When considering our actions now, it is important to consider our future actions as well. Many young people go through high school without giving their future much thought until their final years but that is a foolish approach to achievement. Preparation is important to our progress as young people – we must have a destination in mind if we are hoping to get there safely and successfully. Imagine, if you will, how a similar approach could result if the captain of a ship did not plan his journey thoroughly beforehand: he must check the projected weather forecast, the path his ship will need to take, the aim of the journey, the preparation of the crew and the readiness of the ship for habitation – is there enough food, water and other supplies? A ship’s captain will plan his journey carefully to ensure that the journey’s aim is met. It is imperative that we do the same: where do we want to drop our anchors and how can we achieve a safe passage to get there?
Successes and failures are often measured by achievement but that is often a really ‘black and white’ view of the world. We have our entire lives ahead of us; NOW is the time to be making our mistakes – how can a teenager be told that he or she has failed when really, we haven’t even begun trying yet? Life is like the sea – sometimes it is calm and easy to navigate and at other times, it is rough and waves crash into us – knocking us off course. It is our readiness to handle these situations which defines our successes or failures and like a ship’s captain will tell you – it is the preparation prior to the journey which truly defines the success of a person. Many of us will be heading off to college in the next year or two - how prepared do you feel?
Many people endeavour to achieve their goals without giving it any prior thought – it is the arrogance of youth which, many of us our guilty of, but it is also this arrogance which will occasionally knock the wind out of our sails and cause us to drift on to the rocks. We are young people and we have a lot to learn and sometimes, the best way to learn is to find that you’re shipwrecked and back at the drawing board. It is all too easy to just give up at these times and allow this ‘failure’ to define us but, the true measure of a person is what he does next. One of life’s greatest lessons is how to ride the waves and how to work with what is thrown at you – whether that’s smelly seaweed or long-lost, buried treasure! Anyone can sail a paddle boat around a pond but it takes a truly strong person to sail a ship through a storm. But, it is also important to recognise that even if that ship goes down, it still showed a great deal of character to attempt it in the first place and that despite a failure, it is a life lesson well learned; next time – you’ll have that added experience to succeed.
Therefore, I put it to you that as young people, we should not be afraid of failure but rather we should fear the lack of preparation which will immediately put us at odds with our chances of success. Failure is just another lesson and so, rather than wallow in our defeats; we should be welcoming our next challenge – experience, lessons and preparation in hand.