I watch a lot of sports and I’ve seen a number of athlete interviews lately. I noticed the athletes all talk about their “craft” and putting time into it. It sounds so much more exciting and rewarding than a job or work. But it got me thinking—what’s my craft?
I gave it a great deal of thought. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that to define my craft, it had to be something of value, which I can earn a living with and continue to develop over time.
I decided that my craft is teaching and that I practice my craft throughout every aspect of my life:
- Teaching by leading: As a leader, a big piece of my job is helping others learn and grow by providing them with experiences and guidance.
- Teaching by parenting: As a parent, I’m constantly trying to teach my children. I’m providing them with opportunities to broaden their perspective. I’m also helping them understand right from wrong and giving them the independence to learn and grow through experience.
- Teaching by actually teaching: As an adjunct faculty member, I have the role of teacher. But to truly teach, I play the role of peer, not superior. I give ideas, listen and take ideas. I work to facilitate a process of learning, not provide absolute answers.
- Teaching by public speaking: I view it as a way to share and express ideas and engage with others to learn and grow.
Reframe your thinking to find greater purpose
Teaching isn’t my job — it’s my craft. It’s my passion. I love to practice it every chance I get. I love the responsibility of leading at work, at home or in the community. One of my top 5 strengths from Clifton StrengthsFinder is Learner. To be good a teacher, I believe you have to have a deep desire to pursue lifelong learning. You need a willingness to expose yourself to new and different perspectives and maintain an openness to be taught by others.
I really love my craft. I don’t think ESPN will be interviewing me about it, but I do think determining and expressing your craft is energizing. By reframing your work as your craft, you tend to see day-to-day activities with greater purpose.
So what’s your craft?