Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Ponderance: Make Yourself Stick

As we begin a new year we are leaving a decade full of change. The pace of that change was exponentially faster than any period in history. One of the defining characteristics of this period has been messaging: Text, IM, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, commercials, previews, OnDemand, Billboard, and on and on and on. All of these are (to borrow a term from Chip and Dan Heath in their book Made To Stick) made to stick - made to shape the way we think about things, ideas, the people and places around us, and ourselves.

As some of us prepare for high school and the rest of us prepare for the near future, one thing we can be certain about is that we will need to know how to create messages that will stick. Particularly, very soon we will be faced with decisions that will shape our ideas about ourselves, and others' ideas about who we are.

It is important that we shape that idea through the right choices.

Our Honor Code provides the content of that message: I am respectful, I am responsible, I am honest, I put forth maximum effort, and I reach out to others. In order to make that idea stick, think about the following methods (again, borrowing from the Heath brothers and their book, Made to Stick)

  1. Pay attention and consider how you can be unexpected or distinct

  2. Be able to understand yourself. Have a concrete idea of who you are and be able to communicate to others.

  3. Believe in yourself and you will be credible to those you interact with.

  4. Care about yourself and others to bring an emotional connection to your relationships. This might be the stickiest of all the methods.

  5. Be able and willing to act on your ideas and values. Be responsible for your own story.

Happy New Year, happy new decade, and happy sticking.

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