Dalai-Lama-Getty-Images-e1364990922961The Dalai Lama writes in his Ethics for the New Millennium:

Happiness arise from virtuous causes.  If we truly desire to be happy, there is no other way to proceed but by way of virtue: it is the method by which happiness is achieved.  And, we might add, that the basis of virtue, its ground, is ethical discipline.

It’s a little cheesy, but we all want to be the best person we can be.  How do we get there?  The Dalai recommends ethical discipline.  Now that means a lot of different things, but my best guess about one of the most important parts is constant recalibration.  This could be taking a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your actions and ask yourself “What am I proud of?” “What do I wish I had done differently?”  Building this reflection helps us become more aware of the decisions we make – what we will look back and be proud of, what we will wish we had done differently.
It’s a little like each day you are prototype of the version of the you that you are stretching towards.   Each day is a chance to try out that prototype and then use feedback to hone it (ethical discipline).  Remember too, the happiness is in the stretching, not in the reaching!
Need some help to get started?  Lana M. Danielson’s 2009 article in Educational Leadership “Fostering Reflection” recommends these questions:

  • What worked in this lesson? How do I know?
  • What would I do the same or differently if I could reteach this lesson? Why?
  • What root cause might be prompting or perpetuating this student behavior?
  • What do I believe about how students learn? How does this belief influence my instruction?
  • What data do I need to make an informed decision about this problem?
  • Is this the most efficient way to accomplish this task?