By Kate Nicholson | Posted: Monday May 9, 2022
Talofa lava, greetings and welcome to our newsletter for week 2.
It was a pleasure to accompany Tobias Devereux and his whānau to the NZQA Top Scholar 2021 Awards at Parliament yesterday. Tobias received a premier award – one of twelve in the country and the only one in the South Island – along with a Top Scholar award in Physics. This is an outstanding achievement, and I am sure that you join with me in being very proud of this young person as a Kavanagh student.
Sitting in a room with such high achievers and their families certainly caused me to pause for thought -
what creates such academically able students, who also list taking part in service activities, along with participation and excellence in sporting and cultural endeavours, as the other things that keep them busy in their spare time?
There is no doubt that, to reach these levels of academic performance, these students have developed excellent self-management skills, and I would imagine that there is a culture of celebrating achievement and high value is placed on education in their homes. I suggest that taking opportunities and ‘putting yourself out there’ to give things a go, without letting peer pressure and criticism get in the way, has also contributed to their success, along with a strong internal drive to experience success and challenge oneself. And of course, planning. Gaining one of these awards doesn’t happen accidentally. Instead, these students have had foresight and planned the steps required to make it to this awards ceremony.
My opinion is that self-talk (our inner voice), so often shaped by the talk from parents in childhood, is a big part of success. Regardless of what the challenge is, whether it is trialling for a sports team, beginning a new school, stepping outside your comfort zone to volunteer and support others, making new friends, aiming for an excellence grade in a favourite subject, a person’s self-talk and hence their belief in themselves can determine the success of the outcome. Resilience is a word used very regularly these days and we have heard it frequently during the last couple of years of the pandemic. If we try to find a definition of resilience, we may also be describing self-talk.
Of course, remembering that God has a plan for every one of us and He has given us gifts to be used, not left idol, is also worth remembering. Our faith as Christians encourages us to listen and look for what God wants for us. A positive inner voice along with listening for God’s message to us can certainly influence our life direction and success.