It's THANKFUL Thursday... and I had a really profound message, with all kinds of research to write about today; but if I am truly going to use this blog to help people understand their brains and how to make them
work FOR you rather than AGAINST you....
then I have to be totally honest with you and say...
This has been a really CRAPPY week and it has been hard for me, and even though I KNOW how the brain works and understand its negative loops very well, I have not been 100% able to stop them myself.
So... let me tell you, when I say I know how you feel.... I REALLY do!
Sometimes, even when you KNOW better, you can't keep hurt or anger, or sadness, or rejection from creeping in. AND... when things seem to go south, boy do they gather steam and keep on rolling. No matter what you do, or what you say, or how you feel, or how much you talk to your own head... it just doesn't seem to change things.
But.... as I'd cried for about the 20th time this week....
a lesson from a 10 year old boy dawned on me,
and it was the same lesson, just wrapped in a different package.
Brady, my little Science genius, entered the 4th grade Science Fair a few weeks ago.
And for any of you who know him.... by all measures
(with his mind full of scientific data).... this should be HIS THING !
He thought and thought about what he wanted to create and the science behind the discovery, and he came up with an electronic circuit switch for his Hamster House.
The lighting had real bulbs with switches and each one had different voltages of batteries within the circuits so that they had different lighting brightness ....
of course......for a Hamster's different moods.
As a mother, and a former elementary teacher,
I thought this idea was brilliant.
It was both personal and scientific.
It was a shoe in for a GRAND prize!
So... Brady got to work. He painted the whole Hamster House himself.
He did every single drawing (with a mouse) in Photoshop & I transformed his drawings onto paper & we traced them onto both the house and to his Tri-fold board....
This project was getting better and better with every single step....
If we'd had another week... I felt sure the Nobel Prize would have been in our future.
When we took that project to school
and sat it down in the 4th grade section.....
we both stood in awe and could not have possibly
been any more proud of the work!
BUT.... when I got that phone call, I'd been waiting on all afternoon,
and heard the little shaky voice on the other end.... I KNEW!
I heard him say.... "Mom, I LOST!"
My first instinct (I have to say, but only in my head)
was that of frustration and anger at whatever
STUPID judges scored this Science Fair!
I mustered up my kindest mom voice and said
" That's awesome baby. I'm so proud of you."
........ then pause on the other end of the phone......
And he said, "MOM... you know 2nd place means-
I didn't win, and
THIS is what I'm supposed to be good at! "
When I picked Brady up from school that afternoon
(with his 2nd place ribbon) he said
"I'm gonna have to tell Remi, that his house didn't WIN."
And.... as the dagger I felt hit my soul came to a complete halt....
I said, "Let's talk about that before you tell Remi."
He came and sat down and I pulled out my best Neuroscience tricks.... and said, "Sometimes the greatest lessons,
are when we don't seem to win
what the world calls a VICTORY, but.... what we really win
is a personal VICTORY the world doesn't know anything about."
"Do you think there were any personal VICTORY lessons in this Science Fair project for you?"
He thought for a few minutes, with little tears pooling up in his eyes, and said YES!
This is what he learned (Genuine Wisdom from a 10 year old)
1. That I should have started a little sooner to work out all the details.
2. I really had a fun time trying and made it WAAAAAYYYYY better than I thought I could
3. I didn't know I could draw so awesome with a mouse
4. Remi loves his house anyway and has NO CLUE about a Science Fair
5. and..... the Best of all.....
The boy who won, was the GREATEST WINNER I HAVE EVER SEEN.
He came over to my project to congratulate me and said how cool my idea was. He even asked the newspaper lady if she would let me get in the picture with him so we could both be in the photo with our ribbons.... and I had never even talked to him before at school, because he's in another class, and today we played at recess.....
Next time I win something,
I am going to remember how he made me feel and try to do that too!
So.... as I sat here today with my own mental feelings of loss,
I am reminded of the wisdom from that precious little boy....
Sometimes our best lessons are when we don't WIN what the world says is the PRIZE because our life's journey has a personal prize
that sometimes takes a little longer to find.
May we ALL take a moment today and look at our "so called losses" a little differently. Maybe they are opportunities for your personal journey to absorb a lesson you would not otherwise have had the privilege to learn. Maybe someone out there somewhere can learn only from your pain, and together you can show them how to overcome their own mental losses to live a life better than before. May our brains open our eyes to a new perspective of 2nd lessons .....and turn our losses into personal VICTORIES !
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!