Choosing our challenges wisely: What are you hustling for these days?

I am in teacher’s college, and if you know much about the job market here in Ontario, you might know that teachers are not exactly walking into positions upon graduating. Over and over again, conversations about teaching positions and career prospects come up. While I agree that it’s smart to plan ahead and know what we’re getting ourselves into, I often ask people the question: what could you go to school for these days and walk right out into a job? Across the board, people are hustling for the careers they want. I can think of very few fields where people are being handed jobs—and I think that there’s something great about that. The hard work required today means people are putting their best efforts out and I know that I feel better upon earning something than I do if I am simply handed it.

The career I want involves teaching people, so the things I am doing today are moving me in that direction. The skills I’m learning in school are not just about curriculum—they’re about leading and educating and already they’re making me a better coach and teacher of things beyond the classroom. That’s what I signed up for—not depressing reminders that I might not get a “job” for a long time. I am working hard and hustling for the life I want for myself. And I’m willing to wait for it, and to see all of it—frustration, patience-requiring, character-building—as part of the journey.

Before I rant away and lose you, my readers, I want to ask you a question: What are you hustling for these days?

Maybe you’re going after a tough career goal, or want to achieve a great physical feat. Maybe you want to change the world, or you simply want to cross something off your bucket list. Whatever you are working towards that is stretching and forcing you outside of your comfort zone, celebrate that.

But what if you’re on the struggle bus, heading somewhere you’re not interested in going or to a destination unknown?

Get off of it.

We can take on any number of challenges in our livesbut that doesn’t mean that they all need to be taken. This is not the advice that drives me a little batty to the tune of: if you’re living your best life, it will all be easy. Some parts of fulfilled living will be tough. We’ll set goals and struggle towards them. Maybe we’ll fail. People will hurt us, we will lose loved ones, and we’ll have to work hard for the kind of life we want for ourselves—no doubt.

But what we work hard for ought to be worth it. So again, what are you working hard for? Is it worth it?

I’ve realized that if we want to be the best at something, we have to bring our best to that thing. And we only have so much of ourselves to give. I’m often told that I seem to do it all, but what I really want to hear from people is that I bring my all in the things that I choose to do. There are only so many hours in a day, and so many days in our lives. Here’s to filling them with things that we choose on purpose.

 

More questions to consider:

What can you let go of?

What challenges are you facing because you think you should?

What challenges in your life excite you and would make you proudest to achieve?

How will you move forward?