January 01, 2011

I will act now: Happy New Year 2011

I've sat for just a little bit this afternoon marvelling at the velocity of shared links, blog posts penned, conversations raging on the Twitterverse about all manner of things: the future of education, coding hacks, social media marketing, Google analytics. And I once more leave the iPhone aside with a feeling that either

  • I'm either missing something by not engaging with this helter skelter chat 24/7 (for that is what it would take to keep up with everyone, across timezones);
  • not doing my job by ignoring most of it completely, or
  • neglecting my family; or
  • admitting that any potential I might have for flow in my work will disappear if I even try to engage more frequently (what do I really believe about assessment, about learning, about social media, about journalism in a new age, about communications with those who are not on Twitter, about...?)

There are so many people thinking about some great things in great ways, so many giving their local angle, and their world view, so many options to consider, that there must come a point where we stop thinking, stop speaking and take actions.

So that's my 2011 resolution, and one I'm going to enjoy keeping. I'm going to swallow more of my own advice, and that of Dr John Hunter, and not think so hard, just try the experiment.

From Euan a quote that sums up the urgency I feel to abandon the torrential streams flowing on this holiday of holidays:

I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, everyday, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person. -  Og Mandino

Pic of people really doing stuff, in the Loony Dook, from Gareth Harper.


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Sound principles to live/work by.

My Twitter use works in phases, often dropping in on a conversation that takes my interest. Other days, I don't even turn TweetDeck on.

I apply the same approach to email, particularly at work. One day per week I turn the email off; raising an eyebrow or two from my colleagues. My response, I'm paid to teach not check email.

If you're going to get things done it is important to shut out the noise no matter how engaging that noise may be.

I plan to join you in "acting now" as much as possible in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Thanks- that was a good kick for me. I have been putting off a task that needs me to just do so I can move on to other things and enjoy the rest of my holidays.

I am even printing it out so I can see it often.

Happy New Year indeed.

As with Allanah, I've copied Og Mandino's message of action on a sticky note and placed it near a frequent spot I seem to occupy. As an American K-12 educator involved in the daily grind we all need to seek validation from outside an institution notorious for the lack of validation.

Happy New Year! Let Love and Happiness never leave your families.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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