It is January 22, 2019. Even though almost all the schools around us are closed, we didn’t get a snow day. (It is cold, but the roads are clear and the snow just hasn’t started falling). I have tons of grading to do, some are late assignments because students won’t hand in their work. I just introduced a poetry unit for four sections. This is how I feel today.
This post isn’t exactly about my day though. This post is about the work it takes to stay focused on your goals. Especially when you know negativity is coming your way.
Let’s be honest, it is difficult to stay the course. It takes more than will power. It takes more than hard work. It takes courage. It takes faith. And sometimes it takes a wall to protect yourself.
OK, let’s go back to my day.
I am going to guess that many of you reading that word had a negative response… just like my students. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am a poet. So, the next couple of weeks are going to be fun for me, to a degree. I will have to fight through the negative reaction almost all of my students will have. But, I think I can use this example to discuss how to withstand those moments in life when you face negative pushback as you reach for your goals.
The first aspect is to have faith. I know that when the poetry unit is over, most of my students will at least appreciate poetry. Even though, right now, they complain, I know what the outcome will be. (In fact even by the end of the period a few students said they enjoyed watching a performance of some of the poems).
Have faith in the end result.
Now the honest part is that sometimes we don’t succeed. We don’t achieve a specific goal. But that doesn’t mean you lose faith. Faith gives you a focus and builds strength to continue to strive toward your goals. That strength feeds your courage. It is going to take courage to face the hurdles while pursuing your dreams. And the toughest hurdle is negativity from the outside world.
That negativity takes on many different forms. Each negative hurdle has to be conquered in different ways. But you have to have the courage to do what it takes to overcome the negativity. Let’s be honest, sometimes we get knocked to the ground by difficult situations. It takes courage to get back up. And faith to get us moving in the right direction.
My final aspect for today is protecting yourself. And the best way to protect yourself is with Love. There are two parts to this idea.
First, love what you do. Sounds simple, but I see too many people, too many students, pursue goals that they don’t love. Love feeds into faith. What you love defines who you are to a degree. If you are pursuing goals that align with what you love, you build faith in the end result. Which then gives you courage to fight for it. What we fight for keeps fuels our love for that goal and life. Yes, it is all connected.
The second part of Love is a little different. Surround yourself with people who love and care for you. Life is a team sport. For whatever reason, this world is filled with people who would rather see you fail than succeed. People who love you want to see you shine. Their protection is an important part of achieving your goals. Bring them in to your life.
And of course,