“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking back…believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well worn path.” -Steve Jobs
We are nearly at the end of 2018. Can you believe that?! I don’t know about you but this year has been a wild ride for me. I set SEVERAL goals and have successfully met many of them. (I am a list person fyi. If I start I want to finish). Currently, I have set my intention meet all of my original goals and finish the last quarter of this year strong. What about you #teacherfriends? How are you doing in terms of meeting the goals that you had for yourself, your school, your classroom this year? How is the work that you set out to do this year going for you?
I ask you these questions because they are the ones that I pose to myself. If we take stock of our year thus far by thinking about what we set out to accomplish vs what ACTUALLY happened there may be room to begin again…which is where I am right now. Personally, I set out to blog consistently, launch a podcast, travel the country talking to educators, focus on fostering innovation in my own backyard, and several other things. Some of that list has happened, some is happening, and still other items are yet to be started. When I thought about the reason for the delay, I realized that I got derailed at some points this year. What I mean is that I lost sight of my overall goal and focused instead on whatever was directly in front of me. For example, I haven’t launched my podcast yet because I was focused on ensuring that I had blog content. Then I took a break from blogging to focus on ensuring that I had a seat at several education conferences I was interested in attending. I took my attention from those conferences to focus on my career and there I have been working to establish myself and overcome imposter syndrome. Here is the point, while what I did was meaningful, it isn’t what I set out to do. I could definitely use a restart and maybe you could too.
Steve Jobs gave this powerful commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. In it he says,
“You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
I watch the video when I need to be reminded that 1. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be done 2. I have all that I need to reach my goals for impacting education. and 3. There is no time like the present to get started running after the work that lights me up. I am passing those same reminders along to you. Here are some signs that you need to begin again BEFORE the end of the year:
- You are not doing the work you set out to do. – If this is you NO WORRIES. Like I shared, sometimes we get sidetracked. Take a fresh look at your goals. There are some that you can probably still meet. Make a plan to work towards what you can get done by doing a little each day. We can only eat the elephant one bite at a time right? This doesn’t have to be a big change either. You can start with several small changes that make a big difference.
- You are not sure if the work you are doing is making an impact.- This one can be tough! I would recommend that if you are doing the work but not sure if it is getting you to where you want to be you take a step back and look at what you are measuring. When you made the curriculum change, management change, etc what did you think would be impacted? Now how do you know? What final result are you looking for? (you are NOT allowed to say test scores here lol)
- You are paralyzed and haven’t gotten started. Hello! I have been there. The key here is to think about what Jobs says in his speech. There is no fear of failure because we are already naked. In essence, we are all human and mistakes come with the territory. Embrace your humanity and get out there! The worst that can happen STILL isn’t as bad as never trying!
I have included Jobs’ commencement address below:
Remember to lead is to constantly learn and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. It is the fourth quarter but the game isn’t over. Get out there and put some points on the board. You can still turn the whole game around. – Dr. Kia