The top is reached by striving.

Another Speech I wrote when I was a guest speaker for the graduation at the lookout primary school last year. The topic was on the school’s motto “The top is reached by striving.” I didn’t expect to be a guest speaker at my former school but I must say I was honored. I still remember being a student and listening to the guest speaker at my graduation and for the tables to turn like this really shows how muchI’ve grown. I hope you enjoy!

I would like to accept the protocol already established and thank the Lookout Primary School for presenting me with the opportunity to speak to the future, the future world leaders and their hardworking and dedicated parents.

As our motto says, ‘the top is reached by striving’. But the phrase itself is pretty ambiguous. What is the ‘top’? How much ‘striving’ do we need? Among other questions, and I’m here to give you my personal take on what this iconic motto means to me.

The top is reached by striving. What is your ‘top’? For me, it’s being successful. And how do I define my success? Well, it’s being able to do what I want, when I want, without having to ever look at my bank account. I want to host parties in a crazy mansion where all the drinks are on me. I want to write countries from all over the world on the backs of a few playing cards, show them to my future girlfriend or wife, and whatever random one she picks, we go. I want to give people the financial opportunities they need to get that idea off the ground when no one else would take them on. I want to build a successful brand out of myself and my peers so that the wealth is shared. That’s my definition of success.

But that’s all it is, that’s just my dreams, what I want to do. We all have those dreams, those ideas…so what?

That’s where the second part comes in.

The top is reached by striving. How do we strive? How much ‘striving’ do we need?

*shrugs*

I mean, it’s up to you, I can’t, nor will I ever, tell you what to do with your life. I do know a few hacks that could help you, but only if you take my words seriously. Only if you apply what I say as soon as I shut up.

Perseverance. One of the top 10 most overused words in motivational speaking. Yet, it’s still being used, even by the less cheesy speakers such as me.

Why is that?

Things that work usually stick around. You usually see them more often in your daily lives than not. That’s why you see certain models of cellphones, laptops, cars, chairs, and anything in your life that’s a commonplace. They work. And the same goes for those typical speeches and phrases you heard all your life.

Normally, as in 95-98% of us even in this room, don’t take these words on, ever. We pass these ‘words of wisdom’ through the left earbag and out through the right. And if you believe you’re that magical 5-2%, you’re not, because that magical 5-2% would prefer to think that they’re not doing it and listen more attentively so that they can implement these tips in their lives.

Everyone has their own unique take on the same topic, and there’s always something to learn.

Now that we’re all on the same level, we all understand that no matter who we are, where we’ve been or what we’ve done, there’s always room for improvement, let’s get back to perseverance, to striving.

These two words of action, these verbs, to Persevere, to Strive, are keys to unlocking the greatest moments of your time on earth. The fact that God gave us words to describe the actions we can all take, to reach whatever we define as success, is a feeling, that can only be understood when you’ve taken these verbs seriously and reached your top.

It’s a mental paradigm, a shift on our perspective on life. That life happens by you and not to you. Life happens by you and not to you.

You choose, everyday, whether you’ll go to school and try to understand what the teacher is saying, or ignore them to talk with the same friends you’ll see at lunch, after school and for more time than you’ll ever spend in a classroom.

Living in the present is indeed amazing. But you can’t be greedy. Your future present, the one that you can’t process because they aren’t there yet, would be eternally grateful if your current self put in a little extra work, make a small sacrifice of your time to study, to take notes, to ask questions about something you may not understand…So you can take that one extra small step you normally wouldn’t, towards your definition of success.

So, to summarize, here’s my key takeaways:

  1. Write down your top, your end goal, and internalize it. You don’t have to drift in life forever, and if you don’t know who you want to become, write down who and what you don’t want to be, so you can avoid it at all costs.
  2. When you know where you want to be, who you want to be, and what you want to do, taking out the time to do something that normally isn’t ‘fun’ becomes fun. It takes time, but it does. It lies your consistency.
  3. Success is relative to you and only you. Your dreams and aspirations are yours and yours only. Don’t focus on having the fanciest goals, but instead the ones that you’ll truly want. You’ll need it to give you those small inspirational boosts that’ll keep you going.
  4. Lastly, if you need help, ask. Please, just ask. Anyone who cares about you will listen. If they don’t, you just learnt who to ignore.

The top, is reached, by striving.