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Summer Series

2020 Summer Series
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  • Week 1: Resilience

    • What is Resilience?

      Resilience is adapting to life-changing and/or stressful situations. Resilience is being strong and coming out stronger when faced with adversity. While adverse events can be difficult, resilience means not allowing those events to determine the outcome of your life, of your family, or of your community.

      Being resilient does not mean you don't experience hard things, it means you are able to overcome them. Resilience is not a personality trait, but something everyone learns through watching the strength of your family and community.

      How do you increase your resilience?

      There are four main factors that contribute to someone's resilience (APA 2020). They are community, wellness, perspective, and meaning. Reflect on your own strengths in each area and the moments and people that you learned those strengths from. Recognize that you are resilient!


      Community is one of the most important aspects that contribute to one’s resilience. A community is a group of individuals connected by one or more common factors, whether it be your family, friends, or culture. Having a community means you have other individuals who will advocate for you and support you to overcome hard things.


      You are here today because of the resilience you learned from you family and community. What have you learned from your family and/or community that has made you more resilient?

      Think about your community. What is a unique characteristic or your community? How has that special characteristic added to your strengths and resilience?


      Wellness includes taking care of your mind and your body. Incorporating positive lifestyle practices, such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, and mindfulness practices (yoga, journaling, spiritual practices, etc.). These strengthen your body and mind to adapt to stressful situations.


      What wellness practices do you already incorporate in your day to day life?

      Think about your culture and community. What aspects of your community support wellness practices in your life? For example, cooking meals with your family or friends, playing sports, praying, etc.


      Perspective is your attitude towards or way of thinking about something. It is your point of view. By having a positive perspective, you are more likely to see how you can overcome hard things.


      Write down five things that you are grateful for that are unique to you. How do they strengthen you? Do they support or increase your resilience?


      Meaning refers to your goals and purpose. By setting goals and understanding your "why" you are motivated to keep moving forward to achieve those goals and overcome the hard seasons.


      Set the timer on your phone to 5 minutes and write down some of your biggest dreams. Don’t limit yourself or overthink it. What are your biggest goals and dreams? Think about your life in 10 years, your family, your community. What does it look like? When the timer goes off select a different colored pen and write the names of your supporters around the border of the paper. Who serves as supporters in your life that have contributed to your dreams and encouraged you to pursue them? Afterwards, save that paper somewhere you will see it often. Let it serve as a reminder not to limit yourself or your dreams and as a reminder of all of the people you have in your corner.

    • This Tuesday's TED Talk is about the many overlapping stories of people and culture and how a single story is not definitive of a person or a culture.

      "All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me."

      TED TALK

    • Looking for some good summer reads? Here are some recommended books with stories on resilience. Access these books for free in the Alkek Library or the San Marcos public library.

      Summer Reads

    • Happy Thursday!

      Here are some podcast recommendations that hold great conversations around resilience and feature personal stories of how others have overcome adversity. Podcasts are great to listen to in the car, during a walk, or just while you are doing chores around the house. You can find all of these podcasts for free on Spotify!

      Spotify Podcasts

    • Happy Friday!
      Looking for some movie recommendations? Find a few movies that feature stories of resilience listed below.
      Looking for more free movie services? Check out Vudu or Tubi. Enjoy your weekend!

      Friday June 12

  • Week 2 Perspective

    • What is Perspective?

      Perspective is defined as your attitude towards something, your point of
      view. Our perspectives are influenced by history, our past, and events that
      are happening around us.

      Perspective is also defined as the appearance of an object or thing in
      respect to its relative distance and position. The way we see something
      based on the way we look at it. This second definition of perspective is
      referring to the literal way we see an image, for example, an object that is
      closer to a camera will appear larger than an object that is further away,
      however this definition can also be applied to mindset and the way we look
      at a situation or event. We can focus on the negative aspects about a
      situation, or we can look at the different ways we can learn or grow from that

      Things are not the way they are, they are only what we think they are. You have the ability to control your perspective.

      How can you change your perspective?

      • Think critically about a situation and look at the lessons and tools you can learn from it.
      • Think about what or who you are thankful for. By practicing daily gratitude, you are more likely to view things from a positive perspective.
      • Be aware of the attitudes of those around you. Positivity attracts positivity; negativity attracts negativity. When you are surrounded by positivity you are more likely to have a positive perspective, which in turn can increase your motivation and resilience.
      • Know that you are not alone. Think about your family and community and know that there are people who will be there to support you.


      Think of a difficult task or situation that you are currently working through,
      whether it is in school, at work, or in your personal life. Likely the first thing
      that comes to your mind are the things that make it hard. Instead, think
      about as many benefits of the situation that you can. Are you forming new
      habits, increasing your resilience, spending more time with family, spending
      more time on self-care, etc.

      What are benefits you have already gained from the hard things you have
      endured? Have those events led you to where you are today? How have
      they shaped who you are?

    • here is Tuesday's TED Talk all about having a positive perspective - Check it out!

      "I could face each adversity with an attitude of defeat, or I could reflect on my journey and declare that my story is not over."



      Think about a time that you overcame adversity. How can you use that skill and strength and apply it to your life today?

      Think about your family and community members. What have you learned from those around you about using a positive perspective to overcome difficult situations?

    • This week’s book recommendation’s focus on expanding perspectives on
      racism in our country. Author Howard Zinn writes on the full American
      History, focusing on the perspective of marginalized people, rather than
      what is typically taught in schools. Rothstein reframes and changes
      perspectives on how laws and policies can be harmful instead of helpful.
      Griffin is a white man who immerses himself in the Black community by
      temporarily changing the color of his skin. His experiences open his eyes to
      the realities that Black American’s face daily, and his perspective is forever
      changed. Lastly, Stevenson tells the true story of his experience as a lawyer
      who worked to exonerate a wrongfully convicted Black man.

      Just Mercy was also recently released as a movie that is currently available
      to watch for free on Amazon during the month of June. Check it out!

      Perspective Books

      Have a topic you want to learn more about? Have questions? Please contact the SDI Graduate Student Intern, Amber Yuker,

    • Answer

    • In support of today's Day of Reflection and Solidarity event in recognition of George Floyd'd death, the below documentary's and movies highlight powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience. In addition to the below listings, both Netflix and Kanopy have created Black Lives Matter collections that showcase even more movies and documentaries. We recommend checking out those collections as well.

      Perspective Friday

      Additional titles include Strong Island, Whose Streets, Malcolm X, and Just Mercy.

  • Week 3: Motivation

    • What is Motivation?

      Motivation is an internal or external drive that creates a desire in us to move and take action. Motivation stems from goals and values and can be positively or negatively affected by our environment

      What goals have you set for yourself that motivate you? how do those goals align with your values?

      What characteristics have you learned from your family/community that have contributed to your motivation and passion?

      How do yo increase and keep your motivation?

      One way to increase your motivation is to set small goals that support your overall goal. taking on smaller goals that you can achieve in the short-term, will give you motivation to keep going and achieve your long-term goal. Don't forget to reward yourself along the way! Juggling school and life can be challenging and you deserve to celebrate every achievement, even if it may seem small.

      To keep your motivation going, create a routine that supports your goals and stick to it. Life gets busy and hectic, and though you may not always be able to follow your routine, by having a routine in place you will be more likely to make time to work on your goals. When one day doesn't go your way, try again the next?


      Think about your experiences with adversity. how have these experiences served as a motivator for you?

      What is a value driven goal that motivates you? What is the "Why" behind your goal?

    • Here is Tuesday's Motivational TED Talk - Check it out!

      "You know you have it in you to take one more stroke... when we are stuck in a difficult situation and we wee a ray of hope, we take it as a sign to keep pushing forward."

      Motivation Video


      Think of a challenging moment in your life. what helped you get through that moment? Who were your supporters through that time? How did that moment strengthen you and motivate you to continue to strive towards your goals?

    • Here are some recommended reads to help increase your motivation. Access these books for free in the Alkek Library or San Marcus public library.

      Wanting to talk about these books with others? Have your friends join you in reading one of the recommendations, then host a zoom book club so that you can talk about it?

      Motivation Books

    • Looking for Motivation you can listen to on the go? Go to Spotify and search "motivation." Scroll down and select Podcast Episodes to find a list of hundreds of podcasts talking about motivation, how to get movitation, and how to stay motivated.

      You can also follow these accounts to get motivated and inspired:

      Week 3 Podcasts

    • Happy Friday!

      Wanting to watch a movie with friends? Host a zoom watch party and share the zoom invite with them. As the host, you can share your screen so that you can all watch the movie together!

      You can also check out Google Chrome Scener for free and watch Netflix movies and shows with your friends and family.

      Here are a few inspiring and motivational movies to watch this weekend:

      • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
      • Stand and Deliver
      • East Side Sushi
      • Tortilla Soup
  • Week 4: Habits

    • Habits are repetitive behaviors that we perform automatically. It is something that we don't need to think about, we just do it, like brushing our teeth or tying our shoes.

      Forming new habits takes time, which is why it is hard to get into a workout routine or stop procrastinating. Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit says that the best way to break a habit is to change the habit while you are on vacation or on a break from your normal routine. The current pandemic has forced many people to create a new routine, which means it is perfect time to form a new habit! We have all been thrown off our normal routines so now is the time to make change!

      How do you stay motivated to make changes to your habits?

      Know your why. In order to change your habits to make them stick you need to have a good reason, something that keeps you motivated. Your motivator must be deeper than surface level motivator, but doing well on the exam in order to reach your goal of earning a college degree is a deeper reason that will keep you more motivated to change your habit.

      How do you start breaking bad habits?

      Once you know your why, you can start weaving your new habit into your day by habit stacking. Habit stacking is when you pair a new habit with an already existing habits you can listen to podcasts while you cook, or drive, or get ready for bed. Since these are daily tasks that you already make time for, it is easy to tack on to that time instead of trying to change up your entire routine.


      What is a habit you are wanting to add to your routine? What is daily habit  you currently do that you can pair your new habit with?

      What are some of your values that serve as a motivator for you to change your habits?

      Who serves as motivators and supports in your life? Tr inviting them to add a new habit as well so that you can each serve as supporters and accountability partners for each other as you each work on your new habits.

    • This Tuesday's TED Talk is all about changing habits - Check it out!

      "My change of habits has completely changed the course of my life and it has changed what I thought I was capable have to seek and you have to cultivate those habits that are good for you, the ones that get you closer to your goals, closer to who you want to be... We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit."

      TED Talk Habit

      Reflection: Where do you see yourself in five years? Do the daily habits you have today support your long-term goals? If not, what is one habit you can add to your routine to help move you one step closer to your goal?

    • Wednesday's book recommendations come highly recommended! Each of the below books have been on multiple bestseller lists and are referenced in many podcasts and talk. Access these books for free in the Alkek Library or the San Marcos Public Library.

      Week 4 Books

    • WK  4 podcastsWondering how to add new habits and break bad habits? Looking for motivation to get started? Check out these podcasts all about habits! They can all be found for free on Spotify.

    • Happy Friday! Looking for some recommendations? Here are a few inspirational movies to watch this weekend.

      If you have never explored Kanopy, it is a streaming service that you get for free as a Texas State Student. I recommend browsing the movie documentaries that they have as well.

      • Remember the Titans
      • Teach Us All
      • McFarlen USA
      • Short Term 12
  • Week 5: Goals

    • Goals are an idea or desired result that an individual or group foresee and commit to achieving.

      Goals provide direction. When you have a goal you have a purpose of action that requires you to reflect on where you are now and where you'd like to be.

      Many people start goal setting by thinking about all the things they want to accomplish. If you're and experienced goal setter, you'd probably write them down and work to create mini goals to make them more approachable.

      Many people fail to achieve their goals because they forget their motivation. Without knowing your intentions, you make it too easy to forget or find excuses to delay your goals. If you're committed to really achieving something, give your goals the time and focus they need to thrive by laying a better foundation first.

      How do I setup my goals for success?
      In order to have success and accomplish any goals, you need to have SMART goals.

      Goals should be:

      Specific: your goal must be clear and well defined.

      Measurable: Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success.

      Attainable: Make sure that it's not possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will undermine yourself and degrade your confidence.

      Relevant: goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life/career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this you'll improve the focus you need to develop yourself

      Time bound: your goals must have a time limit. This will help you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker

      What if I keep failing?

      No journey is without setbacks.

      Failure should not be seen as something permanent but an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and prevent them in the future. If what you're trying to achieve doesn't work, seek a different approach.


      What are some goals that you want to achieve? Why is achieving that goal important to you?

      What will success look like?

      What will be your biggest barrier? How will you stay focused during the process?

    • This Tuesday's TED Talk is all about achieving your goals- Check it out!

      “You see, what stands between us and achieving even our most ambitious dreams has far less to do with possessing some magical skill or talent and far more to do with how we approach problems and make decisions to solve them...of all those millions of decisions that we face of a regular basis, even a marginal improvement in our process can have a huge impact on our end result.”



      What ambitious goals do you have for yourself? What small steps can you do to push you there? If so, what type of marginal improvements can you make?

    • This Wednesday's book selection we highly suggest! These books will help you understand how to focus on your goals and get real results. You can get access to these books for free in the Alkek Library, the San Marcus public library, or on Amazon Audiobook.


    • If you're bored at home and need some motivation, we highly recommend these podcasts! You can check out these podcast for FREE on Spotify.


    • Happy Friday guys!

      Looking for some movie recommendations? Here are a few inspirational movies to watch this weekend.

      Just a quick reminder, Kanopy is a free streaming service that you get for being a Texas State student!

      Week 5 movies

  • Week 6: Community

    • Community

      A community is a social unity, sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

      It is through finding community that many individuals realize that they are not alone and that there are others who are like them.

      A community also allows us to support one another, interact, share experiences and our modern life struggles. Having this open bond with others is what builds valuable relationships, and gives us a deeper sense of belonging.

      Communities are also rich in resources. Your strengths may be someone else’s weaknesses and vice versa. With the diversity of skills, common goals can be achieved much faster!

      How do I find my community?

      A great way to find the right social group is to join a club or organization that you have an interest in! Joining a group with similar interest allows you the opportunity to meet new people who you share something in common with.

      Where do I find groups at Texas State?

      Texas State has an abundant number of groups to join! You can meet these orgs in the quad or on the Student Involvement website:


      What do you have a passion for? Are you searching for a sense of belonging?

      What organization or group will gravitate to your passion? Will joining that group help reach your goals?


    • This Tuesday's TED Talk is all about building community that creates an impact- Check it out!

      Nadav Wilf encourages us to "Find and share our passions freely and often, as we never know who shares them and is just waiting to meet us."


      What are some of your passions? Is there a group or community that shares that same passion? If so, will joining that community create an impact? 

    • This Wednesday's book selection we highly recommend! These books will help you understand that community inspires a healthy life and confronts the dilemmas and detours of real life. You can get access to these books for free at the Alkek Library, or on Amazon Audiobook!


    • Happy Thursday! This week we recommend these podcasts to help you understand why community is essential for success! You can find these FREE on Spotify.


    • Happy Friday guys!

      Looking for some movie recommendations? Here are a few movies about finding the right community/people to succeed for this weekend.


  • Week 7: Wealth

    • Wealth

      A majority of people think of the word "wealth" in terms of finances, but this is a narrow view of what it means to be wealthy. Wealth consists of every area within an individual's life — health, relationships, finances, time, so on and so forth.

      Types of Wealth:

      Self Wealth- Feeling confident, self-assured, intellectually engaged, resilient, productive and happy with members of your family.

      Relationship Wealth- Feeling connected, sharing your dreams, finding partners, engaging in your communities.

      Physical Wealth- Keeping proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise to keep yourself healthy to pursuit any other wealth you are trying to achieve.


      How do I acquire one these types of wealth?

      To obtain/master any types of wealth requires dedication, practice, humility, learning, understanding, networking, so on and so forth.



      “Am I seeing the value in focusing on my time and health along with my finances and status and does that reflect in my actions?”

      “Where in the types of wealth am I weak in and how can I improve immediately?”

      “Where in the types of wealth am I strong in?”


    • This Tuesday's TED Talk is all about being wealthy without having money. Nina Porter dives in and explains why money can’t buy happiness.- Check it out! 


Have a topic you want to learn more about? Have questions?

Contact the SDI Graduate Student Intern, Amber Yuker,