NEWS

Future Focus: Test Scores or Arts?

In a recent publication by the Detroit Free Press we see music gain appleheartfruitspotlight amongst political battles being fought over changes in education budgets across all 50 states. Music education is being swept under the carpet of the congressional isles that can’t seem to get along on the many issues that are facing our country. As our country leaders continue to fight, we see drastic changes in the way we deliver arts education to the next generation. Separate entities are taking initiative to enable programs that support the creative arts education beyond what is fiscally allotted by the government.

Keith Wunderlich, the author of the DFP article showcased how the community took important action towards furthering this mission:

Then something extraordinary happened. People in the community stepped forward and began working with New Haven Community Schools to bring the music back. They dug up old sheet music. They donated old clarinets, flutes, guitars, drum sets and more that had been gathering dust in attics, spare bedrooms and garages. In addition to musical instruments, the community gave our students their time and financial support.

We heard the same chorus again and again: These community residents, many of them products of New Haven Community Schools, kept saying how music had been such an important part of their education, how music had helped them become who they are today.

Our community came together with educators and students to help provide a solution to a challenge all public schools in Michigan face, and that was how to save a program the community wanted but could no longer afford.

Music and education in the arts is different than any other academic field and, should be approached as such. Creativity, as a whole, is difficult to score, analyze, and standardize. For this reason, we find that when communities and individuals take action in supporting education systems and institutions in the development of arts programs there is advancement amongst students in all areas of education. Music has been shown to connect both sides of the brain, allowing for the student to understand various other subject matter in a more comprehensive manner.

Wunderlich goes on to state that many of our current successful leaders have benefited from arts in their lives, stating:

Music education has been linked to so many singularly successful people that its impact cannot be ignored. Google co-founder Larry Page (high school saxophone), former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (clarinet), Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (guitar), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (piano) and so many other highly successful individuals credit their music education for giving them the courage to create, to collaborate for success, to see solutions where none may be immediately obvious.

Conclusively, our focus on test scores are important so that the future our our world is smart and well educated. Arts education is experiential; the student learns best when experiencing the application of what he has learned. This could be argued as being the best way of learning anything. Therefore, everyone can contribute to the future generations’ success by supporting experiential situations for children to enjoy different areas of art.

We all know deep down that the core subjects aren’t the end-all-be-all to a well rounded educational foundation. If we truly want well-rounded educational foundations for the next generation we must invest our time and resources into the development of independently supported mechanisms that allow access to arts experiences. Because, deep down is where art lives and, deep down we want everyone to enjoy it — most importantly our children.  


Detroit Free Press: Source

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productivity

How I’m More Productive Without the Internet – 10x!

 

 

That’s right, you didn’t read the headline wrong which states that I don’t have internet. Now, before questions starting flying regarding my monk-like life style, let’s first get a few things clear. It’s true, I don’t have internet anywhere that I reside for long periods of time. This would include; my home or places of immediate business. I do, however have access to the internet via wireless connection at several places near by in which I much drive to in order to have internet on my devices. This is the core of this article and why not having access to the internet at all times has made me more productive in every area of my life.

 

When I moved to my current residence in Austin, tx Mid-April I had the opportunity, like everyone, to get installed internet in my home as a means to have access to the streaming lines of information pumped out every millisecond by news feeds, social media and email. Let’s face it, the internet is a very powerful tool for achievement-oriented individuals. We are able to get ahold on information on any genre or from any location in the word just by a quick type and a click. This always the super-achiever to gain that next leg up on competition, even if the competition is with himself. Instant feedback is awarded through this medium via comments from all perspectives and opinions. What a marvelous machine and power tool. Something that can grant you access to the world’s knowledge base and provide instant feedback for your ideas and creations. However, just as with any large machine sometimes the entity can become to large and consume more of our life than we might notice. You see, this mighty tool of the internet can suck in massive quantities of our precious time, allowing for us to get lost in a vortex of activities and inquires that contribute nothing to which we are striving for. This is where the semi-lack of access is the key to success via the internet.

 

As stated above, I don’t have immediate access to the internet in anyplace where I reside for long periods of time. The reason this has been a massive key to my productivity is because of how I use my internet time when I do have it. For instance; as I write this article I am sitting in my office with nothing from the online word to distract me. Facebook, twitter, news and the like have ZERO influence on my approach to this article. What this does is place me in complete control of my mind. Even though we have control over where our attention goes. Often it is harder to do so when there are easy access, even entertaining, distractions that are readily available. With the lack of internet to catch me attention or feed my curious mind, I therefore am placed in a position in where I much concentrate on the task at hand. So no matter if I’m writing an article for the six websites I contribute to or working on a video for youtube, I am completely focused without the self-sabotaging possibility of the internet sucking me in.

 

The perk to this lack is that I am REQURIED to be very artistic in how I use my time when I am on the internet. Whether I am at a coffee shop or an officeI much be very strategic, as I know my time is limited and I am therein required to focus ONLY on the most important tasks. If I want to watch a video on youtube, I am required to find the three or four that I value most and download them in order to watch them later at home. If I want to read news, I am required to be very direct in my search and careful in the sources. If I am to email, I answer the most important and send out what is most needed. If am to post to social media, I plan according to specific goals and criterion.

 

The LACK of the internet actually creates a GAIN of mental space and available attention to priority tasks. Also, I am placed in a very disciplined position in regards to computer us and productivity. The formula works like this:

 

  1. Do what can be done void of the internet.
  2. Plan pre-internet us based on top priorities and time limitations.
  3. Attack acquired internet use as if everything you did depended your successfully focused use of the internet.

Now, shut off that modem and get to acting on the things that REALLY matter.

 

What it Takes to BE Motivated — Consistently

 

Let’s face it — We aren’t motivated all the time. We go through peaks and valleys of motivation. When we are in a valley we tend to try to pull ourselves out by locking onto things that will motivate us. This might include things like listening to motivational speakers, reading motivational books and even attempting to change our state via chants and incantations. But question still remains; How does peak performers keep their state elevated day in and day out? The answer is simple, but may be more complex than most will be ready to commit to.

Before we get to the strategy of peak performer consistent motivation, let’s first examine our current state — and how we view it — our perception of how we feel. So, how do you feel right now? Your answer is a tell-all sign as to your readiness to take control of this peak and valleys process that we all seem to be victim of. If your answer was negative, then you may be the very thing that is holding you back from altering your motivation level. If your answer was semi-positive, then being on the fence is a sign of lack of focused decision making. If your answer was positive, then your ideal motivation state is higher than where you currently are. But simply becoming aware of HOW you answered the question is a very strong indicator of how you view your state. This tells you that you are judging yourself in some form or fashion, not allowing yourself to change by blocking growth.

STEP-BY-STEP: Here is your guide to accessing a consistent form of motivation…

 

STEP 1: CLEAR your mind of JUDGING your current state, allowing it to be as it is — regardless of how it feels. (EVEN if it feels horrible!) Peak performers allow how things are to just be, giving them an outside view and thus control.

STEP 2: THE KEY is to constantly adjust your mental image to something that motivates your deep down in your core. This is what peak athletes do but keeping in their mind the prize or accolades they will receive as a result winning.

STEP 3: REFOCUSING is the final step that is possibly the most crucial. You must keep refocusing your mind to that image as vividly as possible. This is paramount due to the vast amount of distractions that plague our daily existence. Keep moving your mind’s eye back to this image that keeps you going, regardless of what the external situations, people or circumstance may attempt to persuade you.

 

You have control over the 20% of your life that matters most. Ironically, that 20% directly influences the remaining 80% that most attempt to control. Don’t fall into that trap. Control that which is in your control, allow the rest to happen as result of your diligent efforts.

 

Yours,

Thomas

“Live your inspiration, deliberately!”

What Successful People Do to Keep Being Successful – Everyday!

 

It’s a Tuesday morning and you are debating whether to get the coffee and the doughnut or just the coffee. After all, the coffee will give you the boost you need and you can save the money spent on the doughnut to spend somewhere else later. This type of thinking may seem rational and logical, the fact remains that massively successful and productive people(super achievers)simply think differently in ALL situations that we ALL experience day-to-day. If you have spent any time with your nose in one ore more book entitled with a catchy “wealth” phrase, promising to show you the habits of successful people, there is often ONE key element or “habit” that each book seems to neglect to mention, but showcases brilliantly. This key trait of super achievers is by for the most important skill to cultivate — it will change your life, business and destiny.

To reinforce this claim I will explain to you exactly what to do in a step-by-step way that will ensure your success, if you commit to using it in your life very day in every way. Your commitment will, in and of itself, embody your drive to be successful in a way that others will take notice and strive to be like.

First, let’s examine what we’ve been told; We’ve been told that in order to be successful we need to wake up early, exercise, and establish daily success habits that have a solid track record within the life category we wish to improve. This, although well intended, is something that seems be hard to implement on a consistent basis. This is because are missing one key PERCEPTION CHANGE that will not rely on any particular set of rules or “success habits”.

You see, we are programmed to resist change. In the wild change symbolizes danger, pain or even death. This is why it’s so extremely difficult to “change ourselves” into becoming successful. But the good news is that YOU CAN DO IT with a simple SHIFT in perception.

THE KEY: The key is this; You must keep your moment – to – moment perception in check. In other words, you must constantly think to yourself “Is this coffee directly related to the successful life I want to lead?” or “Is this comment to a coworker directly related to the the successful life I want to lead?” Here it is, the special sauce; successful super achievers directly relate what they are doing in the moment to THEIR vision of success. Then, they apply the actions necessary to make that vision a reality. If this means waking up early and drinking tea instead of waking up 30mins before work and slamming coffee, then so be it. Super achievers make no exceptions when it comes to their success and the what they perceive their moment – to – moment success to be.

STEP BY STEP: Here is the formula you need to master to engage your super achiever self.

1. Select your “success center”. This is what you relate everything back to ever moment of every day. Answer the following question to find your success center: “What is my ultimate vision of success in the most detail as possible?”

2. Keep a solid awareness of your daily moment – to – moment experience. This will take time and practice — but its WORTH it! Meditation, exercise and keeping your mind calm will help.

3. Relate everything in your current experience to your success center. Asking the following question: “Does the relate to my ultimate success vision?” or “How does this enable me to be the success I want to be”?

 

 

There you have it! GO! APPLY! You can win this game and have your cake too!

And remember;

“Live your inspiration, deliberately!”

The 7 Bizarre Facts About Christmas Explained – Mistletoe as dung plants, spider webs and more!

Christmas is a holiday that virtually everyone in the world celebrates. This wondrous holiday gives us time to give back to those that are closest to us in a way that is different and unique. Christmas invokes a spirit, a vibe, that sends our emotions to the rafters with high-flying wishes of glitz and sparkle. Every year, we spend time shopping and preparing for a joyous holiday that will burn memories into the mind of our past lives. While we are deep into this sense of wonder, we sometimes miss the subtleties that have existed throughout history – even the bizarre.

I am excited to present to you some of the most interesting Christmas facts I could find. If you know of any, even the crazy bizarre, leave it in a comment below.

Let’s dig in! 

  1.    All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.
  2. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
  3. In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.
  4. Many European countries believed that spirits, both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas. These spirits eventually evolved into Santa’s elves, especially under the influence of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas(1779-1863) illustrated by Thomas Nast (1840-1902).
  5. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.
  6. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.
  7. Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

So weather you subscribe to dung twigs or roasters this year, my sincere hope is that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!