I have been reading Barbara Stanny’s book, Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, and her message so far is that successful high earners know their own value and have a solid work/life balance. Underearners, in her estimate, tend to complicate their lives by doing multiple jobs thinking that they’re doing the best thing for themselves, but ultimately they are not making the income that meets their potential.
As a veteran Level 3 teacher in New Mexico, I am in the upper bracket of my earning potential. By working at the hotel I have been able to gain quite a lot of perspective on that, but also on my desire to make more money, along with my frustration at stagnating in my professional salary. Stanny addresses that at one point in her text by talking about how people who are underearning are essentially grinding down their hopes (and energy and time) and therefore, their ability to make more. Success is relative, to be sure, but contentedness comes from our own attitudes. The biggest question to ask is, "where is my time best spent?"
The growth process I've undertaken has also given me the opportunity to better understand my relationship with money. I sometimes take on debt as a challenge. That’s not healthy. I'm good at paying debt down, and at being smart, for the most part about what I purchase, but I definitely like to spend money on experiences and adventures. Until I make more money, or until my son is responsible for his own life, health, vision, dental and auto insurance, I probably should scale my experiences back a bit. (Kids aren't cheap, folks.)
I am currently looking at other professional jobs, but that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to leave the one I am in right now. It does mean that if I am offered a job that would pay me $20,000 more, I really need to consider taking it. I’m seven years away from retirement, and most people look at me like I’m a fool when I suggest that I'd like to do something new. Teaching is getting harder, but it’s also my own inflexibility that tends to grow as I as I get older. My frustration comes more readily. That’s not a fair translation for the students who need more from me.
Being successful as a teacher also means knowing when to stay and when to go. I don't know yet if I've hit that point of awareness. My advice to myself? "When in doubt, do nothing." But I don't want to just sit around and wait for something to happen, either. I want to know it before it hits me in the face. So, for now, I will read this book, evaluate my thoughts, grow as a person, and one day soon, I will know what needs to happen next.
I'll keep you posted, homies. Love ya.
What concerns me most is that there are people out there who don't know good when it is in front of them...
I want to address the idea of expectations, reality, and perception. First, we all have expectations. That's just the crux of it. Whether they are high or low, we each hold them about each and every thing we do. We expect our son to take out the trash, and he either does it or he doesn't. Will he do it immediately? Probably not, and unless I do it first, he will eventually get around to it. That is the reality. I'll ask him, and he'll probably wait to see if I'll do it first, and then if I do, great, he's free, if I don't, then eventually he will take the trash out. The perception is where it all gets sketchy. Did I ask him to do it right away? Did he perceive that it was imperative to do it right away? Was he already involved in something else, that to him, was more important at the time?
What I'm trying to get at, is that each of us goes through this phase process of expectations and results, and along the way, we go through our own realities and our own perceptions of those realities. And if we aren't careful, this process can result in some really lousy reactions--and we are the only ones responsible for how we react to each interaction.
Last night, I served a family of 10, and while I thought I gave them great service, their expectation was completely different, and therefore, their perception was completely different. They felt that they deserved red carpet treatment, and that I might fawn over them because in their mind, they were spending a lot of money. Let me tell you, people, I've learned that "a lot of money" is all relative. But I digress.
My expectation was to serve them, make sure they were hydrated, fed and could spend the time with their family in peace and comfort, hopefully with laughter and joy. Their expectation? I'm not sure. I just didn't meet them. I didn't do a song a dance, just like I don't really want to do a song and dance in a classroom. So you can't please everybody. It turned into a completely horrible experience for me, and they walked away with all sorts of gratuities that they didn't deserve.
I could wax on about all of this, but in the end, what really matters is that sometimes, some people don't see the good in the things in front of them, and in that behavior, they make others feel things they don't necessarily need to feel: sadness, angst, misery, whatever. It's real in all areas of life. Manage expectations. I am certainly not saying to lower expectations. That's never a part of my vocabulary. I am saying, however, that there are good things in everything, and if we just learn to see them for what they are worth, then we can be happier, better people.
Have a great day, homies. I love ya.
Wanted: a good set of sentences to grab you from the depths of the internet. I keep trying to catch your eye.