Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"Targets for Improvement"

We received our school reports last Friday. Mine wasn't too bad, thank God. But I was having one of my "deep" moments and thought about how I can somehow relate the whole "Targets for Improvement" section to...life. So here are some random targets for improvement for myself and the wider population...

Tolerance
This is, I believe, a key life skill. Tolerance is showing the willingness to allow/put up with the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with (that was a mixture of a dictionary definition and my own). I have found that this is most necessary in two very common situations: in religious situations and in dealing with personalities and lifestyles. 
The first seems obvious yet seems to be a huge difficulty for many. Why on earth can people not accept that others have a different belief to them, when it really doesn't affect them very much? I see no need to shove a religion down somebodies throat and then condemn others when they do it to you. Just agree to disagree and let them get on with it.
In the latter situation, I'm partially referring to annoying people. Many people are horrible to somebody who is perhaps a bit loud, or quirky without really thinking to just leave it alone. I've personally found that making comments in situations like this creates drama and upset and is just plain unnecessary. Tolerate it. Yes, they're annoying. Yes, they're frustrating. Yep, they are invading your personal space. You have the ability to move away from the situation or to just front it out and stay as calm as the sea when there aren't any waves. I'm also referring to lifestyles or particular parts of personalities such as being slim, well-built, homosexual, focused on studying, ambitious BLAH BLAH BLAH. If it doesn't effect you, who gives a flying donkey? If you do it's probably time to evaluate why... If the answer to that is "because I don't like it" I recommend you learn the skill of tolerance. I believe it makes you a very sound and well-balanced person.

Respect
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me!
Well, okay. I will. The dictionary definition of respect is the 'due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others'. This basically means you take into consideration what you're about to say before you say it, bearing in mind who you're saying it to, your relationship to them and what you intend to say. I generally try to ensure I am showing people respect because I don't want to be treated with disrespect. I kinda run on a "You respect me, I respect you" basis. It's only when people disrespect me (and intend on doing so) that I can get a little sassy with them. One of the traditional values of society is to respect your elders - I have heard so many people wonder why there is no value for younger people to be respected, like...why it's so ageist. I think that the value is mostly down to the fact that most teenagers are moody and always assume the parent knows nothing and teens know best. But I don't think that saying/value should restrict us. If an old man asked me politely to move on a bus so he could sit down, I would do so immediately. However, if the old man came up to me yelling the odds about how disrespectful I was that I hadn't moved yet, I'm not sure I'd be too inspired to move, to be honest. He has shown me disrespect and so does he deserve it back? Well, I suppose that's something you evaluate in that situation and you generally have wonder about in life anyway. But if everyone just had that little bit more respect for one another, there'd probably be hell'a lot less commotion. 

Optimism

What's the point in everything going wrong all the time and doing nothing but moaning about it? There's no point to giving up when you've tried so hard. There's no point in being miserable about something because you haven't had it for long enough, or you didn't get enough out of it. For me, being positive - oh, sorry - optimistic, is an incredibly important thing to be. Putting on a brave face and looking for the good stuff in the bad has always helped me through things...an example is when I was 12 and my parents broke up. I was upset, and all cry-y and such like, but not long after they broke the news to me I was sitting in the garden and thought to myself "I can either take this really badly and be all rebellious and make life hell for them... or I can try and pull myself together and try and see the good in it." The next thing I did was turn around to my Mum and ask her how big my room was going to be and what colour the walls were. I know it seems a bit weird - almost like I was excited - but I needed something to look forward to in the midst of all the crazy. 
You didn't get that grade after you revised so hard for it - so take it as a learning opportunity, see where you went wrong and work on it. You'll be a whole lot smarter when you're done.
You auditioned for the school show and got "Door Man 2" and only have one line - at least you got a line, unlike the other 70 who auditioned and are unnamed characters. Plus, you still get the experience of being in performance and don't even have to stress about memorising half a script! And don't give up because those rehearsals could have displayed how hard working you are and you may have improved through doing it too.
You've borrowed your friends XBOX ONE but they want it back because they've got a new game for it..and well, it's theirs. So, you didn't get to finish your game and you have lost your daily evening entertainment... but your friend did lend you their XBOX as well as the game you were playing and you enjoyed it when it was there. When something isn't there anymore, you can miss it but I see more point in remembering how great it was when it was there than thinking of where it is now and being all down about it.
If you got to choose between being happy or sad, which one would it be? Happy, I presume? Optimism and staying positive is key to that. It takes away the negativity and heartache of life, and gives you goal and some motivation to keep going. If you find it hard to be optimistic, running helps. Or taking up any enjoyable hobby, as a matter a fact... exercise is scientifically proven to help improve your mood too, and in turn help your view of life events. Because I'm happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!


Obviously it's impossible to be tolerant, show respect and be optimistic all the time, but it's worth putting the effort in because it does positively impact you in the long run, as well as everyone else. If you get stuck, talk to someone about it or just try again tomorrow. Take out frustration in exercise or baking cakes, and clear your head with a walk or yoga or something once in a while. 

That's me done. My eyes are going funny because it's late and really I shouldn't be doing this right now... Don't forget to comment with any of your own stories, anything you agree with or something you want to challenge! And share this to friends and family if you so desire - if you'd like to become a member of my page, look to the right-hand side panel. Hope you're all well!

Be back soon,
Sarah