Online Learners Who Follow their Passion
Every moment in life along your journey is temporary. The joy of a goal achieved, the agony of defeat or a goal unmet in a given timeframe. Fret not if this goal has not been achieved, nor rest on your latest achievement. It is all temporary, or ad interim, as the Greek Stoics remind us. Your path is yours and different from mine, as they are different from a teammate or colleague. Your thoughts and actions are incredibly complex and unique to you as a human, and do not need to be understood always or at any specific moment in time. This means we sometimes have thoughts or reactions which aren’t understood by ourselves at that moment. As sure as the sun rises and sets, human perception is assuredly as variable as the shades in every color. And yet the human spirit allows ourselves the chance to perform at the highest levels together, more often needing others to achieve shared goals as well as individual goals. As you pursue your personal and professional vision with all your joy, your sweat, your blood, and tears you must understand that first and foremost, a highly regarded and successful secondary school education must be a priority. Fortunately, online education today allows you the freedom of learning anywhere “here” might be despite social distance restricting our geographical footprint. What you can do right now in addition to staying safe, is free your mind and spirit to have a series of visions which construct your career “vision foundation”. Of course, you must include this pursuit of your passion in conjunction with your academic responsibilities. Take a moment and daydream.
- Picture yourself doing what you love most in any given moment in your sport, as a musician, working on an art piece, auto racing, etc. Picture seeing these snapshots in your mind, and also hearing one or two favorite sounds associated with this vision. Can you describe to yourself what you see? Hear? Smell? Capture it and linger in the moment. It’s okay if it passes quickly; refocus and allow the images to come back.
- Maintain a healthy perspective on layering more visionary snapshots. This means you must participate in your passion, but keep it real. Pretending to lift the Stanley Cup is something you might do in the future, but also add a simpler vision of your first phone interview with a next level coach, college, university, or professional club management. In this scenario, start small by building your way through this vision by asking yourself something simple such as “How will I address this person on a video call and what would I wear so I present as professional, and confident?”; “What time of the day would I best be prepared to be fully engaged, yet reserved enough to maintain a balance between a display of confidence, but also of excited interest?”; and, “Do I feel more or less focused and relaxed before or after a workout as I picture myself in conversation?”. Then schedule your interview or workout accordingly.
- Start small by layering these smaller actions of your vision foundation and you will find it will build confidence as you see yourself succeeding in your envisioned plan.
- Challenge yourself daily on how you can take one step toward achieving what you visualize, with what is available to you now. When uninspired, feeling misdirected or stuck, or just not sure where to start, that is okay. Get used to being stuck. Accept it as an opportunity to take a break and free your mind.
- Consider who in your support network is trustworthy enough or a subject matter expert to provide real and tangible leads in your very specific pursuit. Certainly we have coaches, teachers, and family members with whom to start. They can be helpful, but the crux of your vision depends not only on trusted contacts but a real examination of your own abilities to accomplish what you envision responsibly and safely, and on being assertive enough with being honest about what you want, what you can do, and what you cannot presently do. If this seems too difficult, just be curious and follow up on the answers to your curiosity!
Using these 5 simple steps, you are creating an assessment of what tools you have available to accomplish your vision. This is a great step and you are already heading toward success! Be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps record them in a journal in order to recognize and identify them. You are well on your way to becoming a visionary!