Students think and talk about happiness all of the time. Some believe happiness is something we control and that if we just do the right things we will become happy. There are others who think of happiness as a byproduct of a good environment and not something we can control. The issue of whether we control our happiness is an important one because it determines whether or not a student develops a healthy capacity for self-motivation and goal-setting.
Students know what it feels like to be hurt. When they are hurt, they have choices to make about how to treat the people who hurt them. These choices give them opportunities to demonstrate empathy and respect for others and to preserve relationships, or break them off. Forgiveness is a moral choice which strikes at the heart of ethical decision-making.
Self-motivation is an important skill for students of all ages to master. It’s important for students to reflect upon what motivates them to do their best. The challenge with self-motivation is to find exactly what triggers a person to become invested and interested in something enough to see it to completion. For some, motivation is more feeling-based; for others, more thinking-based. Finding that reliable guide for personal motivation is essential for success in life.
Anger is an emotion that all of us have to manage throughout our lives. Students get angry with their teachers, their friends and parents. It’s important for them to develop a self-awareness around their anger so that they can decide when getting angry, or remaining calm, is the right response to a situation which aggrieves them.
Everybody experiences struggle. Sometimes the struggle ends up making the person more self-confident, stronger and better able to move forward to the next challenge. But other times adversity breeds fear and inaction. Every struggle is an opportunity for students to make an ethical choice on how to respond in a way that helps them cope with the challenges they will face.
Money, influence, friends and good grades– students think that more is better. The whole idea of cutting back on desire isn’t very attractive. Yet, we can’t have it all and so now and throughout life, students must make smart choices on what they want and how much.
If there is one thing that’s hard to rely on when dealing with students, it’s impulse control. Students are at different levels of emotional maturity. Some are extremely cautious and tactful in the way that they deal with peers and adults. Others are born risk takers who want to “show off” their fearlessness and gather followers who want to be like them.