1. Thought Experiment: You’ve died. You are at your own funeral. What do you want your friends and family to say about you? What did you do with your life? Write down five things you hope people say about the legacy that you’ve left. Write down five things you hope people say about your personality.
- She loved her husband and children more than she loved anything else. To see and hear her talk about her husband, even after 18 years, was like seeing a woman who was newly married. To see and hear her talk about her children was to see a woman who marveled at the beauty and grace of childhood.
- She never turned her back on anyone. She lived under the basic belief that she said so often when people asked why she liked "certain" people (the people who did not always make the best decisions or live the most righteous life). She always said, "Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father will never turn their backs on any of us, and if I am truly living as a faithful representative of both of them, what kind of example of each them would I be if I turned my back?"
- She was intelligent but open minded. She loved great discussions and always listened with an open mind. She always thought she was right, but she still listened and would admit when she was wrong. She could argue both sides of an argument better than anyone, and in the end, she was so convincing that students could never tell her true beliefs.
- Even with the previous statement, she was a woman of strong conviction. She did not believe blindly but worked for every piece of truth she held to her heart. She always followed her conviction.
- She loved watching people learn. Whether it was her own children or her students, she lived for the moments when a light of understanding and knowledge would appear.
- Love. It is cheesy, but my love for my family drives everything I do. I always think to myself, is this something that would cause my children or husband to think less of me? If the answer is yes, I don't do it. Their opinion of me means more than anything.
- I am driven by integrity. In everything I do, I work to be true to this word.
- I believe in being kind. People are far too mean to each other.
- I am driven by accountability. People should accept the consequences (both good and bad) of their actions. People are far to willing to blame someone else rather than accept blame themselves. This bugs me. I am always willing to say I was wrong or that I made a mistake. I never think the world is out to get me. People may not like me because of my firm stance on accountability, but I am okay with that.
- Faith. Everything happens for a reason. I may not know the reason, but accepting that I can learn from everything and that having faith that there is a greater reason for it, is part of who I am.
- My purpose in life is to be a teacher, not just in a classroom, but in everything I do. My most important teaching is as a mother, as I teach everyday by word and by example. No one watches me more attentively than my own children. They hear the things that I don't think they hear and they see the things that I don't think they see. They know more than I give them credit for, and because of that, everything I do is related to teaching.
Part of being a teacher is being a learner. Every moment in my life seems to be a teachable moment, whether by example or by curriculum. There is always something to learn and always something to teach. It is a passion. It is what I love. Teaching...at home, at church, at school, or anywhere else is my purpose. The best part of being a teacher and loving it as I love it, is that I know that in the long run, I am far more blessed by the people I teach than they are by me teaching them. It is a bit selfish to look at it that way, but while I truly hope that I can make a difference in the lives of my students, I know that I am better by knowing each of them (some more than others).
4. Test Your Purpose: Today my purpose will be _to help a student believe in himself more than he did yesterday, to help him to know that he can do anything. To accomplish that I will use my gifts for talking, for listening, for encouraging_ to accomplish these specific goals_to help one student believe in himself more than he did before. Later change the timeline to week, month, and year.
5. Write It All Down: Once you have a purpose you can stick with, write it all down and it will remind your of who you are and what you want to be.