Stickability, as defined by the Collins English Dictionary, is “a person’s ability to persevere with something; staying power”. I would add that it is a person’s ability to persevere with something, even when it is hard.  This week, as we navigate uncertain times, we have asked students of the Middle and Senior School to reflect on what they do have. We have asked students to look at examples of Paralympians and ask themselves, “What am I going to stick to?”

Each and every person runs into obstacles, challenges and adversity at some point in time. Sometimes these challenges may present from the outside world, and sometimes from inside our own world, or even from ourselves. We all make mistakes, and at times we all fall short of the mark. But the difference is in our ability to keep going, even when things are tricky. The difference is to stick at things, or to persevere. The key to success is to continue dreaming, to continue the struggle and to work toward achievement. When we are willing to do the hard work and to stick with things, we become champions of our own future, champions of our own success.

Some of the largest obstacles to our success is allowing others to talk us out of our dreams, or talk us out of where we would like to go. We need to ensure that we share our mission with others who will support and guide us, who hold true to the same attitudes and core values. We must remember that we are a direct reflection of the people with whom we are associated. If we are with people who support and share our dreams, who embrace obstacles as opportunity, then we are supported in our endeavours.

Anybody who has ever achieved something worthwhile has faced challenges and obstacles, because anything that is worth doing is going to be difficult. As we look at what has been achieved, and where we want to go, I would encourage students and staff to ask themselves, “What are you going to stick to, what dreams are you going to pursue?”

The current times are tricky and unknown, challenging and daunting. The temptation is for us to look at what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It is at times appealing to come from a deficit rather than from a growth mindset perspective. To come from the negative rather than the positive.

As the 2021 Paralympics are shown on our screens, we see the challenges faced by the athletes currently competing, and the resilience or ‘stickability’ demonstrated to overcome the challenges is simply stunning.

At times it is hard for us to look for a pathway around or over what might be in our way. I have asked the students of the Middle School to watch the Paralympics in some part, then to reflect on what they do have. The resilience and determination of people to achieve their dreams in this arena is truly inspiring. The stickability and work gone into achieving dreams is stunning. The mission this week is for students to recognise and appreciate what they do have, and to be inspired to continue to work hard and pursue their dreams, irrespective of the obstacles placed in their way. I would ask that they look for the positive, and find like-minded people, as they too encourage others to look for their positive and use their stickability to achieve their dreams.