“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?” -W. Clement Stone
Each of us are shaped in some way or ways by the place and times into which we are born. Often those environments have a strong influence over our lives. In some ways, I am very much a product of my childhood environment even though I ended up taking a divergent path from my original direction.
I grew up in the Bay Area section of Northern California. My environment had a very strong influence on my life growing up. The Bay Area was the metal and punk equivalent of Seattle and their grunge movement. Metallica was leading the charge and was just erupting on the scene during my high school years. On any given night, you could drive down Broadway Street in San Francisco and find Slayer playing at the Stone on one side of the street and the Dead Kennedy’s across the way headlining Mabuhay Gardens. For many it wasn’t just a scene, it was a lifestyle. For my best childhood friend Phil and I growing up in that musically-charged environment…it was what we wanted to do, it was what we wanted to be.
After high school life led us down very different paths…I went on to college and chose the life of an educator and my best friend Phil carried on with the childhood dream and now is truly what you would call a rockstar (pictured below).
Many of those that I work with think it is strange that I know someone that is in a band (actually know several)…that world seems so foreign to them. And when I discuss what my early years and those goals and passions were you often get the “are you from a different planet” look (which is why I think it difficult for many educators to identify and understand kids). However, the comment that I receive the most…”you lead such different lives.” And my standard response was always yes, until a put a little reflection into it…
While there are some very apparent differences, actually our lives are very similar in many different ways. Let me expand on that a little…
Rockstars and Educators:
- We both have fans/students that arrive each day with high expectations. It is our job to meet those expectations, or better yet exceed them.
- We have to constantly reflect and improve upon our craft. We lose credibility when we keep putting out the same material year after year.
- We do what we do because we love it…we have a passion for it. And it is apparent when that passion is or isn’t authentic.
- We each have different strengths or abilities that we bring to the whole and our final product excels on the level and precision of our collaboration and collaborative efforts.
- We both have the ability to influence and change lives.
While it is true and there are many differences in what we do…upon further reflection there are a lot of similarities to our professions. And furthermore, we are both living our dreams…which is all that we can ask.