Recently I was reading an online post from friend who is an RN student. Their instructor asked the group to keep a journal of their experiences during clinicals. This “Hiccup” journal as it is called, is about your observations of events in everyday life that you would have handled differently. Writing what you would have done differently in that person’s shoes.
To me this is a great exercise for students of any kind. Paying attention to others, their actions and reactions to everyday events can be important in life lessons. How are react to others can determine the outcome of any situation.
We all walk through life and think back to situations that we would have handled differently in our own lives. For this exercise to work, there must be a desire to see the good in yourself, other people and all situations. There must be a drive to do more and be better in your life. This is a great way to seek self-improvement, and to take a potentially bad situation and make it great.
In today’s world, we are too consumed with our cell phones, jobs, or televisions to notice what happens around us each day. When I was younger, I was extremely shy. My parents and sister were older, so I spent a lot of time around a more mature crowd. Not always having anything to say with these groups, I would sit and listen. The older I got, I kept the habit of listening and would spend time just sitting and listening to people. When I started a job in the “real world”, people would do and say all sorts of things around me and I would just listen to decipher what they meant or intended to mean. What this did was help improve my sense of observation and understanding of people, and hopefully it helped me be a better person.
Hiccups happen in everyday life. The challenge is to take the time pay attention to when it happens around you. Take each of the situations you observed and decide - how would you handle that life hiccup differently? These are situations that lead to larger issues in life and by taking care of this hiccup, you can avoid it turning to a major issue.
Let’s look at a few simple situations where you can use your hiccup journal.
Did you miss an opportunity to compliment your spouse, friend or children?
Did you say something hurtful to someone?
Did you miss an opportunity to share something special?
Did you do something that was purely for pleasure of someone else today?
Hiccup journals would also be great tools in the classroom for young people. You can have your honor society, cheerleaders, football players and even your 4H and FFA members keep a journal. Another way to utilize this is to give it as an assignment to your leadership team as an activity to discuss in your next meeting.
This is a simple tool that can have a major impact on your life and the lives of others. It helps remind adults that the world is not always about them alone. It will teach our youth that we should do more for others and to conquer small problems now so that they do not lead to larger problems later.
The key is to remember that we are not perfect. We all make mistakes. But, we must work towards being a better person each day. Realizing the world around us is going to continue with or without our participation. We must take the time to stop and observe, write down and make corrections in our life. If we continue to go through life and never adjust, then we probably have never really lived.
Cover photo courtesy of Montana Ag Photography