You were born to win.
So I started off the talk by asking a room full of 5 – 11 year olds the following question, if I squeeze this orange, what do I get? And quite rightly so, there response was to scream; ‘ORANGE JUICE’!
And they are right, if you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice, if you peel a banana, you get a ready to eat banana and if you bite into an apple, you get apple… ‘So what’s your point?’ I hear you ask
My point is summed up in the great saying, ‘you do not become what you want, you become what you are’ or even better, ‘you cannot earn more on the outside than you’re prepared for on the inside’.
This week, I was privileged enough to be invited to speak at Sunnyhill Primary School in London, and Adderley Primary School in Birmingham. Both schools are full of a bunch of lively, positive and vibrant children that do amazing work in their communities, such as put on talent shows to raise money and buy food for their local food bank or come up with their own rules for the school. So, after I had a volunteer come up on stage and squeeze the orange and peel a banana to prove the earlier theory was correct, I asked them what I would get if I huddled them up and squeezed them together. As I anticipated, I got a few giggles and a hundred odd bemused faces looking back at me.
The point of the exercise was to lead me nicely on to explaining to them that if you are happy, care about your local community, hard-working and enthusiastic, that is what you will get out of life. Life is like a mirror, the physical world is simply here to reflect our internal world, and if your internal world is one of gratitude, positivity, enthusiasm and an appetite to work, believe me when I say your life will reflect this.
So to emphasize this point, I asked the whole school (teachers included) to get on one knee with me, put their fingers on their heads and repeat the following words…
“Positive thoughts lead to a positive attitude, a positive attitude leads to positive actions, positive actions lead to positive results and positive results will give you a positive life”
Standing in front of a school and watching our future generation repeat these phrases word for word is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done, and I was only five minutes into the talk!
It all starts in the mind, Jeff Olson calls it your philosophy, James Allen talks about it in ‘As a man thinketh’ and various other leaders have spoken about the power of the mind. This was probably difficult to understand for most of the children, so I went on to explain it like this…
Your mind is like a garden and you grow whatever you like in there, but most importantly, you are the only gardener.
Your mind is like a ship that can take you to wherever you want to go, but you are the captain of the ship at all times.
Your mind is like a story and you can write whatever you like, but once again, no one else but you is the author!
We are all born to win.
Every single one of us has fallen down in life, literally. But there are two very important lessons to learn from this.
When learning how to walk, did you fall down on your first try? Yes.
How about second? Yes again.
We could probably go up to anywhere between 50 – and a couple of hundred times that you tried and fell over. Alongside this, when learning how to walk, you also had to hold on to things for support, at first it was probably anything you could find, then it was whoevers hand you could grab, until finally your little jelly legs found some balance.
Two key points here… stay with me
In life, you will often fall down on the first try with a lot of things, actually, pretty much everything from riding a bike all the way to starting a business (Trust me I know, I’ve started and closed two businesses and I’m only 23, but believe me when I say that has done nothing but add fuel to the fire). But much like the baby who continues to get up and try again, we have to take the same approach to life, get back up, over and over again until you can walk. And because repetition is the mother of learning and father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment, I made the kids repeat my new favourite saying:
‘I used to crawl, then I could walk, now I can run, and soon I will fly!’
Second point. You held on to almost everything for support as a baby, the only thing that changes is the form of support, instead of coffee tables, handrails you could barely reach and mums hand, you now garner support from positive friends, beautiful family members and mentors. They will help you along your journey to realizing your potential and fulfilling it, that’s if you are prepared to do the work.
Ultimately, you did learn to walk. And you probably had every single ounce of faith that you would eventually walk. I encourage you to go after your goals in the same fashion, go after them as if they’re inevitable. This means that you will probably face more failure than most people, the beauty of it is that you actually only really learn from failure, you don’t learn much from success, apart from the fact that you want it again. Denzel Washington says ‘fail hard’, and Thomas J. Watson says ‘the key to success is to double your rate of failure’.
So, fail hard, get back up, rub the dirt of your bottom and keep going!
Excuse the Lord Mayor and I for having to take a selfie with these beautiful students!