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3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

As I sit in my office this morning, I just had a conversation with a colleague of mine – Someone I coach and train, and someone who constantly makes me think in return. I love his attitude. He is one of the most positive people I know. Today, however, we did not see eye to eye, which is not to say we argued but just had a difference of opinion.

We were speaking about luck. He brought it up in a casual way. He said, “Maybe I will get lucky today.” That caught my attention. I am a teacher of salespeople; I do not believe in luck.

Now I am a superstitious guy, not in a serious way, just for fun, but I do have my quirks. I always put on my left shoe first. I have no idea where this started, but I have done it my whole life. Sitting on my desk is a large wooden Buddha, I rub his belly every time I enter and exit the office. I don’t think these actions do anything for me; they just comfort me in a way that I can’t explain. But I know I do not do them for luck.

There is no such thing as luck.

Opportunity is a different word. Opportunity does come at random sometimes but more often than not it is the result of a specific action and just plain hard work.

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What would it take for my friend to feel like he had “gotten lucky” today? A new client? I happen to know that is what he wants. But why leave that up to luck?

He is smart, talented, and good at his job. But sits by the phone waiting for luck.

The only luck my friend needs is belief in himself and to get off his rump and hustle. The harder you work, the more opportunity you will have. Luck has nothing to do with it.

So, how can we as educators help to change the way our students think? Or, how can we, as people, just help to change the way we think and process information?

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How about this?

3 Small Changes, 1 BIG Difference

1. Listen More

Most educators, instructors, and teachers I know are brilliant minds who know the topics they teach in their bones. But how many of you have been teaching the same topics for years? Have your classes evolved and changed or are we thinking about learning through the same lens that we used even 5 years ago, much less 10 or 15 years ago.
We need to rethink our curriculum and listen to the students we teach. What are they most looking for in a class, a breakout session, a workshop? Are we addressing their needs for education or are we stuck offering the same classes over and over?

Try this, put out a poll to your students or employees asking what classes or topics they would most like to learn more about. I think the responses may surprise you.

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2. Break Your Own Routine

The simple fact that you have read this tells me that you want to achieve more, to get better, to improve. The very best way to improve will always come from within. You have not gotten to this position in life by being average. You have an amazingly creative mind that has propelled your success thus far. But be honest, are you in a bit of a routine? I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you are happiest when you are creative. Designing new classes. Sparking a new charitable campaign. Thinking differently!

Try this, Next week take a different route to work EVERY day, and don’t take the same way home. This small change, while it may sound silly, will force your mind to think creatively on your route. No more autopilot. Putting yourself in new situations causes your mind to think differently, and to wake up. You may just get that one spark you are looking for when you take that third left instead of the second.

3. Dare To Be BOLD

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Is there an itch in the back of your mind that you have thought about over and over but never attempted to scratch? A wild crazy thought that when you dream big enough, just may work?! Please listen to this: Anything you do advances us all. Anything you do advances us all. BE BOLD! Take that shot. Start a blog, write a book, open your own website, your own school. No one ever looked back on their life and said: “I wish I had done less.”

Try this, wake up every morning and say to yourself “What’s next?” “How can I be a part of it?”…..or better yet, sit down with a piece of paper, put that itch into words. Make it happen.

So to help our students and colleagues, we must think differently and reject luck.

I believe in magic, and love, and opportunity. I believe that a good hearted man with a passion can become a success at anything and that a smart, confident lady will change the world. I believe in baseball, flowers for no reason and good manners.

BUT I refuse to believe in luck. For that, I will just get back to work.

More by this author

Glenn Killey

Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

What Is Your Defining Mental Picture? What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control The Law of Reversed Effort

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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