Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Find Inspiration When It’s Lost

Do you ever feel like you just don’t know what to do next? Do you ever feel like there are so many ways to go and you don’t know which turn to take? Do you ever feel like you won’t get out of the rut you are in, that there just isn’t anything “up there”? You are not alone. Educators are not alone. Executives are not alone. None of us are alone. At some point in your professional career, you have probably felt stuck and you are not the only one that has felt this way. You need to find……..inspiration. But where do you find it? When I feel this way I’m always reminded of the four key places where I find my inspiration.

  • Positive and inspiring colleagues
  • Personalized professional development
  • Clear the highway
  • Remember your reason
Positive and inspiring colleagues

One thing I learned at a very early age was to surround myself with positive people. Those who are change agents. Those who don’t see walls and closed doors but windows that have been left open a crack. They challenge my thinking and support me in my thoughts. They make it their mission to focus on what can be done and not what can’t be done. You walk into a room with them and you can’t help but change your attitude and mood. I like to call this group of people my circle of electricity. If I surround myself with these people I always seem to get a jolt that sends me in the right direction.

Personalized professional development

This is not a terribly new concept but maybe you haven’t tried it yet. What is it? It is the idea of building your PD based on what your needs are as an educator. Think about it as differentiated learning for adults. You find the opportunities to learn, and you pick the content you are interested in exploring. How do you do that? Find a group of blogs to follow that offer ideas, support and guidance. Join a handful of Google+ communities and start learning from others. Create or join a weekly Google+ Hangout with a group of people that want to learn the same thing you do. Turn to Twitter and get involved in some of the many chats that are happening each and every night. You are sure to find one that suits your interests. Find an online class that you can take at your leisure--one that speaks to your interests. Lean on your professional circle to help inspire you. If you don’t have a circle, start building one. And the key to all of this...share, share and share. You never know, you may be the one inspiring others.

Clear the highway

Sometimes we have so many cars on the road that it gets congested and the result is a traffic jam. How do you get out of a traffic jam? With patience and slow driving because that is the only option in that situation. Some of the cars need to take the next exit and get off the highway. Some will need to slow down and move along inch by inch until the traffic clears out. Some will try to blast through the jam and cause an accident, which in turn holds everyone up for a longer amount of time. When you find that you have too many ideas, too many commitments, it is time to slow down and sort through the jam. Some things will have to take an exit until you regroup and are ready to head down the road again. Others will be able to keep moving forward, just at a slower pace. And some, well, they may just have to go to the shop for a while. Take some time to clear the highway every few months---your cars will last a lot longer.

Remember your reason

If you are still feeling stuck, remember your reason. Think about the why...why are you doing this? Think about the students who are relying on you to be your best, so you can bring out their best. Remember the reason you started this journey, remember the ones you’ve helped, remember the ones you haven’t helped and remember why you do what you do----that will help you find your inspiration again. 

Written by Jeanette Carlson

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