I was recently invited to give a talk at Queen's Manor primary school in West London to discuss the importance of setting yourself goals and achieving them. The talk given to the class of 7 and 8 year olds was orchestrated by one of my closest friends Catherine whose objective was to translate the importance of having aspirations and goals to achieve in life. The premise of the talk was for me to discuss how, after overcoming leukaemia, I have since participated in various events to help raise money for leukaemia charities and was subsequently chosen to carry the Olympic Torch at the London 2012 games. The children would then take notes and fire questions at me - which they duly did.
I felt it was important to engage the children as much as possible - and with the direction of 'Miss Powell' I fended off some very interesting questions indeed. At one stage, after I'd discussed how I had trained myself to first complete the London Marathon, and the dedication, hard work and strength of mind it took to get through it, Catherine asked the children how they think it would feel to achieve a goal that I had set myself. Of all the answers there was one that stood out from a young girl who explained how she thought it would make one feel "Stronger as a person". I was extremely impressed by the maturity of the answer for someone so young. The girl proceeded to support her comment by stating how being stronger after achieving your goal would enable you to "be better at other things". I couldn't have answered it better myself. She was absolutely spot on with her comments and, as such, sent me off on a tangent about how I have since tried to apply what I learnt through overcoming my goals to other areas of my life. The young girl was duly awarded for her great response to Miss Powell's question by being moved up to the "gold zone" on the behaviour wall.
The day was wrapped up by showcasing the Olympic torch I had brought along around the classroom. After speaking briefly about how I was nominated and subsequently chosen to carry the torch - each child took a turn holding the gold plated flame carrier and each one clearly showing how pleased and excited they were.
The visit was certainly somewhat of a cathartic experience for myself. I felt almost a pang of selfishness as I walked out of the gates of Queen's Manor primary school by virtue of the fact I felt like I'd personally accomplished something by talking to the class and that I had indeed, achieved a personal goal myself.
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