The power of purpose

At the recent assembly, Ben Leavy (Year 12) spoke to the community about why finding purpose is an important element of achieving excellence.

Today, we celebrate the achievements of the many boys receiving Colours and Honours, but while I'm here I would like to shift the focus onto everyone.

One thing I often think about is why some people excel while others don't; why some boys might achieve 90% with little effort, but others study hard and only achieve 60%. One factor people jump to is genetics, but that can't be everything.

After days and weeks of thinking about it every now and then, I have one idea that can't be objected: having a purpose.

When we find our purpose; what we want to be in the future; what our hobby is; what we enjoy doing; we excel. When we know why we are doing something, suddenly, what we are doing makes sense and we excel.

I want to be a chemical engineer after I leave school. As soon as I realised this in Year 9, Maths and Science became easier. I studied the same amount, I did everything the same, but in the back of my mind I knew why I needed to learn. It gave me a purpose, which for me was the most powerful change in my academic efforts.

Now, that's just me, and you are all different. That question of why – why am I learning – will be different for every person.

If you need more proof, I'd like to bring your attention to one of my friends who excels academically, but his true passion is animals. Every Friday he goes to the animal shelter and helps out, without pay, because he loves it. He's found his passion and it's reflected in every part of his life, not just academically.

I'm hopeful that one day, each and every one of you will come to know your purpose, whether that be a career, or a hobby that you're extremely passionate about or whatever. Answering the question of will take everyone in a different direction, but it's a journey that will help your focus, and it will give clarity on every decision you make.

I wanted to become Academic Captain to help people find their passion, and to explore it like I did, because it will help you.

So, when you're on the way to your next period, or on the bus home, ask yourself what you want to do in the future, and explore it. Trust me, its powerful. Whether it's by meeting people or by actually doing it, you will be filled with wonder and well on your way to finding purpose at school, and answering that question of why you are learning.

Ben Leavy
Academic Captain