It’s a great day to be alive!
In college, I had a professor, Dr. Switchenko, who would enter the classroom each day by zealously swinging open the door and shouting “ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE, GANG!” He would then seamlessly flow right into his lecture – which, by the way, he would have completely memorized and recite from his mind like free flowing poetry. He would pace the room using dramatic hand gestures and eventually break into a sweat. He spewed information at us from start to finish and the students would frantically write down everything we could. To say he was “high energy” would be an enormous understatement.
His love for teaching and enthusiasm for life was inspiring and contagious. To this day, I find myself recalling those moments where he entered the classroom and incited a smile from the students (and maybe a little terror, too). He was intense, tough and demanding. “Switch”, we called him, entered the classroom (and every room for that matter) with fierce presence and positivity.
I bring up the story of this professor because it has had a lasting impression on me. Sure, he was a great educator, inspiring and intelligent but the classroom knowledge is not what I took away and still recall now. His mere entrance into the classroom is what has left an imprint on my mind and life. He taught me the power of presence. How we show up to life and the energy we bring to it, is important. I felt his presence every time he entered the room and my interactions with him were positive and meaningful.
Thinking on this it made me ask the questions: “how I am I showing up to life?” and “how am I making others feel in my presence”. I encourage you to think about these questions and think about your presence in the world.
We don’t always have to act the way we feel (let me say that line again). We don’t always have to act the way we feel. Bring good vibes to the universe and choose to be positive. Not always easy but always a choice.
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Below are a few good reads and videos on the power of presence. We can learn to be more aware of our physical and emotional presence.
Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk on Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. Her work is all about Presence. In fact, that’s the title of her book!
Check out this blog on 35 Ways to Radiate Positive Energy – bring in the good vibes!
IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE, GANG! EMBRACE IT!
Photo credit to my hubster, Andrew. Check him out on Flickr!
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As message to Professor Switch; if you every come across this, thank you for showing up for us, your students, and for doing so in a way that left a lasting impression on us. You’re positivity, zeal for life and passion for teaching is an inspiration.