Sunday, June 8, 2014

Destination (not completely) Unknown

Photo by Richard Shaw
Recently I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of school leaders while interviewing for new opportunities within my district. At each table, I have been asked, in some form, about my long term goals. "Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?" This is such a crazy question to me. I am caught off guard each time, even when I prepare and expect someone to throw this inquiry onto the table. 

All my professional life I have been a planner. I like to think big and dream wide. I like action. I seek results. I crave achievement. That being said, I never end up exactly where I think I am going. The path always shifts and detours pop-up, forcing me to rethink the journey, make new decisions, and adjust accordingly. This is one of my favorite things about life: having a plan with the potential for it to shape and shift as I grow and move forward. I have learned that being rigid and fighting for goals to remain stagnant is painful. Jumping on the off-ramp of new opportunity fuels me. 

While my destination is not completely unknown, my goals aren't as neat and clear cut as most might hope for when they ask this question. In truth, my goal is to make change. Big change. Sustainable change. Change that leaves a legacy of doing things in a new way and setting a path for continued growth no matter where I am in relation to that space. I want kids' lives to be better because I challenged the status quo. I want lives to change because they found strength to carry a counter narrative into a place where that story was once silent. 

My goals are bigger than a job title. They are messier than a direct route. There will be moments when I get lost. At times, the road will get rocky and feel impossible. I will probably change course, sometimes with ease and other times kicking and screaming. It will be hard, and exhilarating, and exhausting, and soul-filling, and draining. It is important for me to remember that so many others are traveling this road alongside me. Their journey running parallel to mine. Our destination different, yet very much the same- unknown yet purposeful as we drive forward.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts on long term goals and goal setting! Really like the thought about having a plan that can shape and shift as you grow and move forward. My goal when asking "where you see yourself in five-ten years" is to determine that an applicant is not stagnant and is not looking to move forward. I'm not worried if they don't have an definite plan. You have a great perspective on goals and goal setting!!