A reflective innovator…

If I want to empower my students to see themselves as innovators who take responsibility for their own learning and leading, then I have to be an innovator myself.

What does that even mean?

Innovator. The word makes me nervous. It seems grandiose, unattainable. Yet, this is what I want my students to become?! This is what I’ll have to exemplify?!


Thank goodness for George’s infographic with pretty pictures and lots of colors. Everything seems less scary with colors and drawings. ūüôā

An innovator’s mindset is not that daunting, after all. The eight characteristics of the innovator’s mindset are traits absolutely necessary to thrive in life. We need to be deliberate about building and practicing each trait; they won’t magically appear because we want them to.

Let’s jump to #8: Reflective. Because we can.

So much growth is possible when we take the time to sit down and reflect, so why is it the most forgotten aspect of lesson design? of lesson implementation? or our lives?

Julia Cameron requires three longhand written pages (morning pages) every day and promises more creativity will be experienced in your life. (Cameron, 2002)

Hal Elrod states that meditation and writing are two (of six) necessary things to do every morning if you want to transform your life. (Elrod, 2012)

The first stage of David Allen’s GTD program is to capture all the thoughts that are in your mind on paper. Without doing so, we encounter mental blocks because of our mind’s inefficient¬†memory system. “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” (Allen)


These authors all recommend taking time on a daily basis to allow your brain to process everything that’s inside of it. If we think about it, it totally makes sense why their systems are working for people. We are constantly on the go and our attention is directed all over the place, but many of us aren’t taking the time to pause and reflect. Life is literally flying by us, yet we think we are piloting the plane. It’s time to slow down.

To deliberately develop my own Reflection trait, I’m going to begin a morning habit of journaling. Seems pretty old school, but maybe – just maybe – some innovators use paper too.


Allen, David (2002). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Penguin Books.

Cameron, Julia (2002).¬†The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.¬†Putnam Books.

Couros, George (2015). The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Elrod, Hal (2012). The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). Hal Elrod.


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