Friday, 28 September 2012

Part 1: Alignment: Find the Questions First

Friday, 21 September 2012

Authenticity - Emotional Intelligence

This week we are looking at authenticity.   One way to make sense of authenticity, emotional intelligence is a great tool to use to make sense of our strengths, values and what makes us unique. Unlike IQ, EQ can be learned throughout your and can contribute to an opportunity to explore your most authentic self.

According to Goleman, there are five main themes related to EQ.  They are:  
1. Self-Awareness      
2. Managing Emotions      
3. Empathy  
4. Social Skills

Why is emotional intelligence so important?  Why do we use it in our work?  Below is a video series by Daniel Goleman that speaks specifically to the importance of developing IQ in our youth.  He also writes for those in the work force and age groups.

We would like to invite young men and their families to a forum on October 27th, 2012.  We hope to see you at the forum: Young Men - Finding Direction in the Millennium.   Throughout the day we will come together to explore what it means to be a young man growing up in the 21st century.   Part of that is learning about what make us unique and what we want to share with the world, what we would like to do at school, in the workforce, as members of a community and a family.   We are really inspired by the opportunity for growth and learning that will be presented at the forum.  If you are interested in joining us, please visit the website or email us to inquiry further about the day.  We certainly hope you will join us for a day of discovering your most authentic self.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Deepening our Awareness: Universities and Gap Years


 Happy Friday!  Following up to last week's blog we are on a theme about awareness.  While Neil is referring to awareness as seeing the world differently.  This week's blog explores how gap years can help inspire a period of awareness for young adults; additionally, the growing awareness and understanding of the purpose of a gap year by universities.  Below is an article that was published in the Vancouver Observer this past week.    

North Americans catching onto
gap year trend 


To gap, or not to gap? That is the question.

While the gap year, or “year out”, has been a common and popular rite of passage in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and many countries in Europe for decades,North American students have  traditionally ridden the academic conveyor belt all the way from preschool to university without a break.

Now, the tides are changing and many soon- to-be high school graduates are saying they’re burnt out, and need more time before deciding what they want to take at university. Instead of packing for their first year, they are now booking their flights to go volunteering in Africa, or work on a yacht in the Caribbean.

North America is starting to catch on to the “gap year” trend, and for good reason. Amid concerns about drop-out rates, researchers now say that students who go straight to university often find themselves in a program that doesn’t interest them, and are more likely to change programs, thus prolonging their degree and increasing their debt level, and they are more likely to quit. Experts now say that going straight to university may be short-sighted for some, and a year out is the way to go for some soul-searching.

And taking a gap year has never been easier. Many universities are now willing to defer start dates for a year – York University is embracing this gap year phenomenon with its Bridging the Gap program and “celebrates” a student’s choice to take a year off to gain work experience, do community service or go on an international exchange and will reserve the student’s admission spot for up to a year provided he or she is accepted into the program. Harvard University, one of the top universities in the world, has always been ahead of its time and for the past 40 years has proposed that students take a year out in its letter of admission.

Is there a downside to taking a gap year? Not really, according to a 2008 Statistics Canada report published jointly with Canadian Policy Research Networks. The report found that students who delay post-secondary education don’t face a disadvantage in the labour market later on – as long as they actually complete their program once started. In fact, a Canadian Council of Learning study found that students who took a gap year were eight per cent more likely to be employed upon finishing all their studies.

Understandably, many parents are a little nervous that their son or daughter will be side-tracked and destined to remain degree-less forever. However, even though there are no formal studies on the actual number of gap year students who do make their way to university, admissions staff say that only a few drop off the radar.
On the contrary, one year out in the world can make a young person more focused, better prepared for university life and more likely to complete at least one university degree. After all, it’s not getting into university that counts – it’s getting the degree at the end of the line.

Students who have taken the year out, universities, and the latest statistics aften agree that the gap year was worthwhile. Although it may be a daunting prospect for parents and students to divert from the “safe” bound-for- university-after-high-school route, the rewards and benefits are well worth stepping out of the comfort zone. To find out more about gap year options, come and visit SWAP Working Holidays and Basecamp International Center Volunteer Programs at the Study and Go Abroad Fairs.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Four As of Awesome: A Change

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Neil Pasricha speak at a conference.  I  had one burning question:  Why the word awesome?  Why not wonderful, fantastic, magical, whimsical etc.   I never did ask him the question; instead, I found this picture.   

He feeds us a few more As and will provide the theme of the next four posts: attitude, awareness, alignment and authenticity. 

  • Attitude – meeting challenges with a positive attitude makes growth possible.
  • Awareness – seeing the world as though we’re three years-old reawakens wonder and possibility.
  • Authenticity – having the courage to be ourselves so we can follow our hearts and feel fulfilled.
  • Alignment – the clarity of knowing your core values and aligning yourself (or your team) with them.

A change in attitude reminded me of this video.  You might remember the Story of Stuff? Well, they have created another video called The Story of Change.