Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Think Big, Start Small

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a situation?   Maybe with a project?  Or perhaps a goal?

This is the time when educators select a professional development goal for the year.  If you are like me, then perhaps you have been really excited about something you wanted to do.  You felt a burst of creative energy and were motivated to take action.  Maybe that is what pure inspiration is.  Then for whatever reason that inspiration was never fully realized.

So why does this  occur?  There could be a variety of reasons.  Not enough Time is a big factor for why things do not happen.  Other things take Precedent and crowd it out.  It could be that Support is needed from others and that is missing.  I suppose there could be many circumstances for why something does not reach fruition.

On second thought, maybe this could be perceived differently.  Perhaps we should be more interested in the discovery of why things do happen, rather than why things do not happen.

I remember a time when I had what I thought was a really good idea; a plan for the future that would help at-risk students be better prepared to achieve their potential.  I pitched the idea to my supervisors.  They liked it and even wanted me to pursue it.  Then my bubble was burst with these words:  Think big, start small.  I was crestfallen.  I wanted to do it all immediately.  Right now!  There is no time to waste.  Just let me do it.

I am not sure why that was my initial reaction.  Looking back upon it now I understand this perspective.  They had the big picture in mind.  It was the right decision.  Not only that, but the Think Big, Start Small approach enabled me (and all those involved) to work towards observable and measurable goals in a focused, organized, and accountable manner.  An approach such as this allowed us to measure our progress and make adaptations or corrections as we worked toward making this idea into a reality.

Upon reflection what I have discovered about myself over the years is this–  having Support, Encouragement, and Guidance is a necessary compliment to my own personal Commitment,  Passion, and Motivation.  It is a nice counterbalance.  It is what I need in order to make things happen.  I understand that now.

What do you need from others to help you manifest a goal?  If you are an educator, please consider sharing your professional development goal.

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