Investing in the Future

In the last six weeks, I have had the privilege of speaking at 30 different events.  I have been humbled by a number of amazing educators I have had the opportunity to connect with and learn from over this time.  The amount of passion I have been exposed to in the last six weeks has been inspiring.  I made the following observation this week:


The amount of positive change that has happened in the last two years has been amazing when compared with the two years prior that I was speaking. This is not only with technology, but also with classroom design, assessments, rethinking leadership, and a distinct focus on serving each child in a way that works for them, not necessarily from the adult.

Although there are many factors that might be contributing to this, my belief is that the biggest shift is the sheer amount of individuals who have always been passionate about education, that now has access to learn from others. They are taking their own time to invest in themselves, and that investment is paying off for their students.  I do not believe that if you are not on Twitter that you are a bad teacher, but I do believe it is extremely rare that educators who are not passionate about education, spend their own time using social media to further their craft.

The idea of people making this investment in themselves, was something that I thought of when I read this article, “Want to Become the Best at What You Do? Read this.” The first point was, “Work on yourself, not on your job.”

Your work is a reflection of you. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, stop looking for better strategies.

Instead, look inside.

Are you currently the person who would attract the level of success you seek? Your outer conditions are a reflection of your inner reality. As James Allen has said, Your circumstances reveal you to yourself.

Where you are right now: that’s you.

If you want something different: improve you.

Most people focus on their craft or their “job.” That’s all well and good. However, you’ll get far more bang-for-your-buck by focusing on yourself.

20% of your energy should be devoted to your work.

80% of your energy should be devoted to rest and self-improvement. This is what fuels your work and makes it better than anyone else’s. Self-improvement is more than books and true rest is renewal.

While others are trying to improve their job, you’re continuously improving yourself, expanding your vision, skills, and abilities. This is akin to Stephen R. Covey’s 7th principle: Sharpen your saw. Most people are trying to chop down their tree–their “job”–with a dull saw.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”–Abraham Lincoln

Within a short period of time, you’ll have developed true mastery. Everyone else is trying to hone their “craft.” Don’t work on your job. Work on yourself.

As many educators are just starting their school year, or are about to start, just a thank you from myself for all that you do to invest in yourself to make amazing learning opportunities for our students. In education, when educators invest in themselves, they also invest in the future.  It is powerful to see how much is changing for the positive because of the passion of many amazing educators.

Thank you.

Source: George Couros