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The Habit of Passion

“Passion makes us stronger than we are. Love makes us better than we are. Be passionate about the things you love.”

– Galen Watson

After participating in the “Kids Deserve It” video podcast, I challenged myself and others to participate in a “Passion Project,” which includes creating, working on, or practicing anything that we truly love. Lately, through self-reflection, it has been apparent that my actions have revolved around daily duties and busy work instead of the things I value the most. Through the everyday routines, a question arose:

Has my energy and time been spent on improving initiatives that I believe in and are passionate about?

In review, it was apparent, my habits were constructed on managing and responding to inconsequential demands. The focus was on the immediate tasks and the operational functions of the campus instead of participating in activities of conviction and devotion. We all have responsibilities and requirements, however, our lives desire a sense of purpose, which positively impacts the environment around us.

As an educator, we get pulled in a million different directions. Each day, it is far too easy to be side tracked, interrupted, and derailed from our intended actions and planned events. How do we combat the busyness of everyday life to work on the things we value the most?

In the discovery and maturation of our “Passion Projects,” valuable time and energy is required to develop and contribute to our core beliefs. Establishing healthy habits are crucial in constructing a system to provide the needed attention to grow our ambitions. As I have participated in this challenge, there have been three essential aspects, which create a circular process, to cultivate our passions.

1. Reflect

Through self-reflection, we are able to assess our past experiences to determine the strengths and weaknesses of our actions. During the reflection stage, we’re able to identify the areas of change, set a direction, and recommit to our values and beliefs. To consistently grow and improve as an educator, we must continuously review, analyze, and examine our previous decisions.

2. Create

When we are passionate about an idea, there is a strong desire to plan, design, and create. As we focus on what we find important, producing things we love is not viewed as work. Instead, we desire to solve problems, construct innovative concepts, and improve prior projects. During the creative stage, the largest obstacle is our focus and discipline of our time. Too often, I have found my attention drawn away by distractions. To establish consistency, it is imperative to develop a habit to guard your schedule and designate a certain amount of time each day to create.

3. Share

After we create, it is important to share our work and ideas with others. Through the sharing process, we are able to get feedback, connect with our community and be inspired to move forward. As we share, we place ourselves in a state of vulnerability with the chance of criticism. Although criticism is difficult to hear, it allows us to be challenged and pushed to grow further through reflection.

As we experience the cycle of passion, our purpose and inspiration will flourish in our habits and production. Although the initial challenge began as a one week charge, I encourage each of us to find our “Passion Project” each day.

“Kids Deserve It” Podcast on iTunes:

About the author, Joshua

Joshua Stamper is a middle school Assistant Principal for a North Texas School District, where he's had the amazing opportunity to work at four campuses, two districts, and with hundreds of students, teachers, and administrators. Prior to Joshua's current position, he was a classroom educator and athletic coach for 6 years working with students in grades 6-8.

In addition to his administrative position, Joshua is a podcaster, blogger, leadership coach and education presenter.

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