The Ebb and Flow

constructive impact tips

by Melody Stacy


The sun-kissed, rejuvenated faces bouncing in to check rosters and decorate classrooms. The fresh-faced anticipation of what’s yet to unfold, open to possibilities and wonder.

Ever wondered how we might bottle up all the incredible energy that’s flowing at the start of the school year? And then spread it around during the inevitable dog days of mid-year?

The obvious answer is we can't.

Change is inevitable.

When we not only understand but embrace the natural cycle of a school year, with all of its emotions and shifts, we can truly find freedom in enjoying the here and now for whatever it brings.

We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of time and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life, as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

So how might we approach our year in a way that allows us to leap at the flow without fearing the ebb?

3 keys to embracing the ebb and flow

🔑 Create connections.

Did you know it only takes a 40-second meaningful connection to make someone feel like they belong? Realizing we can’t get through the ebbs of life alone and knowing that the flows are much more fun together, we as leaders can be intentional about leveraging our times together in ways that create connections and belonging. Want an easy and fun way to do this? Try Mission Connect.

🔑 Nurture a culture of gratitude.

  • Model it. Research shows that creating a list of things we're grateful for once a week, then reflecting on this list a few minutes each day will result in a 15-20% increase in our happiness. A nifty hack we've discovered is making a weekly gratitude list using this template and saving it as our phone wallpaper. Then, we’re certain to look at it each day.
  • Make it easy for others. Look for small ways to help others be able to show gratitude. Check out this Week of Wow’s resource or next time your team is gathering, hand out blank note cards and give them a few minutes to write a note of appreciation for a colleague.

🔑 Remember your purpose.

Playing a role in something bigger than ourselves, knowing we have a chance to be a piece of a ripple-creating puzzle, is hugely motivating. Part of keeping hope alive, especially during challenging times, is to help people see how and why they are uniquely necessary. Knowing our impact helps feed perseverance. Try reflecting on and verbalizing your why (like Melody’s WHY here) and bonus points for printing it out and posting it where you can see it every day.

Soak up the magic of the school year beginning. And then plan for the maybe less obvious magic of the rest of the year. 

For it is in the conscious decision to thrive, rather than survive, where true joy is found.

Want more strategies to better thrive and lead as a warm demander?

Click on Warm U below or any of the courses to the right ⇢ 



We understand time is tight and it's not always comfortable reaching out, so we promise that if you take 30 seconds to connect, you'll get a very quick and warm response. ☀️

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