Someone recently asked if I ever get tired and frustrated when I engage with a company for years only to teach the same thing over and over again.
Truth? Yes, I get tired. But it’s the physical kind, brought about by all the walking around, making sure everyone’s on the same page. It’s because I don’t sit on my ass at the back of the room, leaving them alone and making that incredibly dangerous assumption that they’re doing it right only to shoot them down in the end.
It’s also the mental kind of tired, from learning their past, understanding their present and trying to knit all those bits of information together so I could make sense of their future. It’s the constant turning of the wheels in my head, trying to find ways to make a complicated concept relevant and easy to understand.
It’s also the emotional kind of tired, from listening to the stories that they’ve been secretly dying to tell. It’s the bringing of their experiences home with me, because their lives begin connecting with mine – when they cease to be random faces who will eventually evaluate me in the end and become individual persons with individual stories, each of which is important.
But most of all, it’s the spiritual kind of tired – from standing aside and allowing them to go through what they need to go through in order for them to bloom after being broken. It’s from being secretly sorry for causing headaches and stress but understanding that it is a requirement so they will understand that they are capable of succeeding on their own.
So yes, I do get tired. But frustrated?
Not when I get to read their messages when the course is done. Not when I get to see twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings grow in a span of three days. Now when it sinks in that for a short span of time, in moments that sometimes feel so fleeting and temporary, I realize that I had somehow made a difference.
When people ask what I teach, I give them the usual answers: I teach leadership, I teach wellness, I teach concepts and I teach frameworks. But this is my real answer: at the end of every course, of every topic, of every hour of every day, I teach life.
I always find myself playing the part of a proud mother, basking in the reflected glory of my children’s triumph. In the many, many years that I have been doing this – as a consultant, as a trainer, as a tutor, as a mentor, as a leader, as a friend – and with the many, many pieces of myself that I have given, I find that I am forever grateful for those pieces of them they have also left with me.
And when I see my group photos, when I see my batch pictures… Honestly, how could I not?