Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

As I mentioned at Friday’s assembly we are now in the season of advent, our preparations for Christmas. The seasons of preparation: advent and lent, are times of reflection and

contemplation. They are a time when we think honestly about the year that has just passed and reflect on what we have achieved and on what we failed to achieve. An important focus for

people who achieve in life is to take ownership for your actions, both good and not so good. Sometimes we get it wrong and only ‘own’ the good things that we have done. Sometimes we get it wrong and only own our failures forgetting about our successes. Both of these view points can be harmful. If we only own our successes then we must blame others for all failures. If we only take ownership of our failures then we elevate others above us giving them credit for the good we have done.

People who only accept their successes and blame others for all failures struggle socially

because people around them tire quickly of being told how good that person is and being told all mistakes cannot have been made by them but must have been made by you.

People who focus on their failings become unhappy because they soon develop a sense of

never succeeding and that everybody is better than them.

Balance is the answer—accept your victories and defeats as your own. If you score the winning runs, or goal or try, acknowledge it, accept it, put it in context and move forward. If you made a mistake that led to a defeat, remember that as being a moment in a game during which you will have contributed many good things.

Success and failure is often defined by centimetres and seconds. In a hockey game that my daughter Grace was playing in this year, (the final of the national tournament) late in the game the scores were tied 2-2, with only a few minutes to go. It looked as though the game was going to ‘strokes’.

Grace had the ball, the other team were pressing hard on defense. She held the ball and drew a number of defenders to her. Then once they had committed to tackling her she turned and fired a long pass back to her full back, to enable the team to attempt a back and round. (This is a technique in hockey where you draw the opposition to your side of the field then pass the ball back and to the other side of the field to create space for your players to attack in).

Just as Grace passed their striker anticipated the move and raced to cut off the pass. It looked like she would succeed creating a one on one with the goalie—in hockey almost a certain goal. She reached for the ball, missed by centimetres and Graces team mate trapped the ball quickly pass the ball up the wing and the movement lead to the winning goal. A few centimetres the

other way and the result would have been quite different. Life is like that, we try hard, we do our best but sometimes the margin of a few centimetres or a second is the difference between

success and failure. If we accept victory by a few seconds then we should accept failure, if then we accept loss by a centimetre then we should accept victory in the same way.

Have a great week

—Mike Brosnahan

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