PERSONAL ASSESSMENT: The Heart of a Teachable Spirit

Welcome to Healthy Mom University - the first wellness school designed just for moms. This is the Fall 2019 Session. An important part of starting any wellness program is assessing your readiness to take action toward making small, positive lifestyle changes. If you know in your heart that you are ready, then please move on with the introduction and first lesson. If you are unsure, let's do some self-evaluation to determine if this is a good time for you to join the Healthy Mom University online wellness school. If you are feeling extra stressed, overwhelmed or anxious in this moment, you might want to return to this assessment after you've gone for a walk, done some breathwork, prayer or meditation. Of course, we want you here but we also to make sure this program is a good fit for you and that you are participating at a time that's right for you.

It's probably been a while since many of you have been in a college classroom. As a college instructor, at the start of term, my students are typically coming into class with a beginner's mindset. With this program, you might already have your own philosophies on wellness, so let's begin by assessing your teachability a.k.a. your willingness and desire to learn from others and your commitment to personal growth. I am using principles from John C. Maxwell's book - Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn (2015). I'll put the link to his books below. John Maxwell - respected motivational speaker and former pastor, writes: "In order to truly live up to your potential, you have to be open to learning." When you are open to learning, you have "a teachable spirit". Successful people who overcome life's challenges and obstacles also tend to have a teachable spirit. As I go through the five traits of a teachable person, think about if the description resonates with you.

TRAIT #1: Teachable People Have a Positive Attitude Toward Learning

Is your heart open to learning something new?

Are you aware that your success has less to do with having natural talent or better genetics and more to do with choosing to learn?

Do you have an attitude of positivity or negativity? John Maxwell writes: "A closed mind does not open the door of opportunity. A negative attitude rarely creates positive change."

If you find yourself falling into the mindset of negativity, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are unteachable. It only means that you are going to have to fight harder to develop a positive attitude and teachable spirit. I encourage you to make the choice today.

TRAIT #2: Teachable People Have a Beginner's Mind-set

John Maxwell writes: "Successful people are continually learning new things." Do you ever find your inner monologue approaching things as an expert rather than a beginner. If you tend toward "knowing it all", this program may not be a good fit for you. But if you are open to the following three philosophies, you will likely do well in this program.

  1. Everyone has something to teach me.
  2. Every day I have something to learn.
  3. Every time I learn something, I benefit.

Zen master Shunryu Suzuki wrote: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."

TRAIT #3: Teachable People are Willing to Take Long, Hard Looks in the Mirror

Novelist James Thom remarked, "Probably the most honest, 'self-made' man ever was the one we heard say: 'I got to the top the hard way - fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way.'"

Does this statement resonate with you? Can you relate? Personally, I can. For example, I am not a naturally active person. I was never an athlete in school and still to this day I have to force myself to go outside and move or get the gym. I really lack focus in this pillar of health, but when I get into a state of making everything else a priority except movement, I start pumping up my self-talk. "Christy - an object in motion stays in motion. The less you move, the less you are going to feel like moving. This computer isn't going to get up and walk away. Your work will be here when you come back." As will the dishes, the laundry and the stack of paperwork. The wonderful thing is that I can never remember a time when I have thought to myself, "I really wish I hadn't worked out today." In fact, the opposite is true. Once I get some exercise, I feel less stressed and more energetic and am able to tackle my long to-do list more efficiently than if I hadn't made the effort to move my body and get more oxygen to my brain. The same is true in every aspect of wellness. The healthier the food you eat, the healthier the food you crave. The better you sleep, the less tired you feel and the more you manage stress, the less stressed you feel. Anything worth doing takes effort but the payoff is well worth the time, energy and resources we put into it.

TRAIT #4: Teachable People Listen When Others Speak into Their Lives

To be teachable, you need to have people around you that are willing to speak the truth into your life even if you don't really want to hear it. It's nice to keep the veil up and not have to look at our real reflection in the mirror. But, if you are teachable, when people you trust share feedback and criticism, you have to accept it without attacking them. Columnist Doug Larson said, "Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.

TRAIT #5: Teachable People Learn Something New Every Day

John Maxwell writes: "People grow and improve, not by huge leaps and bounds but by small, incremental changes." Do you have a willingness and desire to learn something new everyday? If you do, then this program is definitely for you. We realize that it is the small changes over time that make the biggest difference. Over the next six weeks, the Healthy Mom University team will give you new food for thought surrounding the areas of life that make up health and wellness. You will have to decide what you will do with information. Will you listen to an audio-lectures and then go on about your day as normal? Or, will you listen to the audio-lectures two or three times, follow-up with the practice quizzes, take notes on the key concepts that resonated with you, journal your thoughts and the start to make a list of changes that you can realistically make in your life today, tomorrow and for the long haul? Will you ask questions and make comments in the discussion forum to facilitate your learning? How much or how little you do is entirely up to you. There are no gradebooks or report cards, nor will we be taking attendance or calling you out if you don't participate. However, we do want this program to influence you in a positive way toward making healthier lifestyle choices for both yourself and your family. We believe the more you put into it, the more equipped you will be to choose the path toward better health outcomes and happiness in your life.

Now that you have learned John C. Maxwell's traits of "a teachable person", it is time to decide if you will follow these traits on the path to success. If you are ready to commit to this transformative program for the next six weeks, please move onto the next section. We are thankful that you have taken the time to listen to this personal assessment and we look forward to having you "in the Healthy Mom University classroom".

Christy and the Healthy Mom University Team

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