Dear HSC students,
I am a dentist, born and raised in Western Sydney. I attended high school and completed two university degrees in Sydney and here’s my message to you:
Life is not about WHAT you become, life is about WHO you become.
What does this mean?
As someone who is constantly evolving and growing, I know first-hand that in life you will never stop growing and learning. Life will show you your short-comings through a series of difficult events and challenges. In order to grow, you will have to make a choice to learn about yourself. Personal development is amazingly painful but reaps some excellent rewards.
As you get older, you will realise that the most profound study you can do in life, is one of self-reflection and internal growth. Striving for titles, power, money and other objects of self-gratification are short-lived. What lasts forever is the person you become, the impact you have on your community and the legacy you create. Worry less about what is expected of you or what people think of you and focus whole-heartedly on how you can be the best version of yourself. Because what society needs is people who are comfortable with themselves, who love themselves and who love what they do.
So how do you become the best version of YOU? As someone who is still trying to figure this out, I may miss some important points! But here is a top 7 list I created for you:
Goodbye comfort zone
Get outside your comfort zone. HOW? Do what you hate or fear. Surround yourself with things and people that make you uncomfortable. Learn how to endure, overcome and practice patience with yourself. For example, if you hate public speaking, then book a public speaking engagement for yourself. Commit to it. Now, rehearse, hire a coach or study to develop your confidence to do this. Honour your commitment and get people around you to support you to achieve it.
Become a youth leader, help a farmer manage his land, clean a shelter, spend Christmas with widowed pensioners, teach English in a third world country, the list goes on! This will expose you to different people and environments and will fill you with gratitude for what you have. Plus, it is great to give back to communities.
As someone who has neglected this throughout life, I have realised how important it is to integrate it into your lifestyle. Set aside 30 minutes everyday to do something active that you enjoy. Scientifically, you will have endorphins rushing through your body. This will energise you and make you feel good.
Reap the benefits of meditation, they include: clarity, focus and happiness.I am not the best at this but I try! Clearing the mind and decluttering will allow you to be able to handle stressful situations a lot better. I really wish I had done this during my HSC.
Practice not judging
When HSC is over, you will be in different environments to that of the school you have known for many years. You will be surrounded by people from different backgrounds, ages and life experiences. Be open-minded and compassionate with every single person you meet. When you judge people, you immediately lose the amazing opportunity of forming relationships, friendships and partnerships.
Try different things
What I am asking you to do is to FIND YOUR PASSION. That thing that drives you, excites you, the thing you love to do no matter where you are or what time of day it is or what the weather is like. For me, I love working with my hands, listening to people, comforting people, I like science and learning about different people’s bodies and I also like to change people’s lives. If you don’t know yet, then TRY DIFFERENT THINGS. Try painting or work in an office. Which one was more exciting? Did you like working with your hands or organising things and creating to-do lists? This stuff takes time so don’t rush it.
Don’t be hard on yourself
I was guilty of this! If I didn’t put in the amount of study I had intended, then I was super hard on myself. You need to realise that as human beings we get sick, feel down or over-commit. During these times, you need to remind yourself that you are human and practice self-love. Self-love means that you will take time to recharge and unwind instead of getting worked up about something you didn’t do or achieve. Self-love can include: getting your hair done, going for a walk, spending time with a friend or pet, cooking a nourishing meal or playing an instrument. Self-love is practiced when you are mindful and living in the present moment. Not thinking about something that happened yesterday or something you need to do tomorrow.
There you have it. I wonder if this helped anyone?
Remember: Life is not about WHAT you become, life is about WHO you become.
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