If You Can’t Inspire, Don’t Be a College Professor.

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You must inspire if your plans are to become a college professor one day. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to work in a public or private college or university, you need to be inspiring and have a lot of patience in order to motivate students to take action on their own and eventually help them to achieve greatness.  A college professor who is unable to inspire his/her students will struggle tremendously in the industry of higher education anywhere in the United States because pupils these days must be constantly energized sometimes stimulated to learn literally every day. Being inspirational isn’t a skill that everyone or every professor has in abundance naturally. However, you can learn to be more inspiring by putting into practice a number of systematic and predictable steps.

There are a number of ways that you can be more inspiring in this life. There are a number of “inspiring systems” out there, of course. In this article, I will share with you three ways that I know will help you to inspire others. It is part of my system of student inspiration — Are you ready to read these tips? You may like them.

  1. Stop thinking that life is about you.  Start yesterday making others the focus of your life. Reject any attempt to consider putting yourself first against the needs and wants of your students. If you decide to put yourself ahead of them, chances are pretty high that you won’t inspire too many of them. I am not aware of any college student who celebrates being second when it comes to important priorities. You must make students first priority period. Stop thinking that life is all about you — It isn’t and won’t ever be. As an educator, life must be about serving others and making students your top priority not the other way around. Listen carefully: Deviating from this norm will cost your college career. Don’t do it.
  2. Do what you can to be available. You can’t inspire effectively if you are not around. There is no reverse to this important rule. As my friend Kyle once said, “Be there or be square.” Are you there or “are you square” for your students? You need to be able to answer this question frequently and honestly. If you choose to not be there for them too often, you might as well just quit your aspirations of being an inspiring professor. Students don’t get inspired by educators who choose to have their office door closed constantly or who chooses to make an excuse to not talk with them when they really need to be seen. Make sure that you are available to your students more often than you feel is required. You will thank me later.
  3. Develop the initiatives that they want, with reason.  Take into account what your students want to do and develop the initiatives that they ask for whenever possible. By engaging in what some of us call “user-design,” or the ability for students (in this case) to develop their own systems of learning, I bet that you will develop superhero skills in influence and inspiration. You will become a very inspiring and popular professor if you empower your students to achieve greatness on their own, if you legitimately delegate responsibilities to them. I have never seen a student who doesn’t appreciate having decision making power after doing this kind of work in ten years. By giving power you gain power and as a value added… You become more inspiring especially if you make an attempt to legitimately empower others. I know, I know… What I am asking you to consider doing is unorthodox and can be quite challenging to many — There is some truth to that but man, this micro system works wonders.

You must inspire if your plans are to become a college professor one day. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to work in a public or private college or university, you need to be inspiring and have a lot of patience in order to motivate students to take action on their own and eventually achieve greatness. What are you doing right now to be more inspiring? Is life all about yourself? Are you available for your students to ask you questions? Are you empowering them to develop their own systems of learning? In order to be inspiring, you will need to do the former. At least, it has been my experience in three public universities and a private school. Stop thinking that life is all about you — It isn’t and won’t ever be. As an educator, life must be about serving others and making them your top priority not the other way around.

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