Friday, July 24, 2015

Every Day

I've been getting this message loud and clear lately: It's what we do every day that makes the difference.

Today Donald Miller tweeted it this way...
Whether you want to write books, draw comics or master an instrument, the advice is always the same.

Do it every day.

If we can keep it up over time, bit by bit it changes us. We get better.

But the vision changes too. It has to. We're older and wiser by the time we're good enough to finish it.

Unless there's the luck of the lottery, like Miller says, it takes longer than we imaged. Who has the patience to wait and work for it? Who will want to keep working when it doesn't look the same or it no longer seems worth it?

On the other hand, look what we become when we give up. Day by day, step by step, we forget how to dream. We don't learn how to chase an idea to the end and share with people who need to see it.

Instead of dreams, we chase other things. I'm sure we all have our list--the next thing I want to buy, the next place I want to visit. Making lists, letting other people make lists for us, that's what we do every day.

I wonder sometimes if the steady flow of new--the movies, the thousands of gizmos and gadgets in every hobby you could find yourself, the good and bad news stories that dominate our conversations--is really just some distracting filler. Is it keeping us from the new we were meant to become and the new we were meant to create?

What voices will I listen to every day?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Start with the Vision

I came across this quote recently:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
                                                                              --Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

As far as I remember, I hadn't read it previously, but it sure fits with what I've been feeling lately as I've been training teachers to use technology.

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on Twitter, summing up my three steps to successful teacher tech training. I'd add that steps 1 and 2 should be as brief as possible.

This goes beyond just tech training. It probably applies to anything. Start with the dream or the passion. Begin with the heart. Only then will we be willing to do the real work required to see it through.

Some thoughts from previous posts: