The Evergreen Journal #17 – Put your best foot forward
The Evergreen Journal #17
Put Your Best Foot Forward
A Future Goal Becomes a Present Reality.
“What do you intend to do with this degree?”
My art professor looked directly at me as she posed this question.
“I am going to be a college professor!” I smiled as I declared my intention for the future. It was a bold statement, but I did not know what an enormous and far-reaching goal it would be. I had no idea what the next decade of my academic pursuits would be. I just knew I was headed in a specific direction, and I had faith I would arrive at my intended goal someday.
I was vaguely aware that my journey to success would require more than a decade of full-time studies before I reached that lofty goal. But this was my Plan A, for my life. I had no other plan.
I had committed to following Plan A!
I believed it was the only plan for me. However, the journey was an ambitious one.
There are many stories and lessons learned along the way.
Many miles and experiences between that day and the one I want to tell you about now.
At this moment, when I am writing this article today, I am focused on a specific day when I reach my goal. In the ELEVEN years between the time I set my dream, I earned three degrees in Fine Art and English. Now, I was prepared for the next step of Plan A. That part of my plan required another leap of faith. I believed God would direct me to the college or university he prepared for me. I would be the teacher I had planned to be many years ago.
When I reached the final step of Plan A, I was teaching in a college classroom.
I was a full-time tenure-track professor of fine art and humanities.
I also planned what my reward would be well in advance.
I envisioned myself teaching and lecturing in college classrooms. I kept that picture in my mind all of the years as I prepared myself.
I had taken every course in Art History that two universities offered. I did those courses because I was hungry to learn art history. From my first day in an Art History lecture, I was captivated.
Nevertheless, I did not earn a degree in Art History. Instead, I kept my focus on painting and English. But the Art History foundation was crucial to understanding the historical context of the two disciplines I pursued. My passion and love were always fine art and poetry – both.
In the late spring of 1996, I was offered a tenure track position at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA.
Previously, I led some discussion groups in the Humanities program to help out while another professor was on Sabbatical. As it turned out, the other professor retired earlier than she anticipated. So at this time, I interviewed for the full-time position.
The process went through all the steps of interviews with several other highly qualified teachers from across the country.
It was my heart’s desire to get this position.
Finally, I made it through the process of discussions and lectures and was offered this position.
The golden nameplate on my office door read:
Lynda J. Lambert
Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities
I walked onto the stage as a new full-time professor.
I planned to officially present my Art History lecture for Humanities,
I focused on the information I was about to deliver during the next fifty-five minutes. I had a lot of ground to cover in this lecture.
I would coordinate the materials with the photographic images I displayed on the large screens at the back of the stage.
At last, I lived the reality of the goals I had set so long ago. Finally, I was there in person, just like I imagined I would be, as I studied and worked my way through the process of making a future dream become my present reality.
Oh, but you must be wondering what I wanted as a reward for this completed goal?
I kept the intended reward a secret from almost everyone.
But, in my imagination, as I saw myself teaching in a college classroom, I was always wearing a lovely new pair of Ferragamo shoes!
Crocodile-embossed Ferragamo shoes. I promised myself. I would buy these shoes to wear on my first day as a tenure-track professor.
I often thought about how my new shoes would feel. I could see myself standing in front of an audience and showing slides of great artworks through the ages. I saw myself helping students learn about the world’s history by looking at paintings and talking about the people who created those artifacts. Of course, I would be smiling as we looked at all the artwork, too.
“On my first day of teaching, I will be wearing Ferragamo shoes.”
In my next article, I will speak more about the reward I selected – the Ferragamo shoes!
I’ll give you the _ what, where, when and why _ I selected a pair of shoes as a reward for achieving a goal that took me over eleven years to attain.
Behind every successful woman is a great pair of shoes. – Unknown
I want to remind you that YOU WERE BORN TO WIN, but to be the winner you were born to be, you have to have a clear plan to get there.
~from Born to Win, by Zig Ziglar. Page 37. Get the book
Read Lynda’s April Newsletter for the SCOOP on what she has been doing for the past three months – Read it NOW.
You my also like to read: The Evergreen Journal #16
“Put Your Best Foot Forward.” Read it Here.