Tag Archives: future

Dreams for Tomorrow

I was doing some digital cleaning of my Google Drive when I came across a document filled with the beginning ideas for a new school and consulting business that my friend Jason and I were working on. This document is still shared with him. The last edit was June of 2014.

My friend is now working in another state. I have changed jobs three times. What happened? Life happened… and is it a bad thing that we didn’t pursue the dream of starting a consulting business or creating a new school? I don’t know.

Looking over the pages, the ideas are still strong. If I chose to follow that dream again, the ideas on the document would be the place to start. We were at the point to where all we had to do was say, “Go!”

But we didn’t.

There are a few lessons to take from this moment.

One: Achieving, or at least working toward a dream has that moment. The “Go!” moment; where you move from the ideas running around in your head, or even on paper, to executing that plan. That can be a scary moment. Because once you say, “Go!” failure is an option. So is success. The “Go!” moment makes it real. You have to be ready to handle the consequences of pursuing a dream.

Two: Dreams do not always have a time table. If I wanted to, I could start working on this goal today. I still believe in our ideas. I still believe in the vision of the school. But right now, I have other goals I am working on. There are dreams I want to achieve now. That is what I will work on today… but tomorrow? Who knows?

Three: We only have so much time and energy. This is the area that most affected the dream of starting a school. I was in my first year at a new job, my sixth child was on the way, and other life events were happening for both of us. Achieving any goal takes time and energy. Life is not a single event. When pursuing a goal, we have to understand this concept. I don’t remember where I read or heard this, but I agree with the idea that we only have enough time and energy for five things in our life. That includes relationships. The top five things in our life get our time and energy. Those five aspects can change. They are fluid, but it is an important idea to consider how you allocate yourself.

I’m not done cleaning out my Google Drive, but I moved the document about a new school in a folder I labeled, “Dreams for Tomorrow.”

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Only Time Will Tell

It is graduation weekend for many schools. I wonder how many speeches will quote Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”? You know the lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

These lines have been posturized, quoted, and even used in commercials to express the idea that choosing a different path will change your life.

I am also going to quote this poem in my post, but an entirely different section for the same idea. You might just see the above quote in a new light.

As I have taught this poem over the years I have come to believe the heart of this poem is about choosing a path for the day, but like many of Frost’s poems there is a quiet depth in his lines. I think his deepest statement comes in the first stanza.

path

It is easy to make decisions when or if we can see it clearly, but that doesn’t happen very often in life, and Frost knew this. “…as far as I could / to where it bent…” Life is not a straight line, we are only allowed to see so far ahead in our lives. We can plan. We can dream. But tomorrow is the bend in the path. We have to make our decisions without knowing what lies beyond that bend. That takes faith. That takes courage.

No matter what you choose, as Frost said, you will be “telling this with a sigh.” What type of sigh? Only tomorrow knows.

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Turning 40 “The Past”

“Today is the moment when your past and future meet.”

I have been struggling with how to articulate this idea with out writing some deep philosophy book.  Simply stated, what I’ve learned is that our past is important, but we don’t handle its power well.

On the extreme edges we either ignore it or let it cripple us.  Somewhere in the middle is where we can use it to improve today and build for tomorrow.  Our past affects us, even if we don’t always recognize it.

The crazy part is it doesn’t matter if the past was 10 years or 10 minutes ago.  Over the years I’ve seen how the past affects my students.  I’ve seen how the drama of the last class took 10 minutes for them to get focused, to the way a movie we watched in class brought back the pain of the loss of a parent.

I have been guilty of not seeing my students fully. Wondering why they just did that?  Or frustrated with their work ethic.  I am guilty of not considering their past and how it might play a role in their behavior.  To use my English teacher vocabulary, we all are round dynamic characters in this life.  We all have a past, we all have dreams and goals we want to achieve. And today is the moment when our past and future meet. If we are aware of this I think we can tackle issues with a clearer objective.  If we can help our students see that, maybe we can help them build a better future.

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