I’m about to ramble so take this as fair warning. My blog has been around for a long time and has meandered through many identity crises. Sometimes, it’s a puzzle blog posting interesting mind-benders that need a keen intellect and occasionally, some mathematics. That’s all still here, by the way, which you can find with a not-so-difficult search tool in the sidebar. It’s also been a devotional through my efforts to better understand our responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation. It’s been a log of classroom activities. At one time, I was posting periodically about what I had accomplished in each of my classes. For the last few years, it has been only a repository for sparse events and thoughts in my professional life.
So what is it now? In an effort towards both professional and personal development, it is going to serve this summer as a kind of diary or journal where I attempt to solidify my mission and calling in life. Periodically, there have been times in my life where I doubt my chosen path, I wonder about what might have been, or I simply lack the drive to keep heading down the road I am currently on in life. While I have no doubts about the path I’m on now, I am certainly in a dry spell finding the springs of motivation often running dry, both professionally and spiritually. So, I’m going to write it out and clarify in possibly painful detail what it is I really care about and what I hope to carry out in the coming weeks, months, and years.
If you happen to read this and you’re either one of my faculty, my students, my colleagues, or even my supervisors, should you be concerned about my commitment to my current job responsibilities? Or to say it another way, if I were in your place, would I be worried about someone in my position laying bare their soul about their calling in life? Absolutely not. In spite of all the challenges that have come along with my first year as an academic dean, I am more committed than ever to affecting positive change through our programs. I am more committed than ever to the personal and professional fulfillment of students. I am more committed than ever to fulfilling God’s call on my life. The problem is the that it too often feels like a drudgery than the passion it once was. This is intended to be a rejuvenating exercise that will renew my spirit and strengthen my resolve to see God do his will through me.
Here are just some of the questions I intend to reflect upon:
- What strengths do I have that particularly equip me for this position and what are areas where I need to grow?
- What are specific actions I can take to strengthen those weaknesses or to partner with people who can complement my weaknesses with their strengths?
- What am I afraid to do because I’m afraid we might fail?
- What can I learn from the mistakes I made in my first year as dean?
- How can I keep up and build upon the successes in my first year as dean?
- If I were to squeeze all of my current job responsibilities into 80% of my current time spent on them, what would I do with the other 20% of my time to make a lasting mark on the world?
- Revisit my Personal Mission Statement
- How do I work? How do I make sure I “get things done”? How do I follow through?
- Who are my colleagues, my friends, my mentors/mentees? Where do I go for help?
- How do I balance work and family and faith?
- What can I do to continue to improve?
- The bucket list and the reverse bucket list.
- How did I get here? How do I get to where I am going?
- What do I value most? Prove it.
Here’s hoping I can follow through…