Byron's Babbles

The Second Generation

Everyone should feel satisfied and proud of the career they want to pursue. Our goal has always been for our son to make peace with his post-secondary education and career goals and, first and foremost, make himself proud. There has been quite a lot of research done studying the impact parents have on their children’s educational and career goals. I am really glad and proud of the work I have done in the policy arena to have career exploration be something that happens much earlier than the end of high school. Our young scholars need to be preparing for the next chapter of life—whether that’s higher education, industry training, directly into the workforce or another path much earlier. I also believe that parents have an influence, either positive or negative, on this. I began reflecting on this yesterday when standing outside my son’s summer internship at Cal-Maine Foods. I could not go in for bio-security reasons, but I was so proud that there stood two generations of Animal Science majors at two different universities – Purdue University and Murray State University. Check out our picture and here is the tweet I did in the moment:

I asked Heath if he ever felt any pressure from me to be an animal science major. He answered an emphatic “no.” He did say that I had set an example because of how proud I was of having gone to Purdue and received degrees in both Animal Science and Agricultural Education. He also knows the story well of how I ended up being an agriculture science teacher and working in education my entire career. If you don’t know that story, click here. Heath also talked about all the experiences growing up on a working farm gave him. Home is where thinking ahead, dreaming big and setting goals can become normalized activities and allow all those skills to be available to our children when they come to the forks in the road. The earlier the conversations start, the better prepared they’ll be to make the best choice when that moment arrives. It’s not about applying pressure, but about being a model of making life choices that match passions and purpose.

Living Full-Out

Posted in Dreams, DTK, Innovation, Leadership, Leadership Development, Mindset Mondays, Vision, Visionary, Visionary Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on July 13, 2021

There was a lot to digest in the four pages of Chapter 46, “Don’t Wait to Live” in Mindset Mondays with DTKby David Taylor-Klaus (DTK). If I was forced to rank the weekly chapter lessons thus far, this would be one of my favorites. DTK told us that “People regretted dying with their songs still inside them” (p. 318). He went on to say, “…the only thing keeping us from living full-out is stuff we make up” (p. 319). I’m hoping both of those comments make you ponder and reflect as much as they did me. The ideas of happiness and regret are things I blog about often and discuss in leadership development workshops. In fact, I just dug into “anticipatory regret” and “existential regret” in What Will You Regret When You Are 80 Years Old? And, one of my favorite posts on happiness is Finding Happiness Right Where We Are.

After I read chapter 46 yesterday, I was reading about and watching video of Richard Branson taking his ride into suborbital space aboard a rocket he helped fund. He was the first to do this. On LinkedIn he said, “There are no words to describe the feeling. This is space travel. This is a dream turned reality.” As a student of the ultimate role model dreamer and innovator, Richard Branson, I am pretty sure the only song that will be left in him when he dies is whatever wild and crazy idea(s) he is working on at the time. I’m pretty sure there will be no regrets – except maybe to have done even more. He is the role model for showing us how to turn dreams into reality. This first fully crewed flight of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity space plane was a major milestone in the commercial space industry.

Yesterday, I tweeted, “Congratulations @richardbranson and @virgingalactic! Thanks for always modeling being a trailblazer for us.” This flight was such a huge example of “living full-out.” The stuff we do on a daily basis may not be as huge as going to outer space, but just as important to those we serve and ourselves. I’ll close with this drop the mic moment and quote from Branson while in outer space that says it all, “I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship looking down to our beautiful Earth. To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.” 🎤

Living Every Day Like It Is Someday

Posted in Dreams, Educational Leadership, Global Education, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on April 23, 2021

Yesterday evening after the last person had logged off from a very fun and engaging leadership development I facilitated, I sat down to decompress and flipped on the television. I landed on B Positive and the scene was Drew (Thomas Middleditch) on a date and they were asking each other what they would do right now if it was someday. In other words, if you could do anything today that you have put off till someday, what would you do? Wow, what a question. I really pondered on this. What would your answer be?

We need to believe in our dreams and take action. Also, it is important to surround ourselves with beauty, with the life we aspire to have, the people we care about, the places you want to visit, and not put off the things we want to do someday. We should refuse to live in fear, refuse to not feel love, to not show tolerance, and to not help people in need. I refuse not to give and refuse to be someone other than the person I am. Let’s all work to make our dreams come true, no matter how simple they are. Live every day like it is someday.

Keep Something On The To-Do List

Posted in Boston Legal, Dreams, Leadership, To-Do List by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 30, 2019

“The thing about life is you always need to keep something on the to-do list.” Alan Shore said this to Denny Crane while sitting on the balcony having cigars and Scotch at the end of an episode of Boston Legal. In this age of instant gratification it was a great reminder that we need things to look forward to and to be working toward. It’s important to enjoy working toward our dreams. Having long term items on our to-do lists gives us time to explore.

The scene in Boston Legal itself holds the lesson of friendship, relationships, and getting to know those we encounter along the way. These people may be peers or mentors, and we need to make the most of our time together.

Additionally, we need to be open to new things and always give ourselves room to change course if necessary. If we are open to new possibilities, we will be rewarded handsomely. Unexpected discoveries are bound to come our way, especially if we keep things on our list we want to do.

Are you working toward a dream on your to-do list? What are you doing every day to help you enjoy working toward that dream?