What to do when you want to give up

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE The first quarter of the year has already passed. Crazy, right? How has it gone for you? I find that so many times we get pumped up about our goals at the New Year or at the start of a new semester, making plans to go after what we most desire. And then when the bright, shiny new year fades and we are mired in the real work – the rise and grind – day in and day out – we lose sight of our goals, of what we truly desire. It’s easy to allow ourselves to become derailed from the path of our dreams. It’s easy to forget why we were motivated to take action, to build rest into our schedule, to become healthy …. (insert your desire). And then what happens when we fall off the path? We berate ourselves. We make excuses. Or we say to ourselves things like, “Well, that didn’t work” or “I can’t do that.” or “That’s too hard.” And we give up. If this is you… I want you to know, my friend, that you are not alone. Only 9.2% of people felt they were successful at achieving their new year’s resolution. Instead of giving up, try […]

What’s the harm in failing to fail?

by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE My client, Susan, was steaming. And rightly so. Susan’s department director went over her head and told Susan’s failing students that she (the director) would change their course grade if they passed the HESI, a standardized test. True story. I’ve heard this story, or a version of it, more times than I can count. And I too am furious. How have we come to this in higher education? As a society, we have evolved into “trophyizing” (yes, I made that word up) children for simply trying, for showing up, for giving their all. And sometimes they don’t even have to show up or give their all yet still receive a trophy.   Just as distributing trophies to undeserving children, the practice of passing students when their grades suggest otherwise serves no one. It’s unethical in fact. Why? Because it teaches nothing. Except perhaps, “If you whine loudly enough, you can get your way.” The official term for this is “failing to fail.” While Susan’s story may be infuriating, administrators are not alone in the practice of failing to fail. Faculty have cited knowing the student’s name, giving the benefit of the doubt, fearing the student would be held back or removed from their course of […]

What would it look like to channel Garth Brooks in your classroom?

Kelly P. Beischel Ph.D., RN, CNE   My husband and I saw Garth Brooks in concert this past Sunday night. I don’t typically stay out late on Sunday nights as the price to be paid on Monday is too steep. But for Garth Brooks … I made an exception. What a performance! I love his music and know nearly all of his songs by heart. The lyrics and accompanying music are catchy thus memorable. But do you know what I love most about him? His energy. His enthusiasm. His passion for his art. And from what my son told me after meeting Garth personally, Garth is an unbelievably kind person.  Refreshing to hear, right? Even if you aren’t a fan, you have to agree that he has something special going on.  I mean. Come on. Garth goes on a world tour after being absent from the music industry for nearly 16 years. And every one of his concerts sells out within minutes of the shopping cart opening.  During the concert, I couldn’t help but note that when we were all clapping, screaming, and singing with Garth, he responded with over-the-top expressions of gratitude and joy.     Garth’s gratitude and joy generated, even more, engagement and enthusiasm from his fans.   And […]

My Naked Truth. What’s Yours?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I value transparency. So much that I no longer have tolerance for folks who aren’t willing to be transparent and vulnerable with me. You know who I’m talking about. Folks who pretend life is perfect or that they have no place to grow. You and I both know that life doesn’t work that way. Life isn’t perfect. Life is messy. And we humans are often a mess as we navigate it.  But we have a simple tool to make our lives better. More joyful. Even easier. And it’s free! What’s this miracle tool? Self-reflection Deep reflection is the most impactful strategy for personal and professional growth. It’s the perfect tool for jumpstarting the necessary disruption of a life set on autopilot. Deep reflection exposes our naked truth. And, for me, it’s not always pretty.   While December is a perfect time to reflect on the past year, life isn’t perfect. In fact, life in December is often mega messy.  To this end, I sat in reflection of 2016 the second week of January. Better late than never. Right? I was astounded by what I discovered when reflecting on 2016 using Susan Hyatt’s reflection questions. Feel free to use these questions to guide your own reflection. […]

How to Juggle Your 101 Responsibilities

Kelly P. Beischel PhD, RN, CNE   Imagine you’re at your town festival. Droopy strands of lights are twinkling between telephone poles. Music pours out of the precariously hung speakers.   The air is sticky with the smell of popcorn. A juggler in front of you causes you to stop abruptly in the street. He’s about to juggle a bowling ball, a baseball, and a glass ball. You’re fascinated by his attempt to do the impossible thinking, “There’s no way.” How will he manage to juggle each of these objects successfully? And at the same time? But I bet this isn’t far off from your daily life. Dividing your time between the responsibilities that come with being an academic can feel just as impossible. Right? Your responsibilities, like the juggler’s objects, don’t carry the same weight. The tasks associated with your responsibilities don’t carry the same weight either. We are often caught between which task to do first because they all appear to weigh the same, to have the same priority.  Yet, some tasks are more valuable than others. And some, if not attended to, break more readily than others. There’s good news in this; the year is fresh. The slate is blank. This is the perfect time to reflect on your responsibilities and […]

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