Your Purpose is Greater Than Your Struggles

The past few years have indeed been an arduous journey for educators and administrators alike, a relentless struggle filled with mandates, constant adjustments, political divisiveness, and the relentless ebb and flow of mixed curriculum and instructional delivery methods. It’s been a tumultuous ride, and the list of challenges seems never-ending. Indeed, the chaos and uncertainty have often been so overwhelming that it’s easy to find ourselves caught up in a web of challenges. Without vigilance, it’s not uncommon to feel disheartened and defeated by these trying circumstances.

Embracing Your Purpose:

One of the first steps to navigate these challenging times is to reconnect with your underlying purpose. To all the teachers out there, remember that your role is just as critical. You, too, are not called to be successful in every moment, but rather to be faithful to your purpose of nurturing young minds and shaping the future. The impact you have on your students goes beyond the challenges you face, and the dedication you show is truly exceptional. For administrators, rekindling your passion for your leadership role, focused on supporting both your staff and students, can provide a powerful source of motivation during tough times.

Set clear and achievable goals that align with your purpose. These can serve as beacons of light, guiding you through the darkest of days. Whether you’ve been grappling with challenges for a short span or an extended period, always hold your mission and purpose close to heart.

Prioritize self-care to maintain your physical and mental well-being. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary for your effectiveness and resilience. For both teachers and administrators, make time for activities that rejuvenate you, whether it’s exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Building Resilience:

Resilience is key during times of turmoil. It’s essential to be flexible and open to change. The ability to adapt to new circumstances is a hallmark of resilience. Embrace innovation and new approaches to teaching and leadership.

Lean on your colleagues for support and collaboration. Share strategies, resources, and emotional support. You’re not alone in this journey, and working together can make a significant difference.

Develop your emotional intelligence to better understand and manage your own emotions and those of others. This skill can help you navigate challenging situations with empathy and composure.

Inspiring Others:

Effective leadership during challenging times involves inspiring others. Communicate your vision and purpose clearly to your students, staff, and colleagues. Effective communication can instill a sense of direction and unity in the face of adversity.

Acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest achievements. Recognizing progress, no matter how minor, can boost morale and motivation. As an administrator or educator, your actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate the qualities you wish to see in others, such as resilience, dedication, and a commitment to your purpose.

I’ve shared the quote, “Your purpose is greater than your struggles,” on social media, and it warms my heart to see educators responding and sharing how timely and needed the reminder is. For example, one teacher said, “Oh my, I needed this. THANK you for this reminder that my struggle doesn’t mean I’m useless in everything. ‘I am only one, but I am someone; I can’t do everything, but I can do something.'”

In these unprecedented times, holding steadfast to our purpose may well be the life raft that keeps us afloat in the turbulent white waters of change. It’s easy to be disheartened by the challenges we face, as they are undeniably real, but it’s essential to cling to your purpose because, in many cases, it’s the only thing keeping you afloat, and it’s also what’s keeping those you serve afloat.

In fact, I am reminded of the time when Sister Teresa had a senator from the US visit her in Calcutta and her facility called the house of the dying. and nursing those left by others to die, They visited the “Home for the Dying” where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, by the magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers faced daily. “How can you bear the load without being crushed beneath it?” the senator asked. Mother Teresa replied, “My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful.” Similarly, educators won’t always feel successful, but they should know what they do matters and it’s impacting lives.

Remember that you are a difference-maker, teachers and administrators alike, and never forget that your purpose is greater than your struggles!

2 thoughts on “Your Purpose is Greater Than Your Struggles”

  1. Oh my! Oh my!
    This one awakened my inner me and self realization that my purpose is greater than my struggles.
    Thank you Dr. Brad Johnson.

  2. I agree. The systems are making teachers see their jobs differently. They are not feeling jeardby administration not their districts. They need hear a “Thank you once in a while and “good call”. I being a substitute and just experiencing how the district changed to a contracting agency without telling me substitutes after having them for years .this was disheartenng. The agency itself handled a situation I had to call them out on. This didn’t make me feel confident in them but they send forth letters saying they support and offer perks. I know my purpose abd voice my concerns. I encourage teachers to pay attention to their mental health when they are working. That’s IMPORTANT. I substitute also at a high school college and the teachers there are more supportive to each other but again, administrators are stressed as well. They need additional moral support themselves. Good article.

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