Yesterday my father retired. He has been teaching at the same school for 36 years and it was his last day yesterday. The school streamed their last assembly for the year on Youtube and my father spoke for about 20 minutes about boys that he had taught and mentored over the years.
Basically he talked about students he had taught and had coached at sport and he shared some of the things that he had learned from them over the years.
You can see his speech here. His speech starts at the 41 minute mark.
What did my father learn from his students and what can we learn from his speech?
1. Every second is vital
This is something that we can all learn. I am like a lot of people out there who have the undoubted ability to waste a lot of time. Time is precious and we only have a certain amount of time so treat it with repeat and you will get the results. When you waste it, bad things can happen and I know that as well as anyone.
2. Have a good work ethic
What is a good work ethic? Well, I can think of a few things:
- Professionalism - This can be how you drew but it is everything.
- Respect - You respect the people you are dealing with. They might have a different opinion to you but you respect it. The other day I was talking with a guy from the gym I go to. We were discussing the new New Zealand prime minister, Bill English. I mentioned that Bill English had changed his mind about gay marriage. He was originally against and now was for it. My gym colleague was obviously against it. To his credit. he didn't shove his opinion down my throat. He was respectful of me and explained why he thought so. I don't agree with him but I respect his right to his opinion.
- Dependability - Do you turn up on time? Do you submit your reports on time? If you do this, colleagues and customers will begin to trust you and you can go from strength to strength.
- Dedication - This is going the extra mile and to aim to 'kick ass' in everything you do.
- Determination - You want to breakthrough that wall to get to the other side. You have a purpose that gets you out of bed every morning.
- Accountability - You take accountability for your mistakes. You admit your mistakes and you don't makes excuses and pass it off on other people. You are going to lose friends very quickly that way.
- Humility - You thank and give credit to people around you. Don't hog the limelight.
This is your mental preparation. In this post I talk about visualisation as part of your morning routine. Visualisation is very important as you need to prepare yourself for things coming up in your life. This is a very important part of your success and personally it is something that I don't do enough of.
4. Take every opportunity that is presented to you
In 2016, we have lots of opportunities to do things that our ancestors could only dream of. You need to take every opportunity as you don't want to regret in a few years time, I should have done this or I should have done that. This can be really disheartening and it could affect your confidence for years to come.
When you have this opportunity presented to you, don't 'half-ass' it. Do it to the best of your ability. Give it everything. No complaining.
5. Eyes open
I think this is quite self explanatory. Epictetus said "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." So, shut up and listen.
Ireland national rugby team
In 2016, these sporting teams overcome years of adversity and also-ran-ness (that last word is made up by me) to win their respective sporting competitions after years of failure. It just goes to show that if you put in the work and you have the belief then you can accomplish things that you might seem out of reach to some people.
7. Have a purpose
I never realised this until this year. I'm sure that I have heard this before but I never really believed it. I have a purpose now and this is what is guiding my life. Every decision I make, I think of my purpose and see if this decision fits in to this purpose. If it doesn't, should I be doing this thing? I ask myself. What is your purpose?
Thank you Dad. Wonderful speech and it certainly gave me something to think about as well as the 1700 'young men' you delivered it to. I'm sure a few of them got something out of it.
Enjoy your retirement. I look forward to our annual golf match in the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure if it will go very well and if I can still hit the ball straight but I will guided my your words in your speech.
This video is the performance of the haka for my father. I hope you enjoy it.
One more thing, I think we are going to see many more of these in the coming years.