This past week I attended an interesting training on poverty. Interesting enough, the speaker brought up the point of people in education needing to be able to identify a future story for those students that they have that are in poverty. Being able to help the students identify what they want to be or what they want to do in the future, may give them the hope and extra push they need to be able to make it through school. To be able to know that the current circumstances that they are in now, is not what will always be, that there is something better, that can be an epic motivation for those kids.
But, how can you help others, especially students identify a future story, when you haven’t identified your own future story. The point was made that some think that what they are doing now is it and that there is not much else to them as individuals. The speaker was trying to get the point across (the way that I took it) that there is so much more to us than what we may be doing today. We are all unique individuals and when the day comes when we are no longer doing what we are doing today, it will be important to know what our future story is, so that we will know what the next step in our lives will be.
Now, I felt that it was a valid point, but others took it differently, others felt like, that the field of education was it for them and that will be something that they will always do, no questions asked. After thinking about it, I can appreciate that those people have already identified their future self and that they were confident in that. I guess I saw it more in a broad sense.
We all have our jobs and careers that we do, but is there not more to each of us than our daily 9 to 5? Even though I love education, can I not have other loves and passions as well? I am an educator by trade, by I am also a daughter, wife, mom, writer, baker, photographer (I’m learning), etc. Can I not have all of those things be a part of who I currently am and maybe make the future story of who I will be?
I think a lot of us, myself included, sometimes feel a little on edge when others make us question ourselves or our pathways. Telling a group of people that they can’t tell young people to believe in a better future until they have identified their own future, puts some on edge (a lot on edge). It makes some of us feel uncomfortable because we think that we already have everything figured out and that we are living our best life now and that we know that we will continue in the same direction in the future.
The truth is, in my humble opinion, that speaker was right. I love what I do, and I will probably be doing this in the future. But, this is not all to who I am as a person. Because there is more to me as a person, there will probably be more to me as an individual in the future. There are so many other things that I would love to be able to do in the future and that gets me motivated and excited to help write my future story now as we speak. That doesn’t make me less of an educator, that just means I am human and that I have more than one passion.
Let this be your motivation: There is more to you than meets the eye. You are more than one-dimensional. You have many facets to you and that’s okay. If your future story is what you are currently doing now, that’s okay. But, if your future story is something totally different, that’s okay too. We must allow ourselves and others to be more than just one thing or one type of thing.
Until we open our minds and think outside the box not only for ourselves and our colleagues, we will never will able to mentor the next generation.
Be motivated to love yourself and others not only for the story that is currently being written, but for the story that is to come.