As a teacher you are probably earning a sustainable salary but also think of success as not only being a monetary thing but also as having happiness, successful relationships and the ability to help your students not only attain success in dance but in their lives as well. If we are able to give back to the society we live in by helping the people around us we will feel challenged and fulfilled and know that we have a mission for our life. Perhaps that all sounds a little out there but it really is true that we need to express ourselves and realize our uniqueness to feel satisfied in our daily lives. Just as we need to challenge our students so must we do that with ourselves too! The things that truly move you will give you the passion that you need to bring into your classes and your daily life.
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
What are your core values?
Who do you admire most as a person and professional?
What goals should you set for yourself?
What human cause affects you most or is dearest to your heart?
What can you do to help and how can you use your professional knowledge?
How can you provide the people around you with a memorable experience?
Establishing your core values is important because only by doing that do we really find out what is important to us. Easy, you say but is it? Start the process by making a list of all the values you most admire in others and then rate them from 1-10. There are no bad values it just depends which are more important to you. If you understand this you will understand what gives your life the most meaning. If your life has more meaning you will be capable of giving more to your relationships both personal and professional. Your teaching will take on new meaning and your ability to create content for classes and choreography will be greater. So often we have no real time to think clearly so find a place to go where you will be uninterrupted as you do a little self analysis.
Deciding who you most admire in any part of your life may not be difficult but understanding exactly why, make take more time. Whatever the reasons, don't be intimidated by them but learn from them and find ways to apply the same principles to yourself.
Goal setting is always important but make sure that you set them for all areas of your life, not just your professional one. Find out what you would most like to change and then write down a plan to make it come true. Visualizing your dreams and goals on a daily basis really does work. It trains your mind to accept nothing less. Don't live someone else's goals, set your own and make a decision to move forward.
Do you have a cause that is close to your heart? Is there some injustice that you would like to help make right? Whatever moves you is the direction you should go towards. Do research on the subject, start small and don't try to change the world overnight. Once you get started on the road to helping a cause all kinds of opportunities could present themselves to you. Find out how you can use your expertise to help those less fortunate and then just take that first step.
Making memorable moments for the people around you is really not difficult if you are aware of what makes them happy and fulfilled. It is not always the grand gesture that has the most impact, sometimes it is just doing small things or having a moment that people really value and remember. I always think of one of my former students when I think of memorable moments as a teacher. This young man was extremely thoughtful and yet quite a difficult personality to teach but no matter what, that student would always remember to bring me a chocolate with almond flavor because he knew I liked it. That small gesture is ingrained in my memory and happened many years ago. It was just one human being reaching out to another. Isn't that really what makes it all worthwhile?
Discovering more about ourselves help us to give more to others. Staying focused on what is important to us gives us the power to be able to extend our knowledge and empathy to our students and our employers. Challenging ourselves helps us to stay ahead of the game as teachers and individuals to live a happier and more successful life.