The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
Issue 5 | May 2019


Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)

"If procrastination isn’t about laziness, then what is it about?"

To answer this question, the author of this piece explores a variety of fields including evolutionary and motivational psychology, as well as methods to actually change our behavior to not only get things done but address the underlying factors that push us towards procrastination.

By first examining how procrastination is our inherent avoidance of discomfort, to then show us how procrastination often leads to more negative consequences than we realize, this article gives us a framework for examining how we procrastinate, and how we can move onto tasks we know we need to accomplish.

"If it seems ironic that we procrastinate to avoid negative feelings, but end up feeling even worse, that’s because it is. And once again, we have evolution to thank...Procrastination is a perfect example of present bias, our hard-wired tendency to prioritize short-term needs ahead of long-term ones."

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Why It's So Important That Teachers Cultivate Their Own Resilience

In this excerpt from Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, author Elena Aguilar discusses how teachers require resiliency, and how schools, in general, suffer from not promoting this resiliency as well.

The end goal, of course, is not just to retain warm adult bodies in classrooms but to meet the needs of our students. Kids need passionate, effective, committed educators. In order to retain such people, school leaders need to provide teachers with resources to meet the challenges they’ll encounter in their work so that they can learn from those challenges, surmount them, and fulfill their purpose. And our purpose is to ensure that we are working in, teaching in, and leading organizations where every single child thrives—academically, socially, and emotionally.

By focusing on building these resources and skills, teachers, and therefore students, can thrive.

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To Promote Success in Schools, Focus on Teacher Well-Being

From the Brookings Institute, see how we often frame teacher well-being from the perspective of how it affects student success while defining teacher well-being by what it is not. In relation to promoting resiliency in our teachers, we must also focus on their well-being more holistically.

“Narrowly defining well-being as the absence of stress or the presence of a positive mood leads to equally narrow and short-sighted approaches to supporting well-being.”

While much effort is placed on impacting the individual factors of a teacher’s well-being, typically from a skill or competency building perspective, little is done to create meaningful support networks and resources for teachers to flourish. The essence of teaching, the noblest of goals, is to see students learn and apply that learning. How are we focusing on one facet of the problem of teacher well-being as it relates to student success, and creating ill-fitting solutions in the process?

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Who Created Maslow’s Iconic Pyramid?

In and outside of social science circles, the hierarchy of human needs is one of the most popular frameworks for understanding what individuals require to feel actualized. These needs are typically shown on a pyramid, often attributed to Abraham Maslow.

This pyramid, however, was not created by the esteemed psychologist but was instead used as a framework for understanding his definition of the hierarchy of human needs. This Q&A article explores a recent paper on the origins, intentions, and deeper meanings of Maslow's work in this area.

The authors' work helps us to better understand how Maslow's theories are often misunderstood, misrepresented, and as such underutilized. By sequestering his foundational work in humanistic psychology to management textbooks, we lose out on exposing workers, students, and citizens to their potential to self-actualize.

What we often miss in studying Maslow's humanist writings, is his message of transcendence for each individual. How can we transcend ourselves, achieving the most good for all?

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What Does It Mean to Be Self-Actualized in the 21st Century?

To further explore the deeper meanings of the work of Abraham Maslow, check out this piece that uses his hierarchy of needs as a framework for understanding 21st-century life.

It is clear that Maslow never conceptualized self-actualizing people as selfish or purely individualistic, despite such misrepresentation by some modern commentators. Instead, Maslow increasingly became convinced that self-actualization is healthy self-realization on the path to self-transcendence

By comparing his characteristics of a self-actualized person to modern social science, the author offers us perspectives on achieving higher goals of humanism and personal-transcendence. 

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