My summer motto: Whatever you water will grow!

In April, I had three ferns. They were scraggly and brown with only a scant 3-4 slightly rancid green fronds sticking up from the middle. They were very sad. I had neglected to water them.

So although my May was crazy, I bought one more beautiful, full, lush fern for a special place on my back porch. And then, I resolved to water all of my ferns… just to see what happened.

For one month and a half I have watered all four ferns every day. Guess what has happened?

Now, I have four, lush, beautiful ferns. Every time someone comes to my house, they compliment me on these beautiful ferns. Three of them have moved from the back porch to the front and now I have bought three more.

As I have watched the transformation, I have clearly seen a life principle:

What ever you water will grow!

You may not think that is an epiphany, but it truly is! You see, life is not in the heroic carrying of an enormous log up a hill. Life is more like carrying a gunny sack of small rocks up a hill each day. You take those small rocks and add them to the one's from yesterday and the day before. Before you know it, you've built a castle, or a home, or a classroom, or whatever you planned to build.

The great feats are in what you do a little every day. That is who you become. Benjamin Franklin had his virtues that he worked on. Did he become perfect? Not by any means. Did he accomplish a lot with his life, Yes!

I become what I water.

I become what I do a little every day!

So, accordingly, as I have made my summer list for both me and my children, I have put in the most important things that I want to become. We begin with the end in mind. With a clearer picture of who I want to be, I can put the things into my day that help me become that person.

I feel that I become stronger with time for introspection such as this. This summer I am full of so many things to do and I still rise early. However, I will water those things that are important to me so that I can become more, contribute a little more, and leave perhaps a little more of a legacy.

Each summer I set goals and I have them for the last three years. I know what I accomplished each summer and end the summer with a value and a pleasure of knowing what I accomplished. Prior to this goal setting, I would finish the summer feeling upset and unsettled that I hadn't quite put my finger on the pulse of what was important to me.

So, this summer, think about what you want to grow in your life.

If it is a good attitude — surround yourself with people, thoughts, books, and blogs of those who are positive influences on you.

If it is a certain goal — set the goal and work on it a little every day, taking time to work on it in bigger chunks as possible.

If it is to increase knowledge – set your goals appropriately, make a list of books, and begin.

If it is to have some true relaxation – plan it, get ready for it, and when you're there, turn off the phone, ignore bloglines, leave the laptop and truly breathe in the fresh breeze of life that you are meant to live. I include exercise in this for there is nothing in the world like harnessing the power of endorphins released by exercise to boost your mood and make you feel like a million dollars!

If it is to reconnect with those you love – whatever you water will grow. Spend meaningful time doing fun things. Abandon the fussing and nagging and come up with a way for them to do their tasks without your intervention. (I create weekly lists with choices for my kids. The list nags, not me.) Do things to build up your relationship. Build traditions and memories. Life is too short and family is one of the most important things!

Whatever it is, water the things that are important to you.

For it is one thing to kill a fern, it is entirely another to kill an attitude, a goal, a dream, your health, and your relationships.

What are you going to water this summer?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere