I have had a few people ask for a copy of the speech I gave to our graduating Year 6 students. I have copied it below.
Good morning everyone, I would like to take just a couple of minutes to talk to our graduating Year 6 students about the topic of success.
The truth is that we all want to be successful. We want our lives to be satisfying, to be positive and to be rewarding. We want to have an impact in the world that makes a difference and we want others to recognise what we do.
There are all kinds of success....
· There is academic success, getting high grades, achieving a scholarship or award, dux of the school. University recognition, Masters degrees and doctorates.
Financial success, making lots of money, buying a big house, driving a fancy car, traveling the world.
Physical success, becoming the next supermodel, Mr Universe or Sporting success, becoming an Olympic champion, winning an AFL premiership, playing in the NBA.
Work success, winning the next big account, getting a promotion.
All these things are good things but are they really a mark of a successful life?
There are plenty of academics with degrees upon degrees who are lonely and misunderstood. There are multitudes of rich people living very sad lives, surrounded by drug addiction, alcohol addiction, people who love them for their money, their fame and fortune. There are numerous beautiful people who have started to age and their beauty no longer seems to be so attractive anymore. There are countless ex-sporting stars who are living a sad, obscure life, addicted to drugs or pining for the glory of their previous life.
Academic success, financial success, physical success, success in your work are all good things to strive towards but they don’t necessarily mean that your life is ultimately a success. Underneath all these things, the thing that glues all these temporary successes together, the thing that weaves together what we would consider to be a successful life is relationships. Strong, deep, quality relationships.
The way that you interact with others at school, in your work, when you play, when you participate in sport, when you participate in most activities, the social skills that you develop and build will have the greatest impact and bring the greatest satisfaction in your life. More than money, beauty, fame or any temporary successes. People who build trusting and close relationships with colleagues, friends and best friends are those that can enjoy all the other successes of life more fully and with greater joy and fulfillment. When they need help they have others to support them, when they experience success they have others to enjoy the experience of life with them.
To build successful relationships you need to be able to understand and manage your own emotions and feelings. You need to be able to make strong decisions and work to resolve problems so that everyone benefits. You need to develop integrity, honesty, kindness, the desire to do what is right because it is the right thing to do.
All these things are the basis of what we have been teaching you here at Madeley. We believe that your social and emotional development is the key ingredient to making you successful in life. At the core of this is the golden rule “Treat others as you would like them to treat you.” If you adopt this rule and actively seek to live it out on a daily basis you will develop the kind of relationships that will enable you to live a successful life.
On behalf of the staff and students at Madeley I wish you all the very best for a safe and happy holiday and for your start to high school next year.