Friday, March 8, 2019

Spies move blog to self-improvement

Pain, neglect, anger, loneliness, fear — I see it all as an educator.

Most of the kids — and adults — I encounter replace dealing with difficult emotions with escapism. They have deceitful self-talk, or they pacify with their phones or Netflix. Some mistakenly believe "achievement" will be the answer for their existence.

Sadly, they're on the wrong path, and they need to embrace SPIES.

We're not talking espionage here. We're talking about the five key elements of being human that can be neglected. We're talking social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual health.

This post officially takes the Snooze Button Generation blog in a new direction of self-care and self-improvement. We will be posting about ideas and tips on how to identify gaps between our actions and goals and what we can do about that.

Today, we simply ask readers to consider looking at the self through the lens of SPIES. Think about yourself with five parts — social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual — then ask yourself: Where do I need most growth? Please post at least a one-word answer of social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual as a comment below.

If you post a little more info, I will recommend a possible book for you, depending on where you are. As an avid reader and huge proponent of self-care and self-improvement, I likely can recommend a book on any component or offshoot of SPIES.

For me, I am looking most to improve my spiritual side. Emotional is close second, but I have been working on a daily action plan emotionally. I check-in with myself at least three times per day and ponder how I actually feel. By doing that, I have often recognized stress and have cut down on it. When I'm stressed, I breathe deep, clear my mind and focus on positive thoughts of love, Dina, Sophie, Chloe and calm nature scenes. "Love is the way" is my calming thought.

In schools, we typically over-stress intellectual growth and reward that by giving tests, where kids can get an "A." A lot of kids and parents care about grades, but aren't the social, physical, emotional and spiritual health of a child way more important than a GPA?

One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain. "It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

It turns out that education for only intellectual growth isn't much of an education. As kids get older, I fear that their social, emotional and spiritual growth will be stunted unless they deliberately focus on these elements.

As for me, my spiritual action plan is connected to this blog. I believe that if I put out healthy ideas into the world that good karma will come back to me. Maybe that's called "Polish karma." I'm going with that.

99 comments:

  1. Physical. Or rather, emotional? Maybe spiritual? No. Definitely physical. Social's good. Well, ok. Intellectual? Hmm. Two words. I'm blonde. So, yeah. Physical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. You do the blond jokes. I'll do the Polish ones. Which category does "wear more white socks" fall? ... Physical for me, too!

      Delete
    2. ...reminds me of a time long, long ago when I attended St. Therese, and noticed that all my Italian friends had new sofa's- which seemed to have all been delivered around the same time. After passively mentioning to my 100% Italian Father after hanging out at like, three different friend's houses, that there must've been some big furniture sale this month?... he laughed so hard and said something to the effect of "No you airhead! It's fancy and they wanna keep it clean for special occasions!" He never explained why nobody else practiced this variation of advanced furniture, um, preservation? lol In all seriousness, I never thought it was weird or anything, or even humorous, it's just funny looking back how I was such an airhead!

      Delete
  2. I would like to grow intellectually to improve myself mentally for the preparation of school along with sports.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, the mental aspect of sports is huge, too. I recommend any book by John Wooden to help that.

      Delete
  3. I feel like I need to improve social side because I'm neglect in communication, especially. Because I'm selfish sometimes, it results in negative result in communication or any kind of relationship. So I would try to grow my social ability to increase good communication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First step, be aware of how you feel when you are in social situations. Sometimes, people feel anxiety. The layman's term for that is "shy." It's OK to be shy, but it can be improved easily.

      Delete
  4. I would like to improve on my social and spiritual side. I feel like if i understand myself I can become more open and that is what being social is

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's actually a deep thought. Thank you for sharing. If we understand ourselves better, we become more social. ... Interesting!

      Delete
  5. I think I need to work on my emotional health because sometimes I have stress that I don't recognize until much later where it's hard to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds good. I recently read "Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. It brought up a lot about emotions and how they are connected to our communication.

      Delete
  6. spiritually man. I believe that my faith in God can help me with all the topics in "SPIES"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm all for that, and I say God wants us to be proactive in our growth. Right?

      Delete
  7. I think I have to improve on social because I tend to avoid conversations with people since it drains me so much. To make it worse I lost touch with a lot of my close friends over that past year because they are going to different schools or have no classes with me...I want to talk to them but it feels as if its too late to reach out and talk to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good friends are hugely important. For friends that you feel bad around, they may not be real friends. Right?

      Delete
  8. To be honest, I was really thinking of wanting to improve myself intellectually, but I can already do that with hard work and dedication, so I'd rather improve myself socially. I am extremely antisocial, I have barely any close friends at school and I constantly sit alone, it doesn't bother me too much, but I'd really like to have somebody to hang around with. The problem is, I get uncomfortable standing next to people and I don't put in the effort to find friends. Friends are great though, whenever I play video games with my brothers friends, it's always a fun time and we talk a lot. I feel pathetic though, because i have reduced myself to leeching off my brother for social interactions and I really am useless when it comes to maintaining a conversation. So yeah, I wish I could instantly improve myself socially.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a thoughtful comment. Good! ... I think technology and video games often puts a wedge in between us and our friends. It would be nice to just be with our friends without tech. But maybe that's just a dream. ... Simon Sinek has a famous Ted talk on technology, and it's worth checking out.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Spies is an amazing set of ideas to use when heading in life, when attending school I would want to work on my intellectual side and physical side because I want people around me to recognize me as a strong, smart, sufficient person. I feel I am strong and open with those areas. I should work on my spiritual side. I grew up attending church and events correlating religion, but I never really had the strong sense that there is an almighty force guiding us. I feel I will benefit from practicing more spiritually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like a little exploration occurred, and you have a similar conclusion as me: spirituality. Yes, what can we do to embrace this side of us? ... This is an important question for us intellectuals.

      Delete
  11. I think I need to improve myself socially, because yeah I talk to friends and have no problem talking to others but I find myself sometimes feeling awkward. But I sometimes like to embrace my awkwardness.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Embrace our awkwardness." What a great quote! Yes, we must embrace who we truly are. I'd argue we're all awkward in one way or another.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't mean to be pessimistic. I honestly don't. I actually do think we should value physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health over a GPA. What happens when we are all grandparents with gray hair and wrinkly skin... Will we remember that time when we failed an AP World test or when we had the best time of our lives with our friends and family. The problem is, people have thought the same way for centuries. This train of thought being- school comes first. Our parents thought this way. And so did the parents of our parents. And so did the parents of our grandparents. The list goes on.Trying to reverse these effects would be extremely difficult and I think that it is nearly impossible. Yeah, you could go into that idea that nothing is impossible, but I'm not as optimistic about that. Oof. Sorry. I just wish school wasn't such a burden.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd love to improve spiritually. Every time I go to church, I feel like the fakest Catholic amongst a sea of fake Catholics. It's as if we change our personalities only when we are face to face with the Lord. Maybe it's just my church or just my outlook on life. I don't know

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can definitely relate. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school from grades 1-12. Here's a blog on when I was pondering my upbringing: https://www.snoozebuttongeneration.com/2018/01/once-catholic-always-catholic.html

      Delete
  15. Thank you for letting out your feelings. That's healthy! As you may know, I am a teacher, and I value school extremely high. Sometimes, though, we compromise our physical and emotional health for school. I think I am suggesting balance as opposed to a complete paradigm shift. ... I feel it's good to get this idea on your radar and happy it is. ... Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think I need to work on myself emotionally

    ReplyDelete
  17. Intellectual so I can understand the feelings that I am having and so I can understand how to help other friends if they are not feeling well.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Recognizing that is healthy step.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The one I would choose to improve would be to improve socially. Why? I think that being social is a huge part of a day to day life. Scial media, school, sports, these are all ways that a social life is used. And although I am fairly social, I think it would be nice to go out with my friends more often, and do more things with my family. Doing this would probably be better than being holed up in my room watching Netflix all day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally. There is so much entertainment out there that I fear we have a nation of kids holed up watching Netflix.

      Delete
  20. As a student, I think we definitely have more opportunities to grow physically, intellectually, and socially. We have our own individual sports or physical education and of course we exercise our minds with various math equations or problem solving. Even emotionally we deal with scenarios in school whether it revolves around worries or joyous occasions with our friends. Something that is not clearly exercised is definitely a spiritual growth. There have never been moments in class when we take a second to reflect on ourselves and dig deeper to get to know the real you. Outside of school this might only be shown through factors such as religion so this might be very difficult to improve. Growing spiritually would be something that I would love to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. If you think about, we have so many opportunities at school. The key might be how to recognize them and know how to advantage of them.

      Delete
  21. I would say that I would want to improve my emotional aspect. If people ask if I am OK, I always automatically answer "yes" without even thinking. Sometimes I am confused as to why I would be feeling this certain feeling at this certain time. But most of the time, I push down my feelings and put on a happy or neutral face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I notice that a lot of times the question "How are you?" is just a pleasantry and not really asking.

      Delete
  22. I would say i'd would love to improve socially and spiritually. By socially I mean sometimes i'm shy when i talk to others. I have the tendency to not be able to make the first move. Having the ability to not be afraid of interacting with others and just being my crazy self would be amazing. Spiritually, i'm a Christian. I believe in God. Since i have been occupied with high school I have been so busy. Usually at night I would pray, but since exhaustion has completely overtaken me I fall asleep so fast that I don't pray at all. I would love to improve in these both, to self-improve myself socially and spiritually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is very thoughtful answer. Thank you for sharing. I say keep putting yourself in social situations and you will become more and more comfortable and more and more social.

      Delete
  23. I believe I need to improve socially because I personally am not a much a social person and I am not inclined to talking much to others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds like good self-knowledge, a good step in social development.

      Delete
  24. I think I need to focus of my emotional growth because I'm not really in touch with my emotions as a lot of things have happened to stop that connection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe this is the case for many adults, too, especially males.

      Delete
  25. Spiritual: I've seen many people now and then stray away from god's path and become depressed.. it's better to believe in something rather than to doubt everything and make yourself miserable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doubt is a tricky word. I think it's healthy to understand and question things, but perhaps at a certain point some sort of leap of faith is necessary.

      Delete
  26. Definitely physical, I need to be able to do push ups for PE fitness testing, but I can't even do one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it. Hit the ground and do it. You need a DRILL SERGEANT. Do it!

      Delete
  27. I would want to improve emotionally and socially. I'm a shy person when you first meet me, I would want to be able to express my self better other than staying quiet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always said that shyness can be easily improved. I think that's true.

      Delete
  28. Emotionally because I am TERRIBLE at controlling my emotions and trying to stay positive...but I'm working on it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emotional discipline. Google it. It sounds like that is what is needed.

      Delete
  29. Social. Maybe even physical? My life feels absolutely chaotic at the moment and it's hard to cope with all of these so called "feelings."

    ReplyDelete
  30. Emotionally: I don't reveal or open up about how I feel. Sometimes I don't control my emotions and I find myself getting angry when I'm not angry. I also want to be more social because my friends stare at their phones all the time. I want to talk more and try to build on the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Explore. Look inward. How do you truly feel? Take stock and keep exploring.

      Delete
  31. I look forward to seeing my friends everyday; it's one of the things that makes me happy about going to school. I'm the type of person that loves giving things to others as I love seeing my friends' reactions to gifts I get them. It makes me happy to see them happy, so why should it matter that I'm spending excessive amounts of money on the people I care about. The problem is that I started to rely on giving to be happy, and once I stopped, I realized how emotionally exhausted I was. I was left with a feeling of emptiness. Since realizing this, I've began working on my emotional health and finding things that make me happy. There's nothing wrong with giving to others, but now that I think about it, I had been neglecting something that was just as important: myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent reply. Very thoughtful. We are only ever in charge of our own happiness, and not others'.

      Delete
  32. I think I need to improve socially. At school, I try not to use my phone as much and focus on having fun with my friends.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would definitely want to improve my emotional side. I feel like improving how I handle stress can help in not only school, but sports and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think I need to focus of my social growth, because I am shy when I talk to strangers.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The struggle of everyday, the struggle of school, the struggle of life. I need to improve on all of them. I feel like I'm not intellectually smart enough in the flooded class of 2022. Not physically strong enough to carry my own weight. Not social enough, having my own little bundle of friends. Too emotional, feeling hurt, being judged my everyone. And not spiritual enough, I started going to church again, but it is conflicting with my schedule so it feels like my faith is being questioned. So don't take life for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Overwhelming. Things sound overwhelming. I suggest breathing, prioritizing and working on one or two things.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I don't personally know what i need to improve on. Maybe emotions because i am a really an emotional person even though i am a boy. So i will try to improve on it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such an honest answer. Thank you. I believe that as boys and men, we live in a culture that has us hide our actual feelings.

      Delete
  38. Personally, I would like to improve well...intellectually because school is for intellectual dorks like me.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I need to improve emotionally/spiritually so I can cure my crippling depression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is a joke. However, I must say that I see a lot of depressed people when I look with my eyes. ... They're usually looking at their phones.

      Delete
  40. improving on my emotional help would be good, but i think spiritually i need more work on it so i can become an overall better person.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sometimes, anger puffs in my mind, leading to a volcano explosion from my mouth. I think I need to work on the Emotional part

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why you get a pillow and punch it whenever you're mad. Or you can scream ("STREAM SNIPING!")

      Delete
    2. True. Anger is an "acceptable" emotion for men in our world. But all of them should be accepted and understood.

      Delete
  42. emotionally and physically

    ReplyDelete
  43. emotional and social

    ReplyDelete
  44. socially, emotionally, and spiritually

    ReplyDelete
  45. It has to be emotionally

    ReplyDelete
  46. Well for me. I'm more of a mess myself. You made me really think about it and well honestly i believe i should work on all of them. Socially because i have taken notice i have not be contributing in any sociable activities and always decline invitations to hang out or even interact though any human. Physical because i know i can take care of my self even more but i won't go into more in depth with this one in order to keep my security(not stating i am overweight). Intellectual because i know i can do better in my studies and just with my overall knowledge of the world around us. Emotionally because i feel i could express my emotions more clearly and simpler or just overall express them in the right manner before any other person gets the wrong idea. Spiritually because i always hear people saying they love god and they can feel his presence. But me, i don't feel that i right now don't believe in anything right now at the moment but i do believe in mythical gods and stories but not in the bible.People always say i should believe in god and in the know religions but do i really? I always believe that everyone has their own choice but i'm not sure anymore they always say i will end up in hell but would i really though? (sorry for the long paragraph ill leave now k thx bai)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow. Thank you for sharing. This is a healthy exploration. It's good to think about who we are, how we actually feel and what we can do about it. When things might be overwhelming, maybe focus on one or two things to possibly improve.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Social. Being spectrum adjacent makes it very difficult to handle that aspect of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Dave, thanks for sharing! Self-knowledge. To me, the first step of any improvement or better life is knowledge. It sounds like you have that. Sadly, so many people are not honest with themselves.

      Delete
  49. I think I need to work on my emotional side.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I try to suppress my emotions, because emotions keep you from making proper decisions. I don't really see myself as a "spiritual" kind of person - though I do have a religion that I am faithful in. I'm not very physically active, so I'd want to work on that.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks, that was a really cool read! Self care

    ReplyDelete
  52. Me2call4u a free online Video chat app which will allow you to talk to strangers around the world instantly.

    ReplyDelete