Personal Projects are an incredibly important way of thriving at this time when our lives have changed in so many ways, and the busyness we are all used to has melted away… leaving us with perhaps more time on a daily basis. How do you want to use it?
I want to use whatever extra time I have to contribute to making myself a more rounded individual or by contributing to my community – which is why this Wellbeing Hive is one of my projects during COVID19.
You could use this time to explore a passion you previously felt you never had time for. I have a guitar hanging up in my garage – maybe this will be the time I really commit to learning to read and play music. Many of us might find the same – unread books, unfinished art projects, unused cookbooks and so on… what a tremendous sense of achievement we could all have by finishing those things we always promised we would.
We could also study a topic that has always interested us and improve our mind and skills set. This kind of thinking taps into our school value of CURIOSITY – remember that it is curiosity that makes us human – and more interesting humans at that. What have you always wanted to do better? Last term I sent the BGS boys a link to this YouTube video which shows how you can learn just about anything in 20 hours… how amazing is that?
What could you learn to do in your spare hours that would not only stave off boredom, but prepare you for a whole new career or hobby? This could also be physical – instead of watching more Netflix, why not commit to improving your fitness? Setting daily challenges for improvement in simple exercises you can do at home like using the old skipping rope or an online Yoga class? YouTube can be a wonderful resource for this. Setting yourself a challenge is a great way to tap into the school value of COURAGE – be brave and do something that isn’t easy.
Finally, you could do something for others as your personal project. You could record yourself reading books and allow younger members of our school community the pleasure of being read to. You could tutor students on Teams. You could cook for your family. You could write, create, share. What are your special skills and talents? Could someone learn something from you? We need moments of light and moments of connection at this time. This could be a way to share that which is special about you, and also tap into the school value of CHARACTER.
Personal projects may also connect to our five daily habits. We have already mentioned plenty of ideas based around the daily habits of exercise and being creative. I am currently working on an incredibly hard puzzle right now, which I am discovering is surprisingly mindful. Other projects I have seen have allowed students to connect with each other – collaborating in new ways and taking advantage of many new online media.
When I think of the students I have had the pleasure of teaching at St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School, I can think of so many talented and community-minded individuals. This could be a chance for us all to even further develop these important aspects of ourselves. Let’s share how we are learning, growing and exploring these values in the weeks ahead.