Archive for February, 2014

Practice everyday. Shun the non-believers

skepticsSince starting the 100 Day Challenge, I’ve run into skeptical people, including just a few days ago which prompted this post.  People skeptical about the idea of 100 days.

Isn’t CrossFit a better workout? Why do you like that Teacher X? Why would you do yoga for 100 days straight?

As though I only do yoga for the physical workout.  And little did they know that Teacher X happens to be one of my favorites (and a Yogi 1oo participant).

At first thought, I almost became a little defensive forgetting that patience has been one important lesson I’ve continued to learn my practice.  But since starting, it’s become more obvious than ever that a regular practice is critical.

Every time I get on my mat, the results of how I treated my body the previous day are right there for me to witness.  I get immediate feedback on how hard I practiced last week, how much food I ate the night before, and how present I am at the onset of class. The more I practice these things, the easier the asanas are, the stronger I get, the more I start to see change right in front of me, and the less surprised I am when I flow into poses that once seemed impossible.  (Just yesterday I floated into two new awesome handstand poses! … and forearm stands have never been easier)

In short, the repetition and commitment to the practice makes you feel better, become stronger and shine brighter.

Shun the non-believers.

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 Leadership, Yoga No Comments

Revive the Dream: Session 5 with Melinda Spooner and Melissa Zaikos

RTD 2Just yesterday, we hosted the fifth session for the Revive the Dream Fellows Program.  Our Fellows were lucky to spend the evening with Melinda Spooner (Executive Director of Achievement Network) and Melissa Zaikos (CEO of Intrinsic Charter Schools).  The topic of the evening was Technology and the Common Core.

The discussion about Common Core is always a good one no matter what side of the fence you sit on.  We kicked off the session discussing the Pros and Cons before the speakers got to the room to get the discussion going.  To prep for that discussion, I sent a few articles to the group in advance of the session, including these below:

New York Times article on the common core

The Atlantic article  on the Schoolmaster

USA Today Article on Bill Gates  and the Myths of the common core

The debate goes something like this:

On the positive side, the Common Core standards will allow states to know how they are doing.  They can compare standardized test scores against other states, increase the standards and rigor in the classroom.  This means that the student should be better prepared for college and likewise, it means that over time all states will theoretically have the same level or rigor, so if a student moves to a new city, county or state, the level of education elsewhere will be simillar.

On the other hand, many people think that this is easier said than done. That the execution is not only difficult but perhaps impossible.  Not only will the standard be a tough adjustment for students but also for the teachers initially.  It is not the way many teachers are used to teaching and now they are being asked to change their style and content and get evaluated on it.  Likewise it’s also not the level of learning students have been asked to do for the past three decades.  Moreover, there is not a good plan in place for students with special needs and the standards don’t do much to account for different starting points of students.

On the other hand, some people remained optimistic, understanding these challenges are similar to those that come with running any school, and making change in the education space.  They realize that there is a lot of work to be done, and increasing standards of learning is one step we need to get there, among others.

We talked about all of these hard topics and more in our session last night with Melinda and Melissa. Thanks to programs like Revive the Dream  and Education Matters we hope to continue to help spread ideas about the issues equip up and coming leaders to solve these education issues over time.

Thanks to Melinda and Melissa for coming to speak to our Fellows.


* Below is a photo of Melissa Zaikos speaking to the group about her time at CPS and her role as CEO at Intrinsic Schools
















* Below is a photo Melinda Spooner speaking to the group about her role as Executive Director of the Achievement Network in Chicago.


Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 Education, Events, Revive the Dream No Comments

Yoga 100 Challenge: 1 Week Down

group yogaA quick update on our Yoga 100 project.

We saw so much energy from people in the first week.  From those making use of home practice, to others drudging through the snow, to one of our Yogis practicing in Canada and another practicing on the road at the airport!

Here are some photos from the week!

Lisa (and her puppy) practicing in the light!

Lisa in the Light

Liz doing Acroyoga at home

Liz Home Practice

Dominika (our most prolific blogger so far) showing that the snow cannot stop her!

Dpminika in the Snow

Christine’s Home Space Away from Home

Christine Home Practice

Darrah practicing with a few friends


Andrea excited to get started on Day 1.

Andrea on Day 1

Michelle practicing at DFW. Very nice!

Michelle from DFW

Leigh, Hector and Vivian having some acro-fun on Day 7

Leigh on Day 7

Carla practicing on Day 1.  We found you!

Carla on Day 1

Maggie defying gravity


Kim doing yoga … or flying.

Kim Maybe Doing Yoga

Mariel showing us what is possible on day 101. Well maybe for you.


More to come later!

Original post here on our YOGA 100 BLOG


Monday, February 10th, 2014 Yoga No Comments

The power of once a day. Drip by drip.

sweatOnce a day is easier said than done of course. There are over 360 days and more than 200 working days a year. No matter how you slice it, it’s a lot and it’s way more than the 21 days they say it take to create a habit. Basically in our 100 days of yoga, we’re creating a habit 5 times over.

I think about some of my other attempts to do things that may not have gone so well. The failed attempt to floss every day. Check Facebook less. Or call friends more often. The reason they don’t work is that I didn’t change habits.

But committing to doing things up front does wonders. I recently did my first 100 days of yoga at the end of 2013.  Within a week of starting, I knew I wouldn’t be giving it up anytime soon and committed to it. The first 75 days were really hard. I scrambled to the studio most days, barely made it into class and still forgot my towel half the time. But by day 76 everything was exactly the opposite. It was a lot harder to not go to class. To miss how good I felt. To mess up my routine. And after taking just a single day off, I went 50 more days in a row leading up to this challenge. All because I committed up front.

In the end, I learned that you don’t all of a sudden get new habits, you build them. One day at a time. One asana at a time. One drip of sweat at a time.

The yoga isn’t the hard part (especially for the amazing Yogi’s participating here), it’s the commitment. Making time. Going once a day.

Drip, drip, drip.


Thursday, February 6th, 2014 Yoga 1 Comment

Generosity matters more than ever

generousIronically, during times of change and moments turmoil most people usually do just the opposite.  Think about it.

When the economy went south a few years ago, the first thing to do is think of yourself first. How do you get a job out of grad school? How will you pay back your loans? When you have a bad day at work, many people take it out on the people they run into, or close themselves off until they get home.

But it turns out that now more than ever we are rewarded for being generous.  Generous not just with your money, but with your time, your ideas,  your talent and the products you create.

Taking time to respond to someone who needs your help.  Talking to them about your job, your industry or your school.  Taking time to ask questions rather than talk about yourself. To not just listen but hear their story and show empathy.  Taking time to help someone open a door, or let someone pass you in line when they are in a hurry.

It turns out that when you do these things naturally (not for a reward) people will gravitate to you.  And they’ll do it quickly.

In today’s internet driven world, this is even easier, since we are more “connected” to people, but as a result more “disconnected” than ever.  Giving someone the gift of your time and attention will help you stand out, help create a real connection, make people feel more human and give you the potential to make more change than ever.

So why not give it a try?   Invite someone to an event you’re hosting as a special guest.  Share information on a new project you’re working on that might delight them. Create a community of people in your town to come together and find change.  Listen to more people’s stories.  Hold the door open for someone.

It doesn’t always matter what you do, but sometimes the smallest things sometimes make the biggest difference.  So start small. Today is a perfect day for small acts of generosity

Just a thought.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 Leadership No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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