I will never forget my third-grade teacher. She stood at the front of the room most days, yelling commands such as:
- You should do your homework before you go out to play.
- You do not have any business answering that question.
- You will complete these questions at the end of the chapter.
- You won’t get an ‘A’ if you do not take notes.
I can still remember the smell of her navy, polyester suit accented by her red, polka dot blouse. I remember her so vividly because I vowed quietly, during one of her lectures, to become a teacher that would never tell anyone what they should do, could not do, or would not amount to!
I still thank her every time I start to say to my children or myself, “You should really…”
Tell stories instead
As I started writing for Livology, I resisted the “You should “ voice with the fervor of my eight-year-old self. I read so many travel pieces and personal growth articles to land on a voice prior to starting the Blog. All the advice said to tell people what they need to do. People want answers, solutions, suggestions about where to stay, and to eat, what to pack when to go. I knew that would not be possible for me.
I knew the only voice possible was the one I settled on in Mrs. Davis’ third-grade classroom. I share stories from the first-person point of view because I can only speak with conviction about my own experience. How can I tell anyone else what to do when they travel, or when they want to start a new business or take a risk? What I can do is share my learning and hope by writing stories about universal themes like appreciation, simplicity, family, and adventure that someone, somewhere will connect with the growth and feel it for themselves.
Making a habit of it
Because many people asked for more direction and guidance in relation to living a more deliberate life, we started the Daily Livits. They are not sequential or something that you need to complete in a certain order, or within a given timeframe. They are there when you need to re-frame your thinking, any time day or night, in any time zone around the globe. You can access an exercise to help you intentionally shift your thinking into alignment with your dreams. It only takes a few minutes out of your day. The Daily Livits are more directive simply because people who subscribe have asked for more structured thinking around living a deliberate life.
My parents gave me my first book of poetry during my pivotal third-grade year and the only page I dog-eared was:
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child. Listen to the DONT’S. Listen to the SHOULDN’TS, the IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S. Listen to the NEVER HAVES, Then listen close to me- Anything can happen, child. ANYTHING can be. ~ Shel Silverstein