In honesty, after listening to Sam’s speech last week I couldn’t think of anything worse than standing on stage in front of the whole school and trying to follow it. I would surely mess up, go bright red, and it would be too embarrassing for me to continue with my life. It’s about now when I ought to mention that I’ve had to do very little public speaking during the seven years I’ve been at RHS: as a year 7 I was never asked to speak in chapel on a Thursday, and since I didn’t speak much in class I was never chosen for public speaking or debating competitions within the school. This, coupled with a quite dismal attempt at MUN in year 8, left me at a loss for what to say to 750 people who would almost certainly rather be in bed.
But then I remembered something. Even if I go down in history as giving the worst speech RHS has ever seen, and embarrass myself beyond what was previously thought possible, it doesn’t matter. It simply won’t matter in 2 weeks time, whatever happens. I’ve recently started trying to live by the saying, “life is full of insignificant disappointments”, and generally having a more optimistic outlook on life. So what you received a grade slightly lower than you wanted on your last test, or you didn’t make the firsts team this time or your voice cracked singing that choir solo or you simply didn’t say anything in a lesson when you really wanted to take part, these small failures don’t matter in the big picture. You’ll do better next time because now you know what you did wrong, and when doing well does matter you will do better than last time and have more chances of succeeding.
We have to realize that it’s the doing well that we remember, not that one time you felt so mortified or frustrated or disappointed that you just wanted to give up. So if you take anything from my ramblings this morning, it’ll be to stop and think about what you really need to focus on, as it is in this way in which we will get the most out of life.