The Pathway to Excellence | Learn
We need to locate our personal development within an holistic approach to our wellness – how we place what we value, believe and do within the context of how well we feel as a result of our learning, living, leadership, and work.
How well we feel is intimately connected to our health, happiness and confidence. It is a reflection of our connectedness to a sense of purpose that is itself connected to the depth of our bonds with the people who surround us, the place where we are located, and what we do as our daily practice as we go about learning, living, leading and working.
Let’s begin with the process we use to develop ourselves. The Pathway to Excellence is a model for human development that has purpose at its heart. It is about how we grow in the character and competencies we need to thrive in our world as good people, future builders, continuous learners and unlearners, solution architects, responsible citizens, and team creators. As we ask and answer fundamental questions, we build the adaptive expertise and self-efficacy to encounter success in how we learn, live, lead, and work on our journeys of discovery towards character.
We live in a rapidly changing world. Everyday life means living through complexity, being ready for the things that life throws at us, and enjoying the good fortune with which we are blessed. There is a volume, pace, and intensity to our times that mean we need to be in a position to respond to change readily and willingly. This means that all of us need to be able to muster our dispositions, capacity and the whole of our being to meet these challenges and to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to us.
How we seek to develop ourselves from the inside-out has a strong bearing on how we move through the world with the grace and joy of a person who is well in all senses of the word. We need to pursue a journey of inquiry in search of meaning and the discovery of truth and relevance: The Pathway to Excellence. The journey helps us to learn the self-awareness of knowing ourselves through asking: who am I? Next, we explore how to live in relationships built by earning our places through asking: where do I fit in? We strive to lead as a servant who goes on a journey from me to you to us through asking the question: how can I best serve others? And we work vocationally, finding our calling by asking the question: whose am I?
"Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind and a tranquil spirit. Enjoy the journey as you strive for wellness."
Laurette Gagnon Beaulieu
No matter how conscientiously we work on a process of personal development which can strengthen our sense of wellness as a whole, all of us will, as part of a normal life, experience times where both our physical and mental health is challenged. Many of us will find ourselves in situations of illness for which we need the help of medical professionals to support us on a road back to wellness. This can be much more routinely accessed when it is clear that the illness is purely physical; sadly, for many, the acknowledgment and treatment of temporary or ongoing challenges to our mental health remains difficult. In some communities, it is seen as a source of shame, while others do not recognise it at all. In others, while recognition and support for proper medical and associated professional assistance is in place, families, friends, workplaces and even the specific symptoms of conditions, illnesses and disorders themselves can all work against the best possible outcomes.
While it can be difficult to work with the social and professional systems around us to best possible effect, it is critical that we understand how to access the best possible support when it is needed. We need to be prepared to reach out to others, even if we find it difficult to accept that such help is needed. We need to try to manage the feelings of guilt and shame that might stop us from doing so, just as much as we need to accept the wisdom of those same people that what they are observing may evidence that we really are not at our best.
This journey for mental healthiness can be the most confronting and difficult of all of the challenges that will face us on The Pathway to Excellence. There will be hard work for us to do which we can’t do alone. The degree of our health may not be our fault, yet we can take responsibility for making the best decisions we can to live a life where we seek to build from our strengths and ask for help when we need it. We need to do what we can, over time, to learn to recognise when we are and are not healthy and to do that which promotes the former and diminishes the latter. And we need to build healthy and protective patterns and structures of learning, living, leading and working around us so that we continue to grow and improve our base of character, competency and wellness. The choices we make can and will make a huge difference for the better.
We can contemplateour Wellness by considering the following questions: