Taken from a presentation by senior teacher Peter Kadar at the recent High Achievers College Assembly.
I would like to speak about the notion of achievement.
Please imagine that it is 1965.
A young school student has just started Year 11. A year later the student repeats Year 11.
In 1967 that student finally commences Year 12 and the following year he repeats Year 12.
Now fast forward eight years to 1975. That student, now an adult, older and perhaps a little wiser stands nervously in front of his first class, as a teacher.
Fast forward again, to 2007, now even older, that person walks across a stage at Monash University to graduate as a Doctor of Education.
As you may have guessed, that's part of my story.
So, what did I learn about the notion of achievement over that time? Somewhere in those last four years at high school I discovered two things:
- I wanted to become a teacher.
- I clearly wasn't ready to pursue that goal until 1968.
So, the first point i would like to make about achievement, is that you have to be ready. You have to be prepared.
The next point to consider is that achievement varies from person to person. It is not necessarily a number, score, certificate or medal. It can be a range of things.
I don't believe that if you work hard that you can achieve everything or anything that you want. But I do believe that everyone has the potential to achieve their personal best.
I was a high jumper in my youth. I was tall for my age and I trained long and hard and as often as I could. I would never be able to set a world record, no matter how much I trained. But, I did represent my state, once, and I am still proud of that achievement.
However, it is possible that someone in this hall might become an elite sportsperson, a great inventor, a famous writer, explorer, advocate for social justice, musician or a magnificent, loved human being.
So, what do you need to be able to achieve your best?
Well I'm sorry, but there is no foolproof formula, no general prescription no algorithm
There are no, "you should do this leading to, you will then achieve that", but there are lots of maybes. Maybe if you do this, you might achieve that.
But there are other aspects to achieving. As I indicated before, you have to be prepared
You have to understand yourself and when you are able to start your journey, hopefully it won't take as long for you, as it did for me.
You have to have the passion to achieve - do what you love, love what you do.
You have to be realistic - be honest and aware of your strengths, cultivate them, and know where you need to improve.
Remember achieving your goals requires commitment, energy, effort and discipline.
You also have to have a direction and process, a pathway to follow and an endpoint to know when you have arrived.
Finally, it is important to celebrate what you have achieved, which is basically what this assembly is about.
Every student, and indeed everyone, in this hall has achieved many things in their lives, for example the Year 7s have graduated from Primary School, each Year level has succcessfuly transistioned from their previous year. And many of you have achieved personal and private goals.
To sum up then, I see that there are four P's which lead to achievement:
Congratulations to the high achievers of 2017. I hope that you are proud of what you have done and that you have expressed your gratitude to those who have supported you on your journey.
May you continue to discover your passions and pursue them.