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Feb 16

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Inspiring Our Students

Cliff Hanger

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One of my 8th graders showed me this thought piece she wrote (this is what she decided to call it since it made the most sense, I called it a story and she said that it wasn’t exactly a story). It was just the kind of piece that I thought would fit perfectly in this blog so I asked her for permission to post it here. To go to her class blog and leave her a comment directly, go here.

“Often in life we look over the edge of the metaphorical cliff, but only do the select few have the courage to jump.  Most people glance over and see the bottomless pit of opportunities but never do they see these as opportunities to jump, instead they see excuses to stay atop the cliff and go about their daily business wondering why there life is so bland.  Well, the answer lies in all the things we haven’t done instead of those those we have. We have yet to jump off that tall lingering cliff.

And why is that, do you suppose?  Frankly I believe it is because people are cowards that are so deathly afraid of failure they cannot embrace success.  People, in life, are so terrified of the ‘splat’ they believe comes with jumping off the cliff they do not wish to take the risk at all.  Now, if this was a real cliff that was not entirely metaphorical, I too would be terrified of the splat and most likely if not definitely stay atop the cliff.  In fact, I think I would actually run away from the edge because I truly do not enjoy the curling of my toes and I am horrified of heights, but that is not the point.  Why are people so afraid of the splat?  What is there to fear when the opportunities are endless have you only the will to succeed?

All that is needed to succeed in life is the unwavering belief that you will instead of the fear that you will not.  Think about it; all the vastly successful people in history never woke up and thought “I cannot do this because there is a chance that I will fail.”  Instead, they woke up and thought “I must do this because there is a chance that I will succeed.”  People have told me, and undoubtedly will continue to tell me that I will not do well in life simply because the occupation I wish to have is harder to obtain than theirs.  That is like telling a child they can do multiplication but not division because division is harder.  And this is where my next point falls into place.

At a very young age children are told that they can be whatever they want.  If a child wants to be an astronaut the child can be astronaut!  But as this child grows up, people’s beliefs start to change.  Instead of telling the child that he or she can be an astronaut they tell the child he or she cannot because an astronaut is a very peculiar, hard to obtain, job.  Now, after a few years of having been told that being an astronaut is unobtainable the now young adult begins to believe what they’re hearing.  At this point the young adult begins to question their chance of success and no longer wishes to jump because the splat is far too scary to risk.  So, the young adult grows into an adult and never takes the chance and now we’ve lost another astronaut.

Had this child been told that he or she could be whatever his or her heart desired throughout his or her young adulthood he or she may very well have been an astronaut.  Of course this child would have have his or her challenges; that is required for success, but in the end the child would be an astronaut instead of whatever it is they picked instead because being an astronaut was far too challenging and scary.

When you wake up, do you doubt your ability to dress yourself?  No, of course not, because you have no reason to.  You have an unwavering belief in your ability to dress yourself because all through your life you have been dressing yourself and no one has told you that you can’t.  Why should life be any different?  If you wish to be a baseball player, and you have worked very very hard to be a baseball player why should you have any fear that one day you will not become a baseball player?  Do not misunderstand me, you will have troubles and you will have trials, but if you truly want to succeed and you truly believe you will there is no reason you shouldn’t.  If you do not succeed there is no one to blame but the face in the mirror.  Do not blame the talent company that did not give you an audition, do not blame the record company that did not sign you.  Trying in the first place is not the mistake; the mistake is not trying again.

So now I will pose my final question, will you jump of the cliff?  Remember it is entirely metaphorical.”

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