“Why do you care?” – Just four words. Pretty simple question. But it captured all of my thoughts one day. This question was posed after I vented to a friend. I shared some frustration about what I call “running on the hamster wheel.” I feel like I just keep saying the same thing and I am not being heard, so why do I keep talking? Sounds like there should be a logical solution to that problem. Just. Stop. But I can’t. Why? My answer to the question was this: “I care because we can do better because our students deserve better.”
If I didn’t care and I didn’t keep fighting the good fight, I wouldn’t be me. I have learned, as of late, that I am a fighter and fighters don’t quit. What do you suit up, stand up and fight for? What is your why?
This idea of starting with “why” is not a new concept. Most of us have either read or seen Simon Sinek’sTed Talk. But I think this is an extremely important concept when we are self-reflecting. To me, our “why” is our purpose and our purpose is what grounds us. It is also our compass, our thermometer, and our springboard. In the book Emotional Agility, Susan David writes, “Walking with your why is the art of living by your own personal set of values- the beliefs and behaviors that you hold dear and that give you meaning and satisfaction.” Whenever I feel uncertain about my path, whether it is chatter from others or chatter in my head…it always helps to focus back on my true purpose. Is what I am doing and saying aligned with that? If so, I feel more confident in moving forward, if not…time to course correct.
This idea of finding and pulling from our purpose has come up in a lot of conversations lately. I have learned that regardless of who someone is, their role, their title, their success…there is struggle and there is doubt. We are all human. In those times, people often begin to question themselves personally. Am I making a difference? Is this worth the fight? Am I good enough? Am I on the right path? Can I do this? Why bother? This is when it is most important to refocus on our “why”. If what we are doing is not aligned with our purpose, then maybe we need to rethink our line of action. But as Dr. David writes, “To make decisions that match up with the way you hope to live going forward, you have to be in touch with the things that matter to you so you can use them as signposts.” When people share with me that they are at a crossroads and questioning themselves, I often take them through a series of questions to get them to hone down on their purpose. Once they are armed with that, they can more confidently “walk their why”.
This blog post was inspired by many conversations as of late, but it was also inspired by a single tweet from my good friend, Tony Sinanis.
— Dr. Tony Sinanis (@TonySinanis) December 7, 2017
My reply to his tweet was: “Especially when it’s not easy,”. That is the sticking point. It is those uneasy, uncomfortable, frustrating times where it is most important to align with our purpose. To me, our purpose is where we get our strength. It is what we can draw upon, it is what all of our words and actions should be tethered to and grounded in. THAT is how and why we push through those hard times.
What is your “why”? What captures your heart? What moves you? Find it…share it…live it…walk it.
Author’s Note: This post was originally published on my personal blog site: Leading In Limbo. I decided to republish (with some edits) after responding to this #cuechat question posed by my colleague @dustin772:
— Dustin Ellis (@dustin772) January 3, 2018
Cori is a mother of two amazing children and currently works as a TOSA in Simi Valley Unified School District. She is a co-moderator for both #SVTChat and #VCHSchat. Cori has presented various sessions for CUE Rock Star, CUE BOLD as well as within and outside of her district and county. She is also a frequent blogger on her site: http://leadinginlimbo.weebly.com/ Follow her on Twitter: @CoriOrlando1