Motivators for Educators

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Gain access to your personal power!

Channel your personal power and you’ll be able to translate it into anything you want: professional growth, physical health, spiritual awakening, personal happiness. Use your newfound power to make positive lasting differences in the lives of everyone you touch – your students, their parents, and your colleagues.

Lordahl brings educators 100 separate affirmations designed to motivate and challenge them to stretch and grow every day. She includes a quote or short anecdote and a personal observation, then adds the affirmation as a practical hint. You’ll find out how to unleash your ability to:

  • Make changes that improve your situation and your career
  • Exercise more control over your surroundings
  • Work toward wellness
  • Find greater meaning in your life
  • Create a positive impact on those you encounter
  • Lordahl offers all educators the encouragement they need to make positive changes in themselves, their work, and their lives.

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Day 1 

This is the beginning of a new day. Spirit has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want [my day] to be a gain, not a loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it.

Prayer of the Trappist Monks at the Abbey of the Genesee[1]

Jarring ourselves out of complacency is occasionally necessary. Or, reeling from shock and change, we may need some quiet and healing time. Whatever we need, we can rise from inertia or pain to give to ourselves. “We cannot do everything at once; we can do something at once,” says Jo Petty in, Apples of Gold.[2]



I see with fresh eyes and say to myself: This is the beginning of a new day, a new me. I value my world, my time and myself.

Day 2

For every hour you exercise, you extend your life by two hours.

Dr. Larry Gibbon[3]

Gibbons says, “exercise may positively impact an individual’s risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, even cancer.”

Figures from the American Cancer Society (quoted by O’Shea) reveal  that “people overweight by 40% or more have an increased risk of cancer of the colon, prostate, breast, gall-bladder, ovary and uterus; the American Cancer Society advises individuals to maintain fitness through proper diet and exercise.”

Think of this: “250,000 deaths a year in the U.S. can be attributed to a lack of regular physical activity, according to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.”

Or think of this: “Regular, vigorous exercise is the closest thing we have to an anti-aging pill right now.”[4]



Exercise is preventative medicine; I take it regularly.

Day 3

One kind word can warm three winter months.

Japanese Proverb[5]

“Many people think they know how to love because they have allowed themselves to fall in love, perhaps many times.” That’s intimacy, not love,

according to Doris Wild Helmering. “Love is an action verb,” she says, “something one human being does for another.” Her eight principles of love are:

  • Listening—really hearing the other.
  • Remembering—what is important to the other.
  • Giving—compliments, hugs, smiles, your time.
  • Receiving—loving ourselves and others enough to let them

give to us when we need it.

  • Respecting—treating everyone with respect, including ourselves.
  • Confronting and Disciplining—caring enough to take charge and   to confront.
  • Playing—knowing how to play and to take time to enjoy being

with others.

  • Forgiving—mending fences and knowing everyone makes mistakes.

Learning to love pays enormous dividends to you, to those students and teachers, family and administrators around you. As Salvador Dali says,  “There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.”



I love myself enough to practice the eight principles of love.

Day 4 

I carried inside me a cut and bleeding soul, and how to get rid of it I just didn’t know. I sought every pleasure—the countryside, sports, fooling around, the peace of a garden, friends and good company, sex, reading. My soul floundered in the void—and came back upon me. For where could my heart flee from my heart? Where could I escape from myself?


It’s a little sobering isn’t it that about 2,000 years ago Augustine, the first person according to Cahill to really use “I” in the modern sense, is describing our modern angst so well!

Thankfully some of us are learning a thing or two in these two millennium. The bad news is that we are each responsible for healing our own hearts and devising lives of meaning. The good news is that information, books, healing groups, all the insights of the old and the new religions and spiritualities are available to us. Whatever we need is almost as close as our fingertips. We only must reach inside ourselves to supply the desire, motivation and persistence.


I pay attention to my ‘cut and bleeding soul,’ and how I can heal myself and my world.

Day 5 

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says everyone is a house with four rooms: a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.

Rumer Godden[7]


Ponder your balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors. If you had to tell someone how your life is in or out of balance—what would you say? “The wise,” says Deng Ming-Dao, “arrange their lives so that they can always return to balance.”[8]

Our desire for balance also leads many of us to rethink our relationship with the workplace.  “The more immersed we become in the workplace, the less of ourselves is available for the full continuum of living. When the reflected glory of the organization pales, we are once again left with the questions of soul: Where have I been? Who am I? Where am I going?

Are you deliberately out of balance now to advance particular goals? And how will you fix the imbalance? Do you have a plan with priorities? When will you begin?


I air every room every day in my four room house of the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.

Day 6

Ideally, I suggest that you increase the duration of exercise before increasing its intensity. Your first goal should be to exercise a minimum of thirty minutes a day in whatever blocks of time you can sustain (for example, one thirty-minute walk, two fifteen-minute walks, five six-minute walks, and so on). Once you can do thirty minutes of sustained exercise, you only need to exercise once a day. After reaching the thirty-minute goal, you may want to gradually increase the time by five-minutes increments every one or two weeks. In our study, the people who demonstrated the most reversal of their coronary artery blockages exercised five to seven hours per week.

Dean Ornish[9]


We educators of course, as role models in fitness and exercise for our students, want to be especially careful to model good health.

Dean Ornish shows us how to take our pulse so we can exercise maximally for our heart and conditioning and he shows us programs. For example, there’s “The Twelve-Week Walking Program for the Low Fit and Beginning Exerciser.”



I discover an exercise program that suits me and I begin.


[1]              Quoted in Jo Ann Lordahl’s, The End of Motherhood (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communication, 1990). (Deity is made generic throught this book.)

[2]              Jo Petty, Apples of Gold (Norwalk, CN: C.R. Gibson, 1962).

[3]              Dr. Larry Gibbon, a specialist in preventive medicine and medical director of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, quoted in Michael O’Shea, “Parade’s Guide to Better Fitness,” (Parade Magazine, July 2, 1995). (All quotes on this page except the last quote are from O’Shea).

[4]              Ronald Klatzx and Carol Kahn, “Can We Grow Young?” Parade Magazine, April 20, 1997.

[5]              Japanese proverb and Dali quoted in Doris Wild Helmering, Being OK Just Isn’t Enough: The Power of Self-Discovery (Shawnee Mission, KS: National Press Publications, 1996).

[6]              Augustine, Confessions, quoted in Thomas Cahill’s, How the Irish Saved Civilization (New York: Doubleday, 1995).

[7]              Rumer Godden, A House With Four Rooms (New York: William Morrow, 1989).

[8]              Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations (San Francisco: Harper, 1992).

[9]              Dean Ornish,  Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery (New York: Random House, 1990).

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