The Last Word

By Matthew Pyper | Posted: Tuesday July 21, 2020

Morning guys, hope you have all had a great holiday. I will start and end this speech with the same quote, so it hopefully will have more impact. You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again - Benjamin Franklin.

I want to talk about an idea that is relevant to everyone, Motivation. It is the desire, or drive to change something, either to yourself or the environment around you. It is behind why we do the things we do. It's why you are here at school today, and fundamentally, why you get out of bed in the morning.

Motivation is the reason why people set goals and strive to do great things. If you look up to any world class athlete, the reason they got there is because they were motivated. A prime example being Joey Chestnut, who recently set a world record, devouring 75 hot dogs in only 10 minutes.

Not only the world’s elite are highly motivated, the people you know also are. I want to tell you a story of a person I know.

My granddad, Peter Ayson, was born and raised in Southland, attending Southland Boys’ High School, and played in their First XV.

But it was not till after school that he realised what he was motivated to do, help people. Over the last 60 years, he has volunteered for St Johns, the local RSA, Lions Club, and many more organisations in his community. He managed to attain 6 life memberships to different organisations. It is a great honour to have one life membership, but 6 is almost unheard of. These achievements have recently awarded him a Queen’s Service Medal, an award recognising voluntary service to the community. It is only given to about 60 people in New Zealand per year. Pete put in thousands of unpaid volunteer hours not because of any potential reward or accolade, but because he was motivated to help others.

The reason why I wanted to speak about motivation is because we are now into the business end of the year. All of us are going to have lots of important events happening over the next few months. Nevertheless, there will be times coming up where you do not want to study for that exam or wake up at 6am to go to training. I want to share some things that help me, that may also help you stay motivated.

It is very easy to lose motivation for two main reasons. Firstly, if you do not see value in what you are doing. If you do not care about what you are learning, or you do not think this will be useful, what is the point?

Lastly, the task can seem too hard or time consuming to complete, so you put it off. When you are faced with an overwhelming task, it is very easy to procrastinate and leave it till later.

When you are thinking this, because I know I do sometimes, you need to find what is going to keep you going.

If you do not like what you are learning in class, that is fine, very few people actually enjoy reading Shakespeare or memorising oxidation reactions.

But you need to find a reason to complete tasks that you are not motivated to do. That reason could be to get UE or a scholarship. Learning the finer details of Macbeth may not be important to you, but it will be important to achieving that merit or excellence endorsement. Whenever you are not interested in something you know you must do, bite the bullet, and focus on your end goal.

When it finally comes to memorising that essay, it is very easy to be put off by how much you need to cover, or you do not think you are good enough to do it. But there is an easy way to solve this, and that is breaking up your task into small, achievable chunks. This idea has been repeated numerous times by different people standing behind this lectern, but it really does work. By doing this, you will not only make progress, but see progress. That adds fuel to the fire, and you will get more done.

These are ways that help me stay motivated, but they will not work for everyone. You need to figure out what works for you.

We are well over halfway through a very long and eventful school year, and for the guys in front of me, we have 2 terms left. Only 2. It has been a very long road, but we are on the home stretch.

With NZQA lightening up requirements for UE, it will be very easy to shrug your shoulders and say, “I’ve got this”. This mindset is a prime example of complacency, and it makes it much easier for your goals to slip through your fingers. The only way you'll reach that target, is with a bit of perseverance and hard yacker, no matter what goals you have, whether it is the sports field, on the stage or in the classroom.

“You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.”

Benjamin Franklin

Keep chugging along fellas, and do not take your eyes off the prize.