Persist and Be “Gritty”

Earlier I posted a Ted Talk on “Grit” that goes along with this month’s coaching topic of Perseverance.  So what does it take to succeed?  It takes perseverance or what one major study refers to as “GRIT”.  According to Angela Lee Duckworth, you don’t have to have natural talent or a high IQ to graduate and be successful, you have to have grit to succeed.  Grit has been referred to as a person’s amount of perseverance and passion toward long-term goals.  The good news is the grit can be learned.  If you can master the art of keeping focused and staying the course when things get tough, you will achieve true grit.  In order to become a “grittier” person, I recommend trying the following tips:

  1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  If you don’t pick up a key concept in class or aren’t understanding a main idea in a course, try different methods to teach yourself the concept until you learn it.
  2. If you don’t do well on a quiz, keep practicing until your scores improve.
  3. Avoid negative self-talk.  Do not beat yourself up over a low score.  Instead, use it as a learning opportunity and tell yourself you will do better next time.  Now the hard part here is to follow through and actually do things to ensure that you do better on the next quiz, exam, etc.
  4. Focus on your goals.  I’ve said this before in the past, constantly remind yourself why you are doing this.  Why are you in this academic program?  The reasons whether intrinsic or extrinsic will usually be enough to remind you how important it is to keep going and do well.
  5. Minimize obstacles.  Obstacles will come up, because that is the nature of life, but what is most important is how one approaches obstacles and ultimately overcomes them.  Take a positive approach rather than dwelling or stressing about whatever the obstacle may be and see how that changes to level of difficulty.
  6. Put things in perspective.  When trying to overcome an obstacle, think about the obstacle in relation to the goal.  Is it a temporary hurdle?  Is it something that is going to be detrimental to your goal?  Or is it really a minor detail?  When you put it in perspective you may find that it is not as big of a deal as it may seem.  It will hopefully seem more doable.  Where there is a will there is always a way J
  7. Whatever you do, do not give up.

Health IT and Data Analytics Resources

The following resources are starting points in finding out information about the fields of Health IT and Data Analytics:

  • Who are the thought-leaders
  • Which companies are the major players
  • Who’s hiring
  • What events are happening
  • Places to network
  • What are the trends, hot topics


Meetup Groups:


Job sites:


LinkedIn groups:


Bellevue College HIT Students and Alumni HealthCare Information Technology
NW Healthcare IT Workforce  Healthcare Information Technology Professionals 
Advanced Business Analytics, Data Mining and Predict…   Healthcare-IT/ EHR/ HIS 
Bellevue College Community Group  HIMSS 
Big Data, Analytics and Data Science Training  HIMSS Washington Chapter 
DAMA Puget SoundPrivate Group  Innovations In Health 
Digital Health  Jobs IT Healthcare Technology 
Health Information Exchange and Bigdata AnalyticsPrivate Group  Microsoft in HealthPrivate Group 
Health IT and Electronic Health Records  Precision Medicine & Big-DATA 
Healthcare Analytics and Informatics, Healthcare Ana…

Perseverance and Grit

Next month I will be discussing perseverance and “grit” as they relate to being a student in an academic program.  A study conducted by Angela Lee Duckworth reveals that it isn’t having a high IQ or being naturally talented that guarantees student success, but how much “grit” a student has.  Check out this short Ted Talk below to learn more about this phenomenon:


Note-Taking Tips

Did you know that note-taking skills is the greatest predictor of success in school?

This is a suddenly a more important topic than you thought.  Note-taking is not something a person is automatically good at from the start.  It is something that we learn to do well over time.  It is also a very important skill to learn because it will help you remember information better.  It is great to hear a lecture from an instructor, but it is even better to then write that important information down or use a computer to document it.  Although, studies do show that using a pen and paper to take notes is still better than taking notes via computer or mobile device.  The reason behind this is that people can usually type faster or text faster than they can write, therefore when they take notes they tend to type everything verbatim.  People taking notes with a pen and paper cannot write as fast as the instructor can speak therefore, they tend to shorten what they transcribe and catch more of the important key terms (they are filtering what they write down as they know they cannot write everything.  Below is what you should be focusing on when taking notes:


  • Anything the instructor verbally mentions as being important
  • Anything the instructor repeats more than once
  • Main/big concepts – when you get out of your class or finish a section of reading ALWAYS ask yourself what was it about?  What was the main topic that was discussed in class today?  What subject did the reading mainly cover?  I cannot stress this enough, if you come out of class and are unable you recall what the lecture was about then you need to start paying better attention.  Also, if you find yourself unable to summarize a reading that is a good indicator that you should read it again.
  • Supporting concepts – These are typically smaller items that somehow relate to the main topic, these often come in the form of key words throughout a chapter, but bear in mind they can be in the form of ideas/concepts as well. 
  • Diagram!  I am not talking about copying down a diagram posted in a course, but making your own.  If you are a visual learner this is something you should do whenever a topic lends itself to it.  A web diagram is a great way to assess what you know about a topic.  You put the main idea/subject in the middle of the paper, circle it, then start filling up the rest of the page with supporting ideas and key terms that relate to the main topic.  Draw circles around these items and link them to the main topic by drawing lines connecting them together.  This provides a great visual aid in determining areas you might be weak on or need to familiarize yourself more with.  See example below:


Manage Stress Better

Wow I’ve been posting quite a few video clips on here lately.  Well here is another one.  Earlier this month I offered a free webinar on How to Manage Stress Better.  In case you were unable to attend, we had a wonderful guest presenter from the Bellevue College Counseling Center, Ms. Katherine Colles, come and speak on the topic.  She presented some good relaxation techniques and walks you through one in particular.  Enjoy.


Online Course Best Practices

For those of you that are currently taking online courses or are considering taking online courses below is a webinar I hosted last month on “Online Course Best Practices”.  The webinar covers courses taken through Canvas specifically.

Memory: Improve Your Recall

This month’s coaching topic is going to be on memory and what we can do to improve it.  How can we increase our rate of recall when it comes to studying and learning material for class?  I have posted a short video clip from YouTube about improving recall.  It introduces an interesting concept that I believe might be worth trying.  Remember, 7 – 10 seconds is key.  Be sure to check back here later in the month when I post more information and tips on this topic.


Mindfulness in May

This month’s coaching topic is on “Mindfulness“.  I topic I have been hearing much about, but knew little about when it came down to it.  Upon researching the topic here is what I found:

  • Mindfulness is a form of meditation
  • It is derived from Buddhist meditation practices
  • It has recently gained popularity in being used primarily for stress reduction
  • It focusses on breathing
  • It is purposefully paying attention, purposefully staying in the present moment
  • It is not judging the thoughts or emotions that come to mind and simply letting them be what they are good or bad (not reacting to them)

This form of meditation has been documented to have physical and health benefits such as:

  • Reducing stress
  • Fighting depression
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving memory
  • Fostering compassion for others

I also found a good YouTube clip from Jon Kabat-Zinn who has propelled the mindfulness movement with his Mindfulness– Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), check it out: