Thoughts and Tools

The big WHY

In the day-to-day rush of life, it is easy to get things wrong.  The whirlwind of daily activity constantly forces us to ask: What am I supposed to do next?  What time is it?  What deadlines are coming?  But without a well-defined "Why," the whirlwind can easily send you spinning out of control.  Our motivations for life and vocation are bound together in this core "Why". By only listening to the pressures of the whirlwind, it is easy to have our greatest desires be drowned out or sidelined by the tyranny of the urgent.


On the other hand, staying true to a central "why" in our lives (professionally or personally) can lead to greater focus in our work and higher degrees of satisfaction in knowing that we’re not just aimless but purposeful in each decision we make.  Allowing our "why" to direct our decisions and priorities will focus, energize and motivate our work.  When that happens, it is contagious!  People are drawn to others with purpose and focus.  And, as Simon Sinek says in his TED talk: those who start with the "why" are the ones who can truly lead with influence.


As an educator, I’m constantly bombarded by the whirlwind.  I have to teach six different classes every day!  Each one demands a lesson and a plan.  Homework needs to be assessed.  Grades must be entered.  Students have to be helped.  The overabundance of work and the possibility of trying to create or improve any/all lessons can easily lead to a burned out or overwhelmed state.  When dealing with these pressures, it is imperative to know my "why".  My "Why" is the only thing that will keep me going when it seems too hard.  My "Why" is what will help me know what needs to be pursued and what must be let go.


So, what is my "Why"?  I’m glad you asked.  You can find much of my why embedded in my Learning Manifesto.  But here it is in condensed form:


Why do I teach? I teach so my students will discover Truth that their minds understand, hearts believe, wills embrace, and lives reflect.


How do I teach?  With any means available that make Truth clearer and the discussions of Truth’s relevance and consequence richer.


What do I teach?  I help others start the journey of connecting accurate facts with appropriate relationships to find real Truth.  


What do you think?  Do you like my 'why'?  What's yours?  Leave a comment!

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Curtis White, M.S., M.C.E.
High School Faculty
Math, Science, Bible & Computers
Abundant Life Christian School
A Madison Christian School