Writing our stories

As we all get over the excitement of England’s World Cup challenge, there have been a few things that have stuck in my mind. The main one was that after one of games, Gareth Southgate spoke about how he’d been working with the players about mindset and how they get to write their own stories. Which got me thinking about writing our stories, each one of us, and how we’re the authors of our own life novels to varying degrees. And many of us never even realise it.

We live in a world of possibilities. We can get to the other side of the planet with just a day’s travelling. We carry more data and compute power in our pockets than NASA had available when they put a man on the moon in 1969.

If we’re not happy with our careers, we can change. Jobs aren’t seen as ‘for life’ anymore, working at home is normal and a record number of people are opting out of the rat race to start their own businesses.

Let’s stop for a moment to consider that this world of possibility is never more so than when we’re young and at school. It’s here that we have the chance to influence our lives forever.

How so?

Well, in my view, it’s about having options. The more options you give yourself, the better the chances of a favourable outcome.

For example, when I was in secondary school, I was going to be a cricket star. For a significant period of time, there was no doubt in my mind that I’d be a giant of the game. Whilst focusing on cricketing domination, I let my studies slip, and it was more luck than initial judgement that I ended up at Cambridge University!

I believe that if we learn, study hard, pass exams and earn the required markers of academic success, we enable ourselves to have choices.

Choices over universities, choices over subsequent careers and enhanced choices for life in general. In simplistic terms, better to have the qualifications to practice law, or go to medical school, but choose to work in a shop, than in a position where one is stuck because of missing prerequisites to do anything better.

I’ve been able to write my story of becoming a successful full-time private tutor. However, if it wasn’t for an inspirational teacher at just the right time, my story would be very different. It would likely be a story of making ends meet, rather than the satisfaction of helping students to achieve academic excellence.

Just like the England team, many students are at the end of one chapter, and about to start writing a new one. There are those about to cross the chasm from primary to secondary school, those awaiting exam results or about to embark on a new adventure at university.

As we turn another page and whatever position we find ourselves in, it’s always worth remembering that in many ways, we’re the authors of our own stories.