By NBF News
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E.E. Cummings once said ' To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best , night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.' In this world of labels, aspersions and societal preference for wealth ,irrespective of how it's gotten, teachers are bound to be distracted and lose track of themselves.

But at the end of the day, it boils down to us asking ourselves this question: ' Who Am I?' 'Who Am I?' helps us look inwards and re-shapen the way we view ourselves and life. Parents, youths, the church, the society in general may look at you with disdain , that's their opinion, but one thing is for sure , the moment you begin to deride yourself, you kill your inner being and every opportunity of maximizing your potential. As a teacher, when you stand before the mirror , who do you see?

Do you see a noble individual, who is contributing his quota in making this nation a better place, by moulding the lives of students and youths in general or a poor depressed teacher? Whichever way you view life, that is what you get in return. As Zig Ziglar observes, 'What you picture in your mind , your mind goes to work to accomplish .' The fact is that the more you feel sorry for yourself, the less you obtain.

It is now a cliché that teachers are the least remunerated in our society. So, what do we as teachers do? Crawl into a corner and sulk, wishing we were never born? Absolutely not. That's the defeatist's attitude to a challenge . According to Donald Trump, author of THINK BIG AND KICK ASS: '

Negative thinking , especially about yourself and your prospects for success, will kill your focus and destroy any chance you have of being successful.' In other words, negative thinking stifles creativity, focus, prospects, concentration and of course success. When we as teachers , spend most of our time, pondering over how unfair life is, opportunities will pass us by. Our negative thinking automatically prevents us from recognizing the fact that we have potentials stored in us.

For instance, a passion for travelling and at the same time, a flair for writing, when combined will produce an exceptional writer, who would even make money by the side, in the same vein, good communication skills with a touch of liveliness will churn out a well- sought after Public speaker, Voice- over Artiste or a Master of Ceremonies. The list is endless but you will fail to see them when you indulge in the cankerworm called NEGATIVE THINKING. Teachers should rather endeavour to be optimistic , even in the face of intimidating challenges, which many a time, revoluntionize us .

Learn not to stay where you are , hoping that things will get better. Go out and conquer the world, be happy. You must know that the world owes you nothing . Acquire the act of networking , this is one thing most teachers scarely do. According to Donald Trump, ' When meeting a new person look them in the eye and be sure to get their name and give them yours. Make big- thinking friends and meet them regularly for lunch or dinner to trade ideas. Only hang out with people who truly want you to be successful.' Simply put, you have no business hovering around negative people for they end up infecting you with their deadly virus.

Having a clear picture of who you are changes the way you analyse issues and turns you into a force to be reckoned with. I am delighted to know that most of the individuals I admire are teachers, the likes of Bessie Head; South African Writer, Gloria Nash; an awesome teacher and consultant, Niyi Osundare; poet, David Herbert Lawrence; novelist, Chinua Achebe; renowned writer and Mrs Adebowale- Esiri; teacher per- excellence, just to mention a few.

To every teacher out there, I say have a paradigm shift; your perception goes a long way in determining what your life is like. Is your glass half empty or half full? You be the judge of that.