Cutting Through Generational BS (Belief Systems)

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  • Sometimes we do things because it is all we know rather than what is best or necessary.
  • We all come with different belief systems that influence us.
  • Take time to reflect on belief systems and how they may be impacting you and your school community.

There was a mother that was teaching her young daughter the family secret to preparing a ham.  The young girl watched with great curiosity as her mother heated the oven to 350 degrees, removed the ham carefully from its packaging, and applied the secret seasoning.

The daughter who was now taking notes, was so excited because her mom had promised her that next year she could prepare the ham for Thanksgiving.   As the mother was moving about the kitchen, you retrieved a large knife from the kitchen drawer.  The daughter who was still observing grew even more inquisitive as she watched to see what her mom would do next.  Before placing the ham in the roasting pan, the mother gently cut off both ends of the ham and covered it with foil.

“And that’s it!” the mother explained with joy.

“But why did you cut off both ends of the ham?” the daughter asked with a perplexed look on her face.

The mother who struggled to find her words, simply responded, “Well, that’s the way my mother did it.”

Later that evening, the question lingered in the back of the mother’s mind. She grew even more curious about the cutting of the ham. So she called up her mother and asked, “Mom, why do we cut off both ends of the ham?”

The grandmother paused for a moment as if to find a proper response. She finally said, “Well, that’s the way my mother did it.”

The grandmother, not wasting any time, hung up the phone with her daughter. She immediately called her elderly mother and asked her the same question.

Without hesitation, the great-grandmother replied in utter disbelief, “Are y’all still doing that?  I tell you the truth.  The only reason I did that was because the pan I was using was too small for a big ham. I had to always cut off both ends of the ham!”

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Belief Systems

This story holds a good lesson: our examined beliefs impact our decisions, and our decisions influence our actions.  While the ham story is a funny, innocent example of how beliefs are passed on from one generation to the next, this story also reminds us of the importance of questioning our own thought behavior and whether this BS (Belief Systems) is serving us well at this moment. Instead of cutting the ham, we need to cut through the BS we’ve agreed to for so many years of our lives.

Each of us has our own personal culture—our own thoughts, values, perceptions, and ideas.  When we walk into our classrooms and/or organizations, it’s important to understand that each person we run into has their own interpretation of the world around them.  This is why it is so important to clearly communicate the vision, mission, and values that you have agreed to as a school community.

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When we see dysfunction in a school or classroom environment,  it could possibly mean that the people in the organization are not clear about the expectations. Therefore they will rely on their own BS to navigate through their day-to-day functions. And when you have each person relying on their own personal values, goals, and beliefs the team’s energy will be divided. This can be toxic.


If you are dissatisfied with any area of your life right now, take an inventory of your BS.  Remember our thoughts control how we feel about ourselves, others, and the world around us.  Positive thoughts usually lead to good feelings and negative thoughts can make us feel down and lower our energy levels.  Identifying thoughts that are low in energy (negative) and their triggers (what event caused this thought) will help you replace them with new rational thoughts. This can improve your mood, and over time improve your life.

Take some time this week to write down your thoughts. Then, think of what triggered this thought and how you can begin to replace it with a new belief.  Once we’re able to cut through the BS we can begin to enjoy life and create better relationships.

Sending you beautiful energy for a positive week,

Niki Spears

Author/Motivational Speaker/Founder

Culture Cre8ion

About Niki Spears

Niki Spears is an Author, Expert Eduprenuer, and Chief Culture Cre8or who is traveling the country helping educators embrace a healthy, vibrant, and inspirational mindset. As a former Head Start Parent/Teacher and School Principal Niki understands how one person’s energy can impact an entire team and is leading the charge to help others become aware of how they are showing up at work and in life!

Niki left her job as a school principal in July 2016 and since then has empowered more than 100,000 students and educators across the country through her motivational books, talks, and seminars. Niki’s book, The Beauty Underneath the Struggle ~ Creating Your B.U.S. Story reinforces her message of seeing the opportunity in every challenge and encourages readers to take ownership of the pencil of life so that they can create their masterpiece. Thousands of educators and school leaders have enjoyed the warmth, humor, and transformational power of Niki’s self-development events.