The Last Word

By Tom Howie | Posted: Tuesday March 13, 2018

Last week I had the pleasure sitting in the front row being able to see fellow students cross the stage.

As I reflected on my personal goals and what I set out to achieve, I couldn’t help but be humbled by seeing the pride of self-achievement on faces. 

This has motivated me today to talk to you about conquering goals through courage and the act of just being plain smart.

I perceive courage in a somewhat different way to others. To myself, it doesn’t mean simply standing up for what you believe. However, I see it having the courage to put your heart into your work and having the determination to finish the job off.

Men, you need courage when you set your goals. You need to have the courage not just to set the goals that your parents, teachers, and peers want to hear, but goals that you are truly passionate about. Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish these aspirations. Consistency is courageous, consistency is about being brave. Without passion, you cannot be consistent. Like Mike King said on Thursday, "It’s brave being yourself and doing what you want to do."

Our successful old boys such as Peter Cox our last Rhodes scholar, Hamish Bond Olympic champion rower, Jonathan Lemalu a world-renowned singer, Sir Russell Coutts America's Cup winner and many others alike all have something in common. It’s this consistency, this determination, this discipline that when the job starts to get tough, they keep going, and this has set these men apart from the rest. To put it simply, these men didn’t put their heart and soul into their work to become 2nd best.

Recently, I listened to a video from Colin Cowherd an American sports analysis. In the video, he talked about the importance of self-awareness, and in this case being able to seek help. He went into depth about how all the great coaches and players in American sporting history are ‘recruiters’. In other words, these coaches and players are seeking others for help. These teams were good, but they wanted to be great, so they sought help, they RECRUITED. Boys, it’s smart to take up the opportunity to be given help while we are still at school. Be courageous. Seek help. By recruiting help from your teachers and your peers you are being imparted with the knowledge that allows you to be able to get that excellence or merit endorsement or nail your sporting and cultural endeavors.

I’m going to finish off with a quote from Winston Churchill.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”