Can Post-It Notes actually be a top for personal empowerment? I'm a big fan of Post-It Notes; I practically use them every day. I use them to help remind me of important tasks, add notes on paperwork, and to periodically jot down ideas.
Almost coincidentally, I recently came across Eric Barker's post, How 5 Post-It Notes Can Make You Happy, Confident and Successful. The title intrigued me. Would it really work? I had to give it a try.
Here is what I had to write on each Post-It Note:
1. Make note of three things you're thankful for.
There are many things that I'm thankful for. My family is the primary source of my personal fulfillment. I know it might sound a little cliché, but I am extremely thankful for my family. They provide me with so much love, support and happiness. Sometimes I just need some time with them to remind me of that.
Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a teacher (and a whole bunch of other things too), but there was always a little part of me that really wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a career serving others. I wanted to be someone who would make a great positive impact on upcoming generations. I wanted an honorable career. I got exactly what I wanted.
In reflecting on what I'm really thankful for, I have a lot of "little" things to be happy for. I live in a nice place, the fridge is always stocked with healthy food, and I have almost every material possession I want. If I'm going to be honest with myself, I know that even though I could want more, I shouldn't. I have everything I need to have a good life and everything I need to be happy is all around me. That's something to be truly thankful for.
2. Make a note of a couple accomplishments you're most proud of.
Thinking about what I've accomplished is hard. There is a lot I've done, but picking out some as "accomplishments" was challenging. It forced me to examine my past and pick out what I see as most significant.
I am proud of my education; I worked hard for it. I have two bachelor's and a master's degree. I have skills, knowledge, and a critical eye that few people possess. Obtaining this was challenging. There were so many late nights, early mornings, and little crises here and there. At times, I wanted to give up. Fortunately, I had the determination not to.
Teaching is hard. The path of becoming a credentialed teacher is difficult and complicated. There are classes beyond a bachelor's degree, multiple state exams (they're not cheap to take), and mountains of other requirements that one must finish before being able to start teaching. Then there is the actual job of being a teacher. It's a position that is constantly demanding intellectually, physically, and emotionally. It's tough. According to Forbes, "46% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years." Unfortunately, I've seen many teachers quit. Fortunately, I'm still going (and I love it).
3. Scribble down something you're looking forward to.
Summer is right around the corner! It's my favorite season. Day trips, the beach, picnics, and outdoor fun is what comes to my mind when I think of summer. Many of my family members (myself included) have their birthday in the summer. Many of my favorite memories took place in the summer. It's just that awesome.
According to Barker, "Looking forward to something is powerful. It makes us hopeful, happier, and optimistic." Even though it's right around the corner, I look forward to summer all year long.
4. Write down a favorite memory that makes you feel good.
When I was in elementary school, my parents offered to take me to see the Rose Parade floats in Pasadena. This was when the parade was over and public could see them up close.
Unfortunately, my mom had to work that day and I thought that I wasn't going to be able to go. Seeing how disappointed I was, my dad decided to take me anyway. That day, we braved through massive traffic (he still complains about that to this day), far away parking, and busy crowds. I had a blast. I got to see the the mastery of the float designs and all the intricate effort that went into each float. Best of all, I got to spend some quality time bonding with my dad.
5. Write down the name of a hero you admire.
Atticus Finch. Without a doubt, he is someone I admire, even if he is a fictional character. He is the father of the protagonist, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. He is an honorable father that teaches his kids valuable lessons and a lawyer that stands up for what he believes is morally right. He is a prime example of a role model. Even though he is a fictional character, people in real life have told me that he is an inspiration to them. The inspiration that he represents is what I aspire to be.
After completing this exercise, it's hard to say that I've become happy, confident, or successful. I have all those qualities to a certain degree. What I can say is that I am now a little happier and a bit more confident. I am in a better mood than when I started. Hopefully, this translates to more success in the future.
Curious? Feel free to try this yourself.
Barker, Eric. "How 5 Post-It Notes Can Make You Happy, Confident and Successful." Time. Time, 28 May 2014. Web. 1 June 2014. <http://time.com/120425/how-5-post-it-notes-can-make-you-happy-confident-and-successful/>.
Kain, Erik. "High Teacher Turnover Rates are a Big Problem for America’s Public Schools."Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/03/08/high-teacher-turnover-rates-are-a-big-problem-for-americas-public-schools/>.