Just before taking off from JFK to Frankfurt, I was told I had an opportunity to give a speech to a group of students at my destination – Indonesia. Fantanstic! I was Surabaya-bound, ready to decompress for a couple weeks before Ireland but also ready to inspire the youth.
As I described in my bio (here), I believe one of the most gratifying things someone can do in life is to share knowledge and value with others. The opportunity to inspire and teach anyone should not be taken for granted. Having found success in school and in sports, I was in a position to provide these students with valuable information.
My only two instructions were to inspire them in 30 minutes or less. With a few days before the speech, I thought… what could I say to 13-16 year old that would engage their interest?
I have learned a lot about what works for me, in terms of time management, positive thinking, achieving healthy physical and mental wellbeing and setting goals.. But I couldn’t just spurt all that to them. I had to put it in their terms; I had to speak to my audience.
So, after a couple hours putting it together and a morning presenting it, I decided to talk about it here, just in case others find value from it: (I'm no expert in any of this, but I do believe I've learnt a thing or two that I believe is worth sharing)
I started off talking about myself – my successes, achievements, techniques I use that work... right from Grade 6 until college years. It gave me credibility – it caught their attention for the real important stuff later. I then broke my speech down into three simple, but very important tips:
1. Learn from others
- If you want to improve at something, observe what successful people do right.. what are they doing that you're not?
- Ask them questions – are they studying more? Paying attention in class?
- Try to implement their successful behaviors in your life
- Use them as motivators.. don't talk behind their back!
2. Be proactive and not reactive(so much to be said on this, but I kept it in their terms)
1. Tackle assignments as they come
2. Study ahead of time
3. Ask meaningful questions
4. Always do your homework
“These four things might seem boring, lame, uncool.. but it is people who do those four things who have time and are successful in their hobbies.. for me, it’s always been sports”
3. Most importantly... set goals!
- Start with long-term goal
- Narrow down your goals and ask yourself every morning, “What should I do today to get me closer to my long-term goal?”
- Example of good goal setting:
Goal: Get 3.8 GPA out of 4.00
- To get 3.8, I need to get all As and only one B+
- To get all As and only one B+, I need to get over 90 on every exam
-To get over 90 on every exam, I need to understand the material
- To understand material very well, I need pay attention in class
So, step back and answer the question “what should I do today to get me closer to my long-term goal?” The next thing you have to do to get a 3.8 is pay attention in class!
I then finished off by talking about college applications. I mentioned the different things that matter and how they should approach the process.
I have uploaded the speech on Youtube, if anyone is interested in checking it out, the link is here