In this article we’ll look at why we allow ourselves to stay in unhealthy situations for years. Why don’t we make changes to better ourselves?
The status quo bias says: humans prefer keeping things the same, even when a change would improve the situation. In other words: we’re more comfortable with mediocrity than change.
Be aware that you must overcome this bias as you improve your health.
1. Emotional Health: Slay The Vampires
Teachers need to be emotionally healthy. If not, they become negative, cynical, and (I’m sure you’ve seen it) bullies to students.
The biggest change to my emotional health has been identifying and removing the Emotional Vampires who drain away my emotional health. They are complainers, pessimists, and love the status quo.
But then there are the people in your life who support you, empower you, and push you to go further. They encourage you to change for the better.
Use Pareto’s Principal: make the smallest changes that cause the biggest effects.
- Remove the few people who cause the most pain.
- Increase time with people who cause the most joy.
You only have to remove a few emotionally-draining people to make a big difference.
And remove means more than just “don’t sit by them.” It means remove them from your mind: don’t talk about them, think about them, or worry about them. Don’t lay in bed, having a mental argument with them.
Step one to improve your status quo: switch out Vampires for Empowerers.
2. Brain Health: Start A Project
I know you’ve got a book you want to read, a hobby you want to pursue, or a class you’d like to take. But you’ve put it off because you just don’t have time.
Since you’re no longer spending all night working, you have more time to go after something you’ve always wanted to do. There’s something incredibly exciting about getting a good project going.
- You’ll exercise your mind, keeping it flexible, quick, and open to new possibilities.
- You’ll remember what it’s like to be a student, struggling with new concepts
- You’ll learn unexpected skills beyond the core project.
Your project can be anything!
- My friend Cindy creates beautiful calligraphy after school.
- Marcus, who’s a banker, works with leather.
- Byrdseed.com started as a side-project.
So take time to pursue that thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have never tried.
Warning! Emotional Vampires will attack your project. They love the status quo, and this project threatens it. Be sure to remove them first.
3. Body Health: Do 1 Minute More
I know you know you should exercise. The benefits are infinite. But, again, we’re conditioned to keep the status quo.
Most people tackle too much at once. So try the opposite. Make it sooooo easy that you feel like you didn’t even do anything. Set yourself up for success.
Pick an activity you kinda like, and do it for one minute more than you did last time. That means, when you start, you’re going to exercise for just one minute.
- Go jog for one minute. Call it a night. Then jog for two minutes the next day.
- Go shoot baskets for one minute.
- Hold one yoga pose.
- Swim one lap.
- Do one push up.
Just like a kindergartener practices one letter at a time, you’ll need to scaffold your way towards success. Start smaller than small.
And again, Vampires will discourage you. They’ll mock your exercise plan. Remove them first!
You Need The Right People
Nothing helps you overcome an unhappy status quo like the right group of people. Jim Rohn says:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
If you’re surrounded by creative, positive, healthy people, you will become like them. If you’re around negative, cynical, unhealthy people, then guess what?
Become a healthier teacher for yourself, your family, and your students by intentionally shaking up the status quo.
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