R.E.A.L. Success Paragraphs

Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives.

The nugget of wisdom I chose from the leadership section, “Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives,” felt important to me for the following reasons. First of all I’d like to think that this quote does not mean that we blame our successes and failures on those around us but rather that we can trace why we performed the way we did to those who we surround ourselves with and the tasks that those in our lives performed. This is not to say that every failure and success is solely the fault of others but that those we choose to be around. I chose this quote because too many times in my life I have had peers I don’t agree with, or bad relationships that led to both a worse mental state for me and worsening products. It is only that when I am around those who truly support me, retain a positive attitude, and add value to my life that I truly perform my best no matter the task. I would like to think that when I am in that setting, and in that circle, that I contribute to everyone else in a similarly positive way. A big part if leadership is not only having a positive group of followers but having a collective mindset of lifting each other up to find success in their lives. In the talons leadership setting I will place a much higher importance on not just a cause I’m passionate about but people who I am passionate about so that we can all trace our success back to those around us.


The Law of Mt. Everest

The leadership law I chose for the equipping section of the REAL book is the law of Mt. Everest. This law states that as the challenge increases, the need for teamwork increases. This law has a clear concept, big challenges in our lives are not conquered by us as individuals but by our team. It is only that as a team we can conquer our biggest challenges. I think specific to this law the challenge and need for teamwork increasing proportionally means a lot. Because while increasing difficulty demands an increase in effectiveness on the individual level the need for synergy among a team or group is much higher. In the TALONS setting I think it is always important to remember that we are a group and that no matter how well we are performing as individuals the synergy we have with out teammates is what will ultimately determine our victory or defeat. An example would be the recent planning of my groups cultural event, at each roadblock we experienced, as the challenge increased, we always met as a group. At no point was our teamwork stronger than in the face of adversity, and at no point was it more important. We could have easily dealt with each problem as it came up as individuals, but I don’t think we would have achieved anywhere near the same results as when we came together to make decisions and truly climb our Everest as a group. Collaborating with others is often difficult, but we need to understand that as the task gets more difficult our capacity for teamwork is what will decide the outcome.

Our attitude can turn problems into blessing

In the attitude section I chose the phrase “Our attitude can turn problems into blessing”. However, I would like to propose a rephrase, I think “our attitude can turn our challenges into opportunities,” while more cliched is more accurate. I think the word problem entails something that needs to be fixed immediately, or a hinderance of some kind, where as a challenge is something worked through. The other word I substituted, blessing, I think is too far towards the supernatural and joyous of a noun to describe this. I think this law means that adversity and challenge, is in reality what gifts us our greatest opportunities in life. Whether it’s taking on a challenge or working through something that comes your way it is through these demanding experiences that we find new ways to grow as people. In the talons setting I would once again like to reference my cultural event. We found out that we were not able to continue as originally planned with out event, a large challenge to be sure, but we found a solution that meant we would each be learning a new skill, and take the role of teachers for the class. While it would have been easier to have not met this challenge it is because of it that I will be, for the first time, taking the role of a painting instructor in front of our class. Which is a new and exciting opportunity that rose from the ashes of what would have otherwise been considered a failed plan.

The Law of the lid

Finally, in the leadership section, I have chosen to write about the law of the lid. The law of the lid states that a person’s leadership ability determines their effectiveness. Of course, this mainly applies to the group setting but is a potent nugget of wisdom, nonetheless. What this law means is that our team or our group will not grow past the leadership potential of its leaders, the leadership skills acting as a lid of the group’s effectiveness. I think that this law is important because too many times in the group setting, we merely focus on accomplishing a task, and do not realize that the thing preventing our group from progressing is our own limits. That’s why it’s important when leading to not only focus on those whom you are leading to a goal but to also focus on developing yourself and your skills to the point where the group can fulfill its maximum potential. To me there have been many times where I have been wrapped up in tasks to the point of ignoring my own leadership potential. In my cultural event group, I have seen those leading me trying to increase their leadership skills to increase our groups effectiveness. In seeing their example, I have realized that I should adopt the mindset of personal growth even in the setting of the group. In my own experience adopting a leadership role demands a mindset towards personal growth, and often I have not realized that, leading to poor results.

Carbon Footprint Project

Water subtotal: 80
Clothing subtotal: 105
Stuff subtotal: 75
Shelter subtotal: 40
Transportation subtotal: 70
Fun subtotal: 110
Food subtotal: 200
Total points: 680
Hectare score: 6.8

Comparison with others:
Overall, my score was much lower than those of my peers. Primarily, I think, because my family drives entirely electric cars and does not eat much meat because of my sister’s vegetarianism. Also, I walk to school most days I don’t need to use a car to get anywhere. Where I think other’s have higher scores than mine is in the food and transportation department as well as regarding food. My family has always been conscious of our carbon footprint has been taking steps to reduce it.

Ten things that affect my carbon footprint:

  • Living in a house with 2 rooms per people
  • Eating a semi significant amount of meat
  • Having a decent amount of food waste
  • Being on my computer a lot leading to a high fun total
  • Taking long showers
  • Always flushing the toilet
  • Neglecting some of my clothes
  • Buying most of my clothes brand new
  • Replacing rather than repairing things that break
  • Not using all environmentally friendly cleaners

5 things I can do in these 2 weeks:

  • Wear more of my clothing
  • Take shorter showers
  • Try to eat less meat
  • Reduce food waste as much as possible
  • Flush the toilet less often

I chose these 5 changes because I think they are the most doable during the time of this experiment. Also, these changes to my lifestyle are some that are more reliant on me rather than the lifestyle chosen by my parents. Although admittedly they were more of a help than a hindrance to making these changes.

Journal 1, Monday, October 5th
I’ve calculated my footprint and I’m impressed with having low results compared to my peers. Even so, there are still ways to improve, so I have five points. If it is possible, I would like to lower my score further, but I can see it being difficult since old habits are hard to break and a big portion of these things are out of my control.

Journal 2, Friday, October 9th
So far it has been difficult to keep with the steps I have put in place. Reminding myself and breaking my habits has been extraordinarily difficult. I do not think I will keep these habits in mind long enough to lower my score. I am making progress on wearing more of the clothes in my closet. Some things unfortunately are out of my control, my parents control my meals so sometimes eating meat is unavoidable.

Journal 3, Tuesday, October 12
Some habits I have been much better on as of late. I am improving a lot on wearing more of my clothes and flushing the toilet less. Maybe by pure coincidence, I have been eating many plant-based meals as of late using meat substitutes, although obviously thanksgiving was an unavoidable exception. Unfortunately, I have not been so aware when taking showers, taking 5-10-minute ones just as I had before. Overall, I have increased my awareness since the last journal entry.


I would not label my attempt to reduce my carbon footprint much of a success. Given the time frame, I was hesitant to take actions that would drastically reduce my carbon footprint. With that being said I had some successes along the way. I was able to wear some under-appreciated clothes and was much more conscious of my water use and flushing the toilet less. While these were minor successes, they were certain habits I did not think would be easy to break. In terms of what did not go well I was not able to reduce food waste any more than I already did regularly and was not aware enough to take shorter showers. Regarding eating less meat, I certainly did eat less than I would in a usual week but that was not thanks to my effort but rather that of my parents and the coincidence that I have a vegetarian sister for whom they must accommodate for. The biggest obstacle throughout this experiment was of course me. Most of my changes were based on habits that are not easy to break and staying aware was a constant challenge. During Thanksgiving, it was almost mandatory that I eat meat so of course, I indulged in the traditional dinner that night. Another obstacle was oddly enough the cold weather. I have more clothes suited for hot weather than those for cold, so it was difficult to incorporate variety that simply was not there. Looking ahead I do plan on continuing with these habits I have set but do not plan on making new efforts. Before this experiment, I already did a lot to reduce my footprint as confirmed by the number I initially got compared to my peers. Additionally, there are some things I just will not be able to change until I move out on my own that will remain for now. In the grand scheme of things, we as individuals are not the ones who should be making changes to reduce the effects of carbon emissions. Corporations, those who make the products we consume, are both the ablest to make decisions to reduce the increasingly severe climate crisis but are also those whose decisions will have the most impact. For these reasons, I think making individuals do these types of tests who do not necessarily have a choice is a bit of a guilt tactic for fighting climate change. Specific to me and my family we have already taken big strides to reduce our carbon footprint so changing these minor habits will not do much in terms of the global climate crisis. To summarize I had some success with the habits I set out to change during this experiment but had some larger challenges. In the end, I was the one responsible for these challenges but overall I think placing the responsibility of the climate crisis on individuals and minor habits that can be changed in the two weeks that this experiment covered is not the way forward, especially considering our age means we do not dictate some of these decisions. Those who do hold the power are the ones who should be held accountable for their decisions regarding climate change and the environment.

Digital Footprint Assignment

1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples

Your digital footprint might affect your future opportunities because what you post online is very much pertinent. An example of this is posting a racist, sexist or homophobic opinion on social media and even though you have since distanced yourself from said opinion you may miss out on opportunities if it is found. A positive way your digital footprint can affect your future opportunities is in a very similar way to this blog. Using the internet to share your work and to invoke positive changes can have quite a positive effect on your life. If I’m applying for a job and they ask for my social media accounts and find positive content or work I’ve done in the past I’m more likely to be hired.

2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

  1. Limit the use of your real name online. The less you as a person are connected to your online presence the safer you are.
  2. Keep your personal accounts private. If you plan on sharing anything remotely personal; make your account private and only let in people you know in real life.
  3. Do your research. If a website or community sounds unsafe or hateful don’t sign up or attach yourself to that name.

3. If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would do differently online? Think of what advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students.

I’ve been pretty good about my online presence so far, but if there’s one thing I would change it would be my interactions on the now-debunked social media platforms Google + and Miiverse. These two sites were my very first social media interactions online, so I made a few mistakes. On Google +, I mostly stayed with my friends and my account was private, but I joined one public community using my real name. Similarly, on Miiverse, everything was public even though I only used my first name. Thankfully these sites have since been shut down, but I would definitely use a different username if I were to do it again. If I were to give any advice to those younger than me it would be the following. Know your limits, learn from the experiences of others to make your decisions online. Keep personal things private, and make a positive impression out in the open. Everything you post online can be dug up again if people really want to, but if you make a positive impression they won’t need or want to.

Training Post

You are now going to create your very first post. In a separate tab or browser window, go to your Dashboard on the left and go to  Posts -> Add New.

1) Title – Create a title for your blog post. Your title will be: Digital Footprint Assignment

2) Body – This is where you place your content of the post – text, videos, pictures, etc. Follow the instructions on the Digital Footprint Assignment page to see what questions you need to answer here.

3) Tool Bar – In your toolbar you can “Add Media” and “Add Documents” into your posts, this is the best way to create visual representations. You can also change fonts, hyperlink, etc.

4) Publish – Here is where you control what items are public and private. You can also control when they are published to your website.

5) Categories – Here is where you choose where you want your post to go. This is your digital binder with all of your subjects. Make sure to categorize each post with the relevant subject. E.g. Categories -> English

6) Tags –  Here is where you tag posts with one or two of the most readily applicable Core Competencies. These tags can help you find things quicker on your blog and help you stay organised. E.g. Tag -> creativethinking

7) Publish – When you are done, simply “Publish” it. If it has been edited, press “Republish” to update with the latest version of the content.