You must do things you think you cannot do Honorary guest, lecturers, parents, fellow graduates, good afternoon. I am your valedictorian Oshane Thomas and I am charging you today to do the things you think you cannot do. The important actions aren’t easy. They are hard because of our fears. No one is without them. One of my fears is being here today talking to you. On preparation for graduation, I was notified that I had to deliver a speech and the thought of actually doing it terrified me. Will people want to hear me?
What will I say? Will my mind go blank in front of my audience? These are the thoughts that came up when I was writing my speech. These thoughts are just fears of overcoming an obstacle and you shouldn’t pay them much attention. You must visualize completing your challenges. Do not let fear prevent you from making the next uncertain but so desired step in life. The great Eleanor Roosevelt so wisely said: You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Facing my fears has been a big part of my life. I can remember when I was in grade 5 at the Pigotts Primary School and my teacher at the time Mrs. Knight said to the class; “class, in two years you’ll be doing the common entrance exam. ” My first thoughts were, “I wonder if it’s hard? ” Then the teacher said, “Students you all must start working harder, because this exam is not easy. I placed my hand to my face like this (display with actions) then in a soft tone I whispered a favorite quote of mine, “Bugz (my alias then) one man can so sall? ” Now at that point I didn’t know if I was physical or mentally able to overcome that obstacle of common entrance but I already started being negative. We should never be willing to give up so quickly. Instead of being negative we should at least endeavor to be positive. Facing those fears, and challenging those beliefs, in spite of how daunting they are, is what makes life wonderful.
I believe that conquering those fears and changing those beliefs, that’s how we create our own destiny. There is a reason why something’s seem scary, or so hard, or impossible. It’s because you were meant to overcome it. I’m sure there are a lot of people in here that felt like something was impossible, petrifying or too hard, yes? How powerful did you feel when you conquered it? Imagine what your life would be like if you knew that anything you set out to do, you could accomplish it. I see it often when people talk about mathematics.
When the subject area of mathematics is suggested, you can see the resistance in most students’ faces, and can hear it in their voice. They may act like the subject is not worth doing or come up with excuses as to why it wouldn’t work or why they can’t do it. They are capable but not willing. We need to push past the unwillingness. But you know what is funny? It is so easy for us to say, when we don’t have to do the work and is on the other side. Saying, “You must do the one thing you think you cannot do” is easy.
On the other hand when we have to face our fears, we do the same thing, we resist. Fear will keep you stuck, but can also be the indicator that something great is around the corner if you’re willing to find your strength, courage, and confidence. So I implore you to look beyond your challenges and have faith, and know that you have what it takes to conquer them. Keep on telling yourself you are capable because you are capable. Keep on telling yourself even if you fail, it’s ok, we all fail at one point are the other. You just have to get right up and try again.
As the great Albert Einstein quoted, “you never fail until you stop trying. ”This week I want to encourage you to explore the uncertain, but greatly desired. Strive to overcome your challenges and do not avoid them. Life is made up of challenges and risks. These challenges make up the experiences we have. When we think back over our life, the ideas we have, the thoughts we had, are all based on the actions we have taken or haven’t taken towards these challenges. So if we stop living in fear and do the things that we think we cannot do, we can live a life that is simply amazing.