I am returning to my blog for the first time in almost one year. Wow. I enjoy writing and sharing thoughts/ideas with others so much, but I didn’t realize so much time had passed since I last connected with others. We all know that life happens fast. For me, the past year or so has been consumed with some travel, additional duties at work, and even an adoption (our 5th child). You just put your head down and go, and when you manage to look up, or take a breath, you realize how much time has gone by, and thoughts of “what happened” aren’t far behind. When this happens to me, I find myself always asking questions like, “what do I want”, “what is my passion”, “am I operating in that”, and often times “what habits am I building”. Of course, these are always preceded by the infamous “where did the time go” question.
Lately, I have been pondering this tension that seems to exist between where I am, and where I want to go, whether that be professionally or in my personal life. Professionally, I want to provide an environment where students can thrive, be a voice to others, be part of a learning community that works together, and am an aspiring administrator. Personally, I want to be the husband and father my family deserves. I want to honor, model, and teach our family’s core values to my children. My pursuit of this, which includes a lot of reading, conversations, reflection, and prayer, has led me to strive to make three things critical in my life. Be consistent. Be disciplined. Develop good habits. These are not new concepts. In fact, I would argue that we all know their importance in our lives. However, if you are like me, knowing them and living them can be two different things. What’s interesting, at least to me, is that you can’t have one present in your life without the other two.
In order to be disciplined and consistent, you have to develop good habits. In order to develop good habits, you have to be disciplined and consistent. There is a unique, mysterious marriage between these that works together to create purpose and passion in our lives. We need to determine which habits are essential to achieving our goals. This is not just for long term goals, but for daily goals that we set. Truthfully, everything we do is habit building. We are either building good habits or bad habits, but we are building habits. Knowing this, everyday consistency and discipline are critical to fulfilling the things that are important to us. I have discovered that being consistent and disciplined not only builds good habits, but it also leads to finding your passion and purpose. Many times, we already know our passion, but we struggle with knowing how to start moving and operating in it. As we develop habits that move us towards fulfilling our passion and purpose, the discipline and consistency that is required will make our passion our lifestyle, and not just something that always seems to be “one step away”.
I write this as someone who is still searching and trying to build those habits. I know I need consistency and discipline, and it is a choice every day. However, I also know that the more I choose to build the habits that are important, the closer I am going to move to finding and operating in my passion. As educators, I think it is essential that our students and staff see consistency, discipline, and good habits being modeled. Students need to know that everything they do is habit building. Everything. We need to create environments in our classrooms and schools where students, and staff, not only learn the importance of, but also build, discipline and consistency. Not everyone will make good decisions. Not everyone will see consistency and choose it. However, I believe the climate of our classrooms, the culture of our buildings, and the trajectory of our students depend on our decision to model it.
Joe Robison is a Middle School Science Teacher in Valdez, Alaska. He is passionate about his family, his faith, and his job. His desire is to be a leader for his family, and an innovator in the workplace. He enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Wylie, and their five small children. You can follow Joe on Twitter @joerobison907.