Making Goals like a Dreamer, Executing them like an Executioner

#Goals just isn’t enough.

Late in April, I got an email from one of my old teachers at Lone Star College CyFair. She was asking if I (and a few other great students) could send her some photos of our portfolios because she used ours as examples, but had some computer problems.

I wanted to do a little more, plus I’m a tad confident in myself. So I replied, “I can send you some pics, or if you think it’d add more value for the students I can just give you the physical piece. I work for myself now, and I don’t see myself going on interviews again, so I won’t use it anymore – I’d be happy to give it to you if somebody else will benefit from it.”


The email.


Once we did the back and forth on days/times, I brought her my portfolio book, so the students could have something better than just pictures – they could actually feel it, and flip the pages. A big deal for young designers (and old too I guess, haha).

Since graduating in 2013, I’d only seen her once or twice when I spoke at an open house, so we chopped it up a bit. While we’re sitting there, she mentions to me that they’re short handed on teachers, and they pretty much always have been.

My eyes got big like an owl.

“Sooooooo, what if I applied!?”

I told her about a trip I took that really inspired me, and one of the goals that came out of that was to teach at the college level and give back, but if possible at the same school where I started to learn my craft. She told me I was definitely qualified, to apply. So I did.

Then I waited.

And waited.

And followed up a few emails. And waited.

Now, this list of goals is extremely significant to the story for a few reasons. Around this time last year, I went to my first design conference ever, and it was an experience that was so overwhelmingly great, I’m still riding on the high from it 11 months later. It was called Circles Conference in Grapevine, TX. Thanks to the awesome research of my friend good friend Jerry Lopez and the thoughtful gift of my wife – this was the best Christmas gift ever to date, and I didn’t even get to use it for 9 months.


The list. Title inspired by my friend Justina.


Not only did I meet a few cool folks – one dude has become a good friend of mine. I was so so inspired at Circles. The speakers there reminded me that I’m the only hurdle standing in my way. I’ve already overcome so much, nothing’s gonna stop me.

I went back to my hotel room after the conference, and I sat on my bed with my journal. I made a list of things I planned to do – ways of being more intentional about my life, my craft, and my relationships.

What came out of that little exercise was a daily plan, a high level vision, 5 and 10 year goals, and daily stuff I’d be working on to get to them. Mind you, it’s been 11 months and 20-some-odd days. But I digress.

July rolls around, and I got an email from another one of my professors, now the head faculty for the Visual Communication department. She told me she wanted to bring me in for an interview! Hot dog! I already accomplished one life goal in 2016, and now I have a shot at a second one.

This can’t be real. I get all dressed up, go get a fade, print up some crisp resumes – the usual. I show up to find out that this was really an interview and part of the on-boarding process. Like, I got the job already!




I’ve been pretty quiet about this because it doesn’t seem real to me. I’m going to be teaching in the same classes I learned in, rubbing elbows as a professional with the same people that poured so much into me as a student. One of my friends likes to remind me of Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.” This is that. 100%. Last night was my first meeting as a college teacher, and my class starts next week on Tuesday. I’ll be teaching ARTC 1317 Design Communication I – it’s basically the foundational principles of design for my non-designer readers.


A VERY rare selfie, of me driving to my first meeting as a teacher.


So, I’m heartbroken that I can’t go to Circles Conference next week, but it’s bittersweet. I’ll be missing out because I made some goals, and I’ve been crushing them. I’ll be having day 2 of my first class while my friend Tay is away at the conference. If you’re on IG, tell him to take good notes for me!


Sidenote: Look how much better my note-taking has gotten in the last year! Hah!


Back to the design tips on the next blog: Why designers should invent their clients.

Anthony Gorrity
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