Be cautious but not timid

Be cautious but not timid; believe you will succeed, but don’t be afraid of failing. Remember, every meaningful achievement is built on the foundation stones of false starts and failures. –Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: Converting Pessimists Into Optimists

Every full life has its bright days and its dark days, its triumphs and defeats, its calm and stormy seas. All these high and low experiences could justify viewing the past through the lens of gratitude or disappointment. And the way we characterize our history will determine whether we look toward our future with hopeful expectations or anxious trepidation. Scientists …

COMMENTARY: Moral Courage — The Engine of Integrity

Mignon McLaughlin tells us, “People are made of flesh and blood and a miracle fiber called courage.” Courage comes in two forms: physical courage and moral courage. Physical courage is demonstrated by acts of bravery where personal harm is risked to protect others or preserve cherished principles. It’s the kind of courage that wins medals and monuments.Moral courage may seem less …

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR QUEST FOR A GOOD LIFE

Just as a beautiful flower can emerge out dry and desolate soil, joy and fulfillment can emerge out of the rubble of disappointment, grief and even tragedy.  Stay positive and persevere believing the best is yet to come! I know this is easier said than done. It takes great strength

COMMENTARY: Can Prolonging Life Be a Mistake? Who Are You to Judge?

Revised 8/8/15 I once heard a story about an emergency medical technician I’ll call Jake who was summoned to help an unconscious woman. When he arrived, she had no pulse. From her color and dilated eyes, he could tell she’d suffered serious brain damage. Still, he did his job exceptionally well, trying over and over to restart her heart. She …

COMMENTARY: School Principal: The Most Difficult CEO Job in the Nation

Schools all over the nation are struggling to modify their strategies to meet the Common Core demands regarding critical thinking and problem solving. They must also find ways to teach 21st Century workplace skills, enhance students’ social and emotional development, and, of course, build their character so they become responsible and productive citizens. Oh, they must also be sure to create an …

COMMENTARY 982.3: Doing Sports Right

When I was a kid playing sports, there were no clubs, travel teams, or private coaches. Except for summer baseball leagues, the primary place to play was high school. When I was in the 10th grade, I wanted to play basketball in the worst way. Unfortunately, given my size and talent, that’s how I played. But in those days, sports …

COMMENTARY 977.4: Coaching for Character

I’ve spent lots of time with some of the world’s most successful coaches. I discovered that many of them think about character a lot, especially traits that are important to winning – like self-discipline, perseverance, resiliency, and courage. They pay less attention to virtues like honesty, integrity, responsibility, compassion, respect, and fairness — aspects of character that make a good …

SUCCESS AND FAILURE MADE SIMPLE by Michael Josephson

SUCCESS AND FAILURE MADE SIMPLE     What is Success?  Few questions have been asked more often by more people. The concept of success and the concept often thought to be its opposite, failure are central to the human quest for meaning and for happiness. Most of us very much want to be successful in our professions, successful in our …

Three Perspectives on Maturity

Maturity is the ability to stick with a job until it’s finished; to do a job without being supervised; to carry money without spending it. – Ann Landers Everyone Grows Older. Some Attain Maturity. A Few Become Wise. It’s what you do with the experiences that come with growing older that makes all the difference. Michael Josephson Maturity is being able to …

Sneak Peek at Results of Educators’ Survey

(updated 12/4/13) Almost 4,500 educators (including 2426 teachers, 616 principals, 411 school counselors, 225 superintendents,  and 79 school board members)  have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — the …

MEMO From Michael: Sneak Peek – Some Surprising Preliminary Results of Our Educators’ Survey

(Updated 11/26/13) Nearly 4500 educators (76 Board members, 225 superintendents, 616 principals, 2414 teachers and 406 school counselors) have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — …

OBSERVATION: If you were given a wish from an all powerful genie as to one attribute for your children what would you choose. There are lots of candidate’s: honor, intelligence, perseverance, common sense, integrity – I want my kids to have all of this. But if I really could bestow on them one attribute I think it would be optimism.

Optimism is the most powerful of the children of positivity (experiencing the world and expressing oneself in positive  terms). Its siblings: gratitude, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, hopefulness are other attitudes that not only improve the way we experience our lives, they set into motion actions and reactions that dramatically improve the likelihood of success as well as happiness. People react positively to …

COMMENTARY 794.5: Doing Sports Right

When I was a kid playing sports, there were no clubs, travel teams, or private coaches. Except for summer baseball leagues, the primary place to play was high school. When I was in the 10th grade, I wanted to play basketball in the worst way. Unfortunately, given my size and talent, that’s how I played. But in those days, sports …

COMMENTARY 781.4: Making the Best from Adversity

No one wants pain, troubles or hardship, but it’s absolutely inevitable that we all will have plenty of each. And they won’t always come in forms we prefer, doses we think are manageable or at times of our choosing. Adversity is never welcome, but it is not necessarily our enemy. Still, the lesson we must teach our children is that …

COMMENTARY 776.5: Coaching for Character

I’ve spent lots of time with some of the world’s most successful coaches. I discovered that many of them think about character a lot, especially traits that are important to winning – like self-discipline, perseverance, resiliency, and courage. They pay less attention to virtues like honesty, integrity, responsibility, compassion, respect, and fairness – aspects of character that make a good …