#DBC50Summer 46/50: The Path to Serendipity

Finding value in happenstance, an unplanned or fortunate discovery… definitions of serendipity. Choosing to be happy in the face of all that’s happening around you and to you. It’s so easy to say, and oh, so hard to do. Truth is, we all struggle here. When your world feels like it’s falling apart, keeping a smile on your face and contributing to everyone else’s great day is insanely difficult. Misery loves company.

But here’s the real truth. Happiness, joy, positivity… they’re all contagious. Spread that. Tell misery where it can go and allow positive energy to radiate from you.

Want to know a little secret? Actually… two little secrets….

Secret 1: This book is the real reason behind #DBC50Summer. This is where the idea began to form, where the realization that creative alchemy could be the answer to many of my “problems,” where I knew blogging about my reflections, connections, and implementation was the key to my professional growth.

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A DM between Allyson & me on May 16, several days after I read her book for the first time. (Consider yourself tagged, Allyson, ha!)

Secret 2: This blog post was the first one written for #DBC50Summer. I had planned to skim the book, because I practically know it by heart now, and then publish the post I wrote back in late May. I have a slight problem with that though. I deleted the post tonight. I am at a different set of circumstances now. What I wrote then isn’t what I want to share now. So I started from scratch. Well, mostly.

Allyson Apsey told the most inspiring, gut-wrenching, authentic story I had read in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line. She was genuine and vulnerable. (These qualities are why I’m also excited to extend the ideals behind #DBC50Summer past book 50 because book 51 is all about this concept! Stay tuned for that. No clue what it’ll be called – still working on that.)

Allyson became one of my best friends the night I read her book for the first time and I’ve never even spoken to her other than Twitter, much less met her. However, I feel like we’ve had dinner together multiple times, we’ve sat on my couch together sharing our heart, we had a sleepover one night while I reread a few chapters, and even tonight, we hung out in the car while my oldest daughter had softball practice. In reality, I was just reading her book, but The Path to Serendipity is that good.

Here comes your nightly bedtime story that will eventually come full circle and relate to book…

I don’t have a large storage of self-confidence. The stories in my head usually end up with me not being smart enough, eloquent enough, funny enough, pretty enough, likable enough, good enough to match up to anyone. Growing up I always found it easier to get along with guys. I didn’t feel like I was compared to the boys (So what if you can dunk the basketball? I can throw girls 10 feet in the air) like I was with the girls (She looks way cuter in that cheer uniform than I do as she flies through the air… y’all, I always caught her when she came down… well, 99% of the time).

Lately I’ve struggled more so than usual. One dear friend of mine in particular has gotten the short end of the stick lately. I’m constantly comparing myself to this friend thinking there’s no way I’ll ever measure up. They are pretty spectacular; one of those people that everyone wants to be around – insanely “popular” by all middle school clique standards. For me, feeling average, at best, is a good day. Periods of prolonged quietness leads me to believe my friend has finally wised up and realized that I’m not enough. Then the stories start to form in my head and by the time I know what’s going on, I’ve put up defense mechanisms, made some snide comment to protect myself, and feel guilty and apologize. It’s a vicious cycle. Don’t get me wrong, when I get out of my own way, the friendship is definitely a positive one. I just find myself apologizing more than ever lately because my self-confidence seems to have hit a record low. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Tell me y’all know exactly what I’m talking about, right?

This new set of circumstances compelled me to delete the original post I made about this book. Now I’m taking a closer look at quotes from the book and Glasser’s Choice Theory that Allyson discusses in the book. Apparently my gas tank for belonging is super large and rather empty at the moment. From reading (and rereading) I know I need to provide myself an environment that gives opportunities to refuel this tank.

Relating these behaviors back to Choice Theory, perhaps my aforementioned friend has larger tanks for freedom and fun, which would depersonalize the behavior of silence. Maybe just being aware of the different sized tanks will help? (If that’s the case, consider yourself told, friend. My belonging tank is large, haha!) Allyson’s third and sixth stop tonight got me.

All you need to do is move inch by inch toward the person you want to become; that is enough. You are enough.

~Allyson Apsey

The only person who has control over our behavior is us…I cannot blame my behavior on how someone else is making me feel.

~Allyson Apsey

So yeah… I read that second quote tonight and immediately contacted my friend to apologize for my erratic behavior lately. I have to work to make myself feel better. My friend is not responsible for my actions and there are things I can do to make myself feel better, like listening to music, having my own dance party, organizing (yes, that’s a real coping mechanism for me). I can “peel the onion” as Allyson says to discover what’s really at the heart of my irritation and struggle in self-confidence.

Here’s where it comes full circle…

Keeping all of this in mind, realizing that I am 33 years old and I struggle with this, don’t I realize my middle school students and all of their pubescent hormonal teen brains are dealing with this times 100?!?! When they lash out at school, it’s not against me. They are showing that they need something. They need a tank filled – whether it’s belonging, fun, power, survival, or freedom. I need to create that environment for them.

One of our students who is already notorious for trouble (less than a month into school) saw me in the hall this morning and gave me the biggest hug. He is looking for a balance between belonging, freedom, and power. I am doing all I can to provide that for him. Rather than accusatory remarks, I ask questions. I give him extra trust and relay that I expect him to live up to that trust. I speak to him like he’s an equal. He respects that and responds to it positively.

My implementation plan for this book is a bit sneaky… hopefully those I work with will just skip right over this blog post (if they’re even reading them, HA – hey friends). I plan to use Glasser’s Choice Theory and the idea of depersonalizing behavior and choosing to be joyful in each day and weave it into digital learning professional development. How in the world can that be done, you ask? Well… I need content to share when showcasing a tool like PearDeck or EdPuzzle. Why not find a video or require a response while watching in EdPuzzle, or read a short article and respond on PearDeck? Boom – digital tool shared and Glasser’s Choice Theory continually popping up this year. Shhh… don’t tell them my diabolical plan! (Insert evil laugh here.)

I can’t begin to tell you how incredible this book is. It’s not just an educational book, it’s an everybody book. If you’re an adult, with life experience, you will relate to this book. (Pssst… that means you.) So go get yourself a copy. In fact, I’d go ahead and get one for a friend, partner, spouse, coworker, whomever so you’ve got a reading buddy. You’ll need to talk this one out.

I didn’t have a reading buddy. Instead, I tweeted. Like crazy. I read this one in one sitting and tweeted the entire time I read. Here’s a few of the highlights. (Oh, and spoiler… acronym alert! Naturally – it was published by Dave and Shelley Burgess, right?)

I also love this tweet from my #EduHero, Cristina Dajero! By the way, you should go follow her, right now.

Allyson is totally getting big hugs when I finally get to meet her!

So here’s your checklist of sorts for the night, friends.

  1. Go buy The Path to Serendipity.
  2. Go follow Allyson Apsey on Twitter.
  3. Put a column in TweetDeck for #Path2Serendipity
  4. Visit Allyson’s website here and sign up for her newsletter. More great stuff coming from her soon! You can also see her podcasts and interviews here.
  5. Subscribe to her YouTube channel and definitely check out her Book Talk on each stop! (These air live around 7:00 pm on Sunday evenings – watch her tweets for updates and notifications when she goes live)
  6. Finally, you must go read my friend Andrea Paulakovich‘s (creator of global collaborative space on flipgrid for every DBC, Inc book) #DBC50Summer post on The Path to Serendipity. It is beautiful!
  7. Did you do number 1 yet? Go… now.

Once you’ve read, cried (if you’ve not, you may have more in common with the Grinch than you first thought…just saying), and reflected, join us over in the flipgrid space (Andrea lets me co-pilot, oh em gee! She’s super-awesome!) and share your thoughts there.

Allyson, I cannot end this post without saying thank you. Thank you for exposing your heart, sharing your very personal story, and pulling me into every word you wrote. I appreciate you and am so thankful for your friendship! You rock, sweet lady! I’d work for you any day of the week!

Y’all… we’re getting so close. It’s like I can hear a mash-up of the Theme from Rocky and It’s the Final Countdown (which also aired in a Rocky movie) playing in the background. Book 47 is coming up and I’m so pumped to finally read it! This one was released just one day after the seeds of #DBC50Summer were planted, so I’ve waited to read it until now. I am so, so, so very excited to finally dig into Jay Billy‘s Lead with Culture – the first of the Lead Like A Pirate Guide Books! I’m guessing that with the level of incredible from Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf in their book, the guides have got to be amazing!

2 thoughts on “#DBC50Summer 46/50: The Path to Serendipity

  1. Pingback: #DBC50Summer 50/50: The EduNinja Mindset | AliciaRay.com

  2. Pingback: #DBC50Summer Book 41-50 Recap | AliciaRay.com

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