I see three key issues to be of paramount importance to our future well-being and existence as a global society: peace, green-living, and health. These issues are synergistic and interdependent. Often the overwhelming nature of these issues can make people feel powerless to effect positive change. How can we move past this inertia?
Ultimately, we need creative confidence to address these global challenges and create a better world! Creativity has always been required for survival. We cannot keep doing the same things and expect to get a different result.
As I review the research in positive psychology, empathy, and happiness, I have noticed several cross-cutting themes. There is power to effect positive change (enhanced well-being, happiness, resilience, and success) through simple, effective techniques such as increasing our daily positive intentional awareness, expressing our gratitude, holding positive thoughts in our minds, and daily journaling. I created the "Olymp-i-a Challenge" to add a purposeful dimension to these techniques... happiness with purpose... positivity with purpose... creative confidence with purpose.
The Olymp-i-a Challenge uses these techniques to engage children and youth in the practice of positive ideas and actions for peace, green-living and health. The Challenge is a simple, yet powerful exercise to help children and youth strengthen life skills and creative confidence in these 3 areas.
Through the Challenge, children and youth realize the power they have to make positive choices. The Challenge motto is: “We grow stronger in what we practice.” When I introduce the Challenge to children, I tell them there is one thing I can guarantee 100%: They will grow stronger in what they practice. With a simple challenge, we can help strengthen positive daily habits, and ultimately, we have the power to change the world.
Now is the time for schools, teachers, and youth group leaders to engage children and youth in empathy, creativity, and life skills achievement in the 3 "P's". Just as important as the 3 "R's" have been historically for education, the 3 "P's" or "purposes" of peace, green-living, and health are essential for education today. The Olymp-i-a Challenge is a simple and powerful tool to do so. Enhanced life skills in these areas will ultimately create a more effective learning environment overall. Daily immersion and practice are key. With practice, children and youth (our future generations) will become "Olymp-i-ans" and manifest their creative confidence (and humility) through healthier, greener and more peaceful lives.
MY GOAL: All schools and youth groups engage children and youth in the practice of positive ideas and actions for peace, green-living, and health. We need to adopt this practice as a way of being, as part of our daily routine.
Positive effects of the Olymp-i-a Challenge include:
- children exercising empathy and demonstrating increased intentional awareness of things in everyday life that impact peace, green-living and health;
- children practicing creativity and self-expression;
- children realizing they have the power to make positive choices;
- children realizing that what they think and do each day matters;
- children realizing how simple it can be to do the Challenge and that they can be successful at it;
- children learning that they become stronger in what they practice;
- children generating ideas for activities that continue past the Challenge;
- the Challenge fitting into the culture and daily life of the child;
- teachers and parents of children also engaging in the Challenge (ripple effect), and;
- children gaining creative confidence (and creative humility), understanding their important role in the world.