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Creating Joy and Practicing Gratitude

Pearls of Wisdom
By Celeste Krochak
Creating Joy and Practicing Gratitude

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for PTC professional learning experiences.  Each day of every program begins with a 'pearl of wisdom', a 'nugget of knowledge', or a 'gem of inspiration' from one of the participants.  We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this Pearl, Celeste shares how a small mental shift can make a big impact on your ability to view life from a solid foundation of gratitude. Mark Twain said, “to get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” Celeste wants to share her joy and even when things are challenging, to not lose that in the day and find ways to experience and model joy. It doesn’t have to be big, grand gestures. Small acts of intentional kindness, as simple as a thank you, can go a long way.

She discusses how an insight from Michael Black’s podcast helped her access joy. He says, “Maybe life is just hard but that’s no way to live” and recommends a mental shift. Change the “have tos” to the “get tos.” Celeste notes that you might feel burdened with the daily tasks and commitments of life, the “have tos,” but it’s possible for you to flick that mental switch and turn them into “get tos.” The choice is really yours. I have to write that report changes can turn into I get to share with the parent community all the good things happening in the school. I have to have that difficult meeting with that family or teacher. No, I get to. I get to try to turn that situation around. She notes that sometimes things are just hard. But that one little word choice can move you away from pessimism and towards being a proactive optimist.

At the time of recording, Celeste Krochak was the assistant principal at the Canadian International School in Singapore.

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