The Last Word

By Liam Turner | Posted: Wednesday February 22, 2017

A seesaw, yes the seesaw that sits in the playground that you would so happily run to from a distance back in your childhood days. Why have I brought up a seesaw?

So many people say the road to success is like a ladder. I believe the road to success is more like a seesaw, as the terminology of a seesaw relates to the road to success in many ways, as I will explain.

Before you go on the seesaw you need someone at the other end that will challenge you. You’re not going to go anywhere if you don’t challenge yourself, try something new or something that will take you out of your comfort zone.

When you first hop onto the seesaw one person goes up and the other goes to the bottom. The person that goes up are the people that have natural ability; they don’t have to do much work to get early success.

Being the naturally talented one that goes to the top at the start is good at the time but natural talent only lasts so long and if you rely on it you will find yourself at the bottom. If you want to get back to the top it's your time to push and do the hard yards.

When they get to this stage, their ego is too high and they can't take loosing as winning has just come naturally for them for most of their life. So they decide to take the easy option and quit. There are so many boys in front of me that are gifted at what they do but I challenge you that when it gets tough and you find yourself at the bottom of the seesaw work hard, learn how to loose and get back to the top.

The people at the bottom have to work hard from the start and push themselves off the ground if they want to taste any success. Things will take time, it won’t be easy but if you are still waiting to cross this stage for the first time or have been waiting to make the top team in your chosen sport, don’t give up now, keep working hard because you never know how close you are, to getting off the ground.

Don’t be embarrassed or scared to be at the bottom. The learning is done when you’re at the bottom, you learn how to loose and you find out more about yourself.

Everyone has their time at the bottom no matter who you are and what you do. For example our great All Black Richie McCaw, he was no gifted athlete, unfit, rather chubby, nothing special. He started at the bottom of the seesaw but had the desire and passion to stay on and push for as long as it took, until he reached the top.

Once you’ve reached the top it becomes a battle of staying up there for as long as you can. There will be times you go back down but you’ve been there before and you know what it takes to push yourself back up.

There is one thing that is the same for everybody, regardless if you’re at the top or at the bottom. Showing respect to others I believe is the most important thing. If it's shaking hands at the end of the game, giving them the quiet time they need to study or applauding after their performance. Just because at the time you’re higher than them on the seesaw or you’re just a sore looser, it doesn’t give you the right to be stubborn and not show respect.

It is not easy boys and that’s why it's so rare to make the top but when it gets tough think of the seesaw and how you are at the bottom, where there is only one way up but it requires patience, hard work and the desire to get to the top. So as an individual, team and even our school let's hop onto this seesaw and give it a nudge.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Do not judge me on my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”.