Mike Oliver told us that his favorite quote is “that the quality of our life is only equal to the degree of the challenges we are willing to take on” which is also a quote attributed to him. He backs that up by taking on the challenge to recreate the entire High School experience. He has boldly declared that Mountain View will become the premiere high school in all of America and welcomes the accountability associated with such a grand expectation. He works to empower the teachers and students around him, allowing them to take on challenges in a way that encourages them to rise to those challenges. The only way his high school will become a premiere high school is if everyone is rising to the occasion. He started the episode by reframing a question I posed to refocus the conversation on the entire community and that illustrated just how important that community support is to taking on these monumental challenges.
I think about a time before Teotihuacán or even before hot air balloons, and prior to those amazing creations they must have seemed like impossible tasks. Not too long ago, I had the amazing opportunity to soar above this amazing place in a hot air ballon and take the picture featured in this graphic I remixed for this podcast episode highlight. It was a wonderful experience that I had while working as a liaison to the Mexican Navy where I gained profound appreciation for the great country of México and their rich heritage. Once upon a time, I struggled to graduate high school and had very little hope of attending college. Now I am working on a Doctor of Education because people have helped me believe I can take on challenges I once thought to be impossible. This education has also exposed me to ideas that have transformed my life and expanded my respect for the world around me.
Often, we need our reality to be disrupted to see things in a different way to see the impossible as possible, to believe that challenges are worth attempting and that we can achieve difficult things. Diversity is a gift that helps expose us to ourselves and the ways we can allow ourselves to be imprisoned by our own biases. Learn to harness that gift in a way that opens the mind to new possibilities and prepares you to take on greater challenges. It takes an entire community to create the greatest achievements and when we fail to harness diversity, we limit our communities and restrict creativity. We can only soar above the Teotihuacáns in our lives as we work together to take on our greatest challenges!
There is a News video of Mike and his school embedded below and listen to the entire podcast episode at https://thatallmightbeedified.podbean.com/e/strive-to-do-better-things/