Deciding on an occupation depends on our motivation. Most of us choose a career for the right reasons, but when we get into them, we forget our original intention. Maybe we get tired, depressed, or just lose our drive, but for whatever reason, it’s often best to step back and take a closer look at what’s happening daily.
It happened a few days ago that I found a darling student I used to teach weeping. It is one of those students who spends hours doing homework, works with a tutor, and does all she can to improve her language skills. Her homework is turned in on time and every effort is made to make it correct. She was crushed. It seems that she could not find her paper she was to complete. She went back to the teacher for help, but the teacher, wanting to “teach a lesson to the student” would not help her. For this, she will receive an F on the paper. I knew the teacher, so my hands were tied. What could I say to this dear student who knew they were wrong, but felt like a complete failure.
A few things went through my mind like “this teacher has no clue about the heart of a child” and “I suppose he never lost a paper in his life,” etc. Actually, it did shine a light and a reminder into my own profession.
The bottom line is that we all fail in our professions perhaps thinking that we are doing “the best thing.” We don’t often know how our little “lessons to others” really impact the individuals and colleagues we communicate with daily. It’s time we all step back and take a closer look at our professions. I suggest three strategies for today’s creative activity:
1. Go back and try to remember why you went into your career. List your reasons and your motivations. Are these still the reasons you are in your career? Where are you failing? How can you improve?
2. Write down a time in your career when others told you that you were successful. What made other people pleased with your efforts? Are you still doing those things today? When do you fall away from those things and how can you retrieve them?
3. Take a closer look at what you are doing daily. Are you still living out your passion on a day to day basis? Are you bringing others down in order to bring yourself up?
To the student, I could offer several stories in my own life and these few words of advice. ”You will receive a bad grade tomorrow, but you will grow up and be a very influential person. When you do, please come back and remember that there were people here who really believed in you!”
“You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.” Eleanor Roosevelt