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Which matters more – the dream or the work?

Like many educators I speak to, we have a little go at getting fitter at this time of year.  That said, I’ve come to learn something about my relationship with physical exertion.  It requires DISTRACTION.

This summer, I’ve been distracting myself with podcasts and have found that I can endure a treadmill session more effectively if I’m spellbound in a ripping yarn.  

As a self confessed sporto, I’ve discovered the podcast “The Howie Games” by sports journo Mark Howard – and I’ve loved it.

Last week, I found myself listening to a particularly gripping two-part episode about the boxing world title match between Australian Jeff Horn and Brit Gary Corcoran.  In it, Corcoran’s trainer Peter Stanley said something that has spent a few days running around inside my head.

Asked if winning this fight, and the subsequent title, was his fighter’s dream, Stanley replied.  “Dreams don’t really matter much do they.  If you put your dreams in one hand and shit in the other, I know which fills first.”

Tell us what you really think, Pete!  But look, if we can get past the crude reference, Stanley is really just telling us that the work is more important than the goal.

It got me to wondering about how we often dream, wish or hope that the looming school year will be better than the last – but that often we do little more than dream.

What’s actually going to change?

As a School Leader, what will be evidently different on day one of 2020 that might allow your dream of a better 2020 to manifest?

As a Teacher, how will your practice demonstrate a commitment to improvement, growth and development in a way that means you aren’t just hoping that your classes will “be nice this year”?

If you can answer those questions productively and without excuse, I think you may just set yourself for a different kind of year.

By the way, Corcoran lost the fight.  Outcomes aren’t guaranteed, even if you do the work.  But you’ll never win if you don’t get in the ring having done the work.