Navigating life without following our passions can be like pushing a cart with square wheels uphill. With so many students getting ready to leave school and make their way in the world, it is essential to consider the role that ‘passion’ has in guaranteeing success in our lives.
What are your students passionate about? Do you know? Do THEY know? Do you support their passions? Is there value in following one’s passion? What does it mean to have ‘passion’?
Let’s take a closer look at this essential tool for success:
Dr Wayne Dyer defines passion in a wonderful way: “Here’s a concept you won’t want to forget: passion always trumps excuses. Keep in mind that when I use the word passion, I’m not referring to the romantic notions that this concept conjures. Instead, I’m equating it to a vigorous kind of enthusiasm that you feel deep within you and that isn’t easy to explain or define. This kind of passion propels you in a direction that seems motivated by a force beyond your control.”
Passion is the inner excitement of being on the right path, doing what feels good to you, and what you know you were meant to do.
“Passion is a feeling that tells you: This is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. I’m going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.”
Following our passion equates to having purpose, enjoying fulfilment and happiness AND it serves to assist us in achieving success, despite any obstacles or challenges that may threaten to derail us along the way.
So, how can you assist your students in discovering and following their passion?
Consider the following helpful tips:
- Observe behaviours that bring joy and excitement to your students and listen carefully to the stories that they share with you. How well do you really know your students? Keep your scanners peeled and you may discover some interesting things about what your students are passionate about. Aim to bring these passions alive in your teaching.
- Teach from a place of curiosity, and without judgement. Remember that it is our uniqueness as individuals that can change the world. Encourage your students to explore their passions. Ask questions and listen with sincerity, keeping an open mind to possibilities.
- Remember that our passions can change or evolve as we grow and develop. Establishing a passion in gymnastics, for example, may not mean that a child will want to become a professional gymnast as an adult. Go with the flow of life as you encouragingly support your students in discovering which path they will follow.
- You are almost certainly going to have different passions to those of your students. Many teachers make the mistake of wanting their students to focus on the things that they themselves are passionate about, instead of allowing their students the opportunity of self-discovery and expression. As far as possible, seek to embrace and teach in line with student voice. Imagine what you could learn along the way!
Passion is the inner excitement of being on the right path, doing what feels good to you, and what you know you were meant to do. If we focus on topics and learning opportunities that are in line with the things that our students feel passionate about, learning becomes easier, and a lot more effective. You won’t be able to do this in every lesson, but find some time in the planning to embrace passion in your teaching. You will not regret it.