The Last Word

By Jackson Toms | Posted: Sunday February 17, 2019

Morning boys. When I was asked to write my last word, I stopped and thought to myself, how could I have an impact on everyone in this auditorium? How could I possibly influence your views anymore than your journey already has?

Then I began to think about my views on life. My views of failing, but always getting back up. My views on the cycle of success, the progression of fronting over and over no matter how many times you get knocked down. This is what led me to setbacks, to the times of hardship, the times we didn’t believe in ourselves, the times we felt like giving up, but didn’t. We are faced with challenges everyday in our lives. However, the way in which we approach these challenges can determine whether we succeed or get knocked down. The setbacks we face and how we approach them are unique to ourselves, for you hold the outcome to your success. Whether you choose to tackle your challenge front on or let it continue to knock you down is simply up to you. Do not let the challenge ahead get the best of you. It is okay to cut yourself some slack, but never let go of the rope. If you all look back on your lives, I guarantee that you have all had times of struggle, but don't forget the moments of success. For those currently enduring the struggles, focus on the success, the light at the end of the tunnel, battle through the setback. For setbacks are a prerequisite to success. 

There has and always will be a time in our lives where we will have to face a challenge, where we will have to accept truth, where we will have to adapt to change. Each setback we face creates a cycle of success for us, a cycle that occurs throughout our entire life. A way in which I want you all to look at the setbacks and successes of life is by thinking of life as a Hurdles Race. With each hurdle being a setback, and every hurdle completed, success. Sometimes setbacks in our lives will drive us to admit defeat. But we can overcome these setbacks and move on to the next hurdle. Grit and determination will get us there. You can always find success and overcome the setback. Your life isn’t over when there is an obstacle blocking your story of success. Remember time is the greatest healer, setbacks take time.

As I stand here talking to you all today, I am already overcoming setbacks in my life. I am already looking towards that next hurdle. Last year in July, I had back surgery. Not in a million years did I think this would happen to me, but it did. We are never prepared for the setbacks that lie ahead. I wasn't prepared to be told I would need back surgery at 16 years old, but you simply have to take it on the chin and go to work. Stay positive and focus on the success of clearing that hurdle. Yes, you may be fragile, but you are alive. When faced with that next hurdle in life it does not mean you give up, you are cracked not broken. Don’t ever look at setbacks as a setup for failure. Setbacks are the seeds that sprout opportunity. Your next hurdle is only the beginning to your story of success. So remember boys, if you ever find yourself spiralling off into the dark abyss, remember how far you have come, for this setback, this small crack in you’re life does not mean you are broken. It means you were put to the test, and did not fail.