Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Do What You Love

I love Pinterest.  I can always find so many unexpected ideas on there.  This morning, as I was enjoying my last few days of winter break, sipping my chai latte outside at Seattle Espresso, I found a pin that linked to an essay by Paul Graham.  Paul Graham is both a computer programmer who has written many books as well as an essayist on a variety of topics.  The essay I read was titled, "How to Do What You Love."  A few things stood out to me as I try to figure out my goals for the new year:

"Unproductive pleasures pall eventually.  After a while, you get tired of lying on the beach.  If you want to stay happy, you have to do something." 
A Chai Latte, every morning, sitting outside for a couple of hours does sound nice, but eventually I get bored.  Something that I am rediscovering is that I love my job.  In my free time, I read teaching books because I find them fascinating.  I analyze my student's performance, read and reread their writing and constantly search for new things to do in my classroom because I find it fun.

My career is my hobby.  However, lately I've been concentrating on some of the not so fun things of my job - paperwork, office politics, test scores,  blah.  My goal for the new year will be to find more of a balance and bring more of the aspects of teaching that I like back into focus while the rest can fall away.

"Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like."
Truth be told, I would love recognition as a teacher.  I see others getting awards and being acknowledged for their accomplishments and a little voice inside me asks, "what about me?". This attitude is making me unhappy.   This year, I plan to search for what makes me happy and what I want to accomplish.  When work is fun, I work harder. 

If you would like to read Paul Graham's original article, you can find the link here. 

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