From the Principal’s Desk – 31 May, 2018
This week we were honoured to have the world renowned motivational speaker, Dr John Demartini address our DP2 class and a specially invited group of students from Hout Bay High School (located in Hangberg). In an hour long talk Dr Demartini spoke about visualising your dreams and encouraging students to find a way to go about achieving them.
Some of the most interesting points I took from his talk was the reminder that we need not be “slaves to our past or victims of our situations”. We all have stories and challenges to share but the difference between those that rise above them or those that perpetually remain “stuck” is our attitude and perception on each of these stumbling blocks.
Dr Demartini reminded us that we should see all the things in our path as things that may help us get closer to our goals – to change our attitude of seeing things that happen to us as “not in our way but on the way” to achieving our goals. To not be a “victim of history but rather a master of our own fate”.
I see this all too often in many of our students today – the defeatist attitude that imprisons a person’s ability to “give themselves permission to be great”. Too often they dwell on the things that have happened to them and use them as crutches to not move forward; “I am not good at Mathematics”, “it is the school’s fault that I am not getting good grades”, “My home life is a mess”, “The DP is too hard” etc. Please do not get me wrong, I recognise that some of these issues are real challenges for any child but I am also of the belief that at some point we have to make a choice to pick ourselves up and continue taking those little steps towards achieving our goals. To stay “stuck” serves no one, especially the person who chooses to stay stuck.
Sadly less and less children today are exhibiting signs of resilience and grit – something which will only inhibit their growth and ability to handle bigger issues that will most certainly come their way. We cannot shield them from this but what we can do is make sure our children have the ability to cope with this amazing thing called life.
My sincere hope and wish is that we as a community of parents and educators understand that accountability and creating a space for our children to “fail”, and make mistakes is very important for their personal growth and development. But more importantly – not to remove the consequence (positive or negative) that results from the many choices our children make daily. These natural consequences are what is needed to teach our children how to cope with disappointment, challenges, grief and a myriad of other life lessons that we all need to learn.
Above all, we need to stop making excuses for our children and encourage them to go after their dreams with all the vigour and determination they can muster – full of the knowledge that success is not easy and there is no substitute for hard work and the ability to turn “life’s lemons into lemonade”. They all have it in them if we as the mentors and guides that assist them, give them the opportunities and consequences to achieve it!