or join a team. Walk up and introduce yourself to someone new. Decide now to drop it. Do not push send. Cool down first. Then decide how best to handle it. Most unhealthy habit You pour out all 1, pieces, spreading them out across a large table. What a difference it would make! Without it, you have no clue where to even start. Now think about your own life and your 1, pieces at least 1,! Do you have an end in mind?

Do you have a clear picture, even an idea, of who you want to be one year from now? Five years from now? Or do you feel lost? Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind, means developing a clear picture of where you want to go with your life. It means deciding what your values are and setting goals. Habit 1 says you are the driver of your life, not the passenger. Begin with the end in mind, that is. You draw up a blueprint before you build a house. You read a recipe before you bake a cake. You create an outline before you write a paper at least I hope you do. Find a place where you can be alone without interruption. Now, clear your mind of everything. Just focus with me for a second; breathe deeply, and open your brain wide.

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