With 2018 almost upon us, I find it unnerving, the unrelenting passage of time having snatched away another year from us. This of course, means more memories to hold, more stories to tell but perhaps most importantly, a moment to reflect. Like most years, academic knowledge has been crammed in at school and then churned out again during assessment periods. However 2017 has brought something new to the table for me; a path paved with growing motivation. I can’t admit to feeling this way before, so what changed in the last twelve months?
Early January 2017 found me browsing through a collection of TED talks, each one interesting in its own right but not attracting me enough to keep me watching until the end. That was, until I watched ‘Every kid needs a champion’, delivered by Rita Pierson, a teacher. She described how every child needs an adult, other than their parents, present in their lives. This adult will be someone who will never give up on them, accepting both their successes as well as their failures in order for them to reach their full potential. Sadly, some may regard this as idealistic sprouting. But I for one, was and am not one of them. So who was my champion, I thought to myself?
As a young person involved in competitive sport, aiming to reach the top, it seemed as though I had hit a plateau. I was happy with my ability but wanted to improve, to be better, faster. That is where my coach comes into the story. Previously I had goals, but never fully understood their weighted importance in achieving my ambitions. It was my coach who changed and continues to change this. He began to question me more about my goals, and more importantly, asked me why. Why was I training so hard and so much, why did I bother? I replied, without hesitation, ‘because I love to do it, it’s my passion’. And to that, my coach replied almost as quickly ‘but to those athletes at the very top, do you think just ‘loving the sport’ is enough for them?’ I replied no and in my head I knew he was right.
As it turns out, it takes a long time to find the answer to your ‘big why’.
This year, I have learnt that almost everything one may wish to achieve, whether that be creative, academic, or in sports, is centered around one’s attitude more than anything else. Time and again, I have heard teachers, adults and people my age, boldly and even naively, claiming that ‘failure isn’t an option.’ This doesn’t make sense to me, because if failure wasn’t an option then why does it exist somewhere in the route to success for all those who have won?
I have learnt the invaluable tool of goal setting. Some may disagree but here I borrow an analogy from my coach who states that ‘a life without goals is a like a car journey with no destination.’
Although this year will have thrown challenges us all, be it in family and social life, academia and even failing in doing what we love, we have emerged at the end of it all, and for that we all deserve a hearty pat on the back. True, we are a little older, a little more weathered from the turbulence of life but, with reflection, perhaps a little wiser.
I would whole heartedly invite you all to find your passion, find your big why and set some goals. This, coupled with hard work, can do wonders. I’m not speaking as someone who has yet achieved her own ultimate goal, but instead as one who is inching their way ever closer because of this.
So here’s to an ambition achieving 2018. Happy new year everyone! 🙂