Tag Archives: passion

The Sleeper has Awakened

There are really two kinds of dreams, dreams we have for ourselves (personal goals and desires) and those we have for the world around us. But dreams don’t have to be these surreal or unobtainable goals, no matter how big they are. For those who enjoy viral internet trends, you may have seen a little gem with Shia LeBeouf giving an inspiring “speech” entitled, “Just Do It.” During the motivational and comically energetic rant he utters one very important line, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXsQAXx_ao0?rel=0]

The dreams we have for ourselves usually involve work or family. On the surface they seem much more obtainable. For example, I often dream of working as full time faculty and finally being able to move on from ten years of working part time at multiple schools. I dream of raising a child with my wife and doing the best I can to provide the same support she has provided me ever since we started dating fifteen years ago. I’d like to think those are obtainable dreams. But dreams don’t come true if you fail to act on them, they require action. My adjunct work at GCC allowed me to start working towards some of my personal dreams. I have been given the opportunity (and even encouraged) to present at meetings, develop curriculum, and even help design entire courses. Those are all very real opportunities that serve as important and needed experience. I may not have reached my dream yet, but those opportunities acted upon are progressive steps.

The dreams we have for the world around us are usually far more reaching, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be acted upon just like personal goals. My far reaching dream would be to live in a world free from prejudice and bias. When I lived in Detroit I was able to see firsthand how horrible and destructive those forces can be. I may just be an adjunct English instructor, but even from that position I can act on my dream to create that better world. By encouraging critical thinking, healthy debate, and empathy in the classroom, slowly but surely, one student at a time, the world becomes a better place through my actions. I can’t have an impact on everyone, but each student I do have a positive influence on creates a ripple, and those ripples may be felt around the world.

Image of water ripples
Surface Waves (c) wikipedia commons

So don’t just sit and dream, take action, even a small step. Let the sleeper awaken and watch the world around you slowly change into to the one you imagined and hoped for. Just do it.


Find Your Passion

The above image shows the results from last week’s poll and has nothing to do with the content of this week’s blog.

Week 3 Blog – Find Your Passion

I have a problem with following directions. I am always looking for the road less traveled. Our theme this week is about professional development, and I want to get to the heart of the matter, but with a twist.

Let’s face it, we don’t love our jobs every day. We tell our students to find a career they are passionate about so that they will “love” their jobs. Well, we all know that is an unrealistic expectation.

In order to have ultimate job satisfaction, you have to be passionate about SOMETHING. You have to make time for the things that you love. If you are an artist, you should be drawing, painting or designing. But you don’t have to do it at work. You do have to make sure you take the time to do it at some point in the day!

Take a look around at your work colleagues. You can see who is bringing passion to work. It’s like the good life is flowing over into their otherwise ho-hum life.

Take me, for example. Louise likes her job, she has a passion for health and fitness and loves teaching. Her job can be overwhelming and repetitive at times. Her true passion is swimming. When she swims, she is able to be creative and excited about her job, constantly coming up with something new and fun to keep it from feeling overwhelming and repetitive.

When Louise does not take the time to swim, she is grumpy and overwhelmed. Her professional development is directly affected by whether or not she gets to swim (her true passion). There are other obvious health-related benefits from swimming that get her blood flowing and her brain working, but jogging on the treadmill does not have the same effect, because she is terrible at running (not her true passion).

So what does this have to do with professional development, you ask? Everything. The point of professional development is to get better at what you do, to stay current in your field of study, and to network with others on the same career path. You can’t do any of that without passion. Let your passion for your “thing” overflow into your work life and you will find that your professional development will take care of itself. You will find yourself seeking opportunities that you would have otherwise missed.

Here is your call to action for the week: “What are you passionate about and are you spending enough time doing what you love?”

p.s. My “actual” professional development consists of an annual conference with the American College of Sports Medicine, nutrition seminars, various  MCCCD FPG workshops, and my favorite: CTLE offerings throughout the year. I have immense appreciation for the work of the GCC CTLE crew of Meghan, Alisa, Mark and Cheryl. They are oozing with talent and I love to learn from them.  ls


Challenge (Happily) Accepted

What fires your passion for your field of interest and reminds you of your role at GCC?

My answer… the 6×6 Challenge. My passion is writing and unfortunately, is not closely related to my role as the Coordinator of Fiscal Services. Participating in the 6×6 Challenge brought my passion for writing and my role at GCC a little closer. Any time there is an opportunity to write – office process docs, communication to the campus from our office, Maricopa Priorities – I happily volunteer. Writing for the 6×6 Challenge allowed me to bring out my creative side and gain valuable insights about my role at GCC.


Simply the Best

Simply the Best – I’m Naming Names

Who drives you to be the best version of you?

Here is my current top-twelve list of coworkers who push me out of my comfort zone, fire my passion for my field of interest and remind me of my role at GCC. These people probably have no idea that simply by being themselves 100% of the time, they are setting an example and driving people like me to dig down deep and give all of myself all of the time.

In the past couple of weeks, each of these individuals has done something impactful that has helped me reflect on how I can be a better version of myself and ultimately help others to do the same.

Lisa Lewis – She boldly goes where others would falter. She does more work than anyone I know and has never complained once about it. Her work ethic makes me want to work harder. She brings out the best in her students, regardless of their excuses. She sets standards so people will reach higher.

Stephanie Sawyer – She goes and she goes and she goes, and nothing stops her. The ideas keep streaming and she pushes me to think of things in new and refreshing ways.

Alisa Cooper – She makes the most difficult and complicated matters seem simple and achievable. Her smile is contagious and her warmth makes her approachable.

Dr. Kovala – A true leader in a leadership role. I walk away from every encounter with a lesson that can be applied to my life. Just through Write 6×6, I am reminded of the joy of buying a drink for a student and how to be better prepared for a public speaking engagement.

Scott Schulz – A true supporter of dreams. He is approachable and knows when to acknowledge people’s efforts, encouraging self reflection and personal responsibility.

Eric Leshinskie – Willing to help, at the drop of a hat, in matters of grant writing, especially in moments lacking clarity and time.

Tressa Jumps – A real person with big dreams and guts. She is not afraid to laugh at herself. Another living example that it is possible to adapt your comfort zone in order to get the ship going in the right direction.

Mary Lea – The only person I know who can bring calmness and serenity to all circumstances. When life gets stressful, I invoke Mary Lea. She is like a genie in a bottle and always shows up when you need a dose of positivity.

Trisha Thurston – A spirited body who is not afraid of hard work. She brings out the best in people, especially when self doubt is slowing us up.

Nancy Burke – While standing in line at the cafeteria, I observed her as she offered to buy lunch for a member of the military, to thank him for his service. Sometimes we forget to look around and see the people standing in line with us. It’s fun to make someone’s day and take our mind off of our own worries.

Kristin Bennes – She sees a need and she finds a way to make life easier for everyone. She is compassionate and a true listener.

Lindra Fishleder – Game for anything that is going to make a positive difference. Another compassionate soul who builds confidence in others so that they may achieve their dreams without hesitation.

So, who drives you to be the best version of you? Would you be willing to name names?

Who shows bravery when others would throw in the towel?

Who keeps forging ahead despite a million excuses?

Who takes risks in order to help others?

Who sees past self doubt in others and pushes them to be their best?

Who sees a need that nobody else can see?

Who goes at everything with a positive attitude and a sense of humor?

Who sees your abilities and passion before your appearance?

Who finds a way when there is a road block?

Who sends a message of positivity in all of their interactions?

No man, or woman, is an island, and nobody is perfect. By supporting each other and bringing out the best in others, we can spend our days at work the way they are supposed to be spent…filled with passion, living our dream and improving the lives of others in the process.

Don’t see your name on this list? Keep working on the best version of you. You will find yourself on someone’s list!  ;o)