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– From PA School –

What is your Wildest Expectation? by Dr. Ian Knott-Craig

Apr 6, 2020Teachers

 “Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations”. (Ralph Charell)

Whilst sitting in my garden and enjoying the smell of the fresh early mornings, I have been able to do a lot of reflecting and soul searching. The happy and friendly chatter of the unassuming, ‘want for nothing’ attitude of the birds, reminded me of the fact that we have such an amazing and unprecedented privilege of waking up each morning like this, and to be alive.  South Africans have always had the undeniable quality of resilience and as a nation we always seem to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Anywhere is possible.

In the wake of the lockdown, I recently shared a short motivation message with the Port Alfred School staff and suggested that they reflect on the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that, “The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party but say nothing. And if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away”.

Life is a gift. Can you remember what it was like to open a gift on your birthday or Christmas day? Can you recall the emotions that you went through, the thoughts, the excitement and love you experienced? So too, should we approach each morning, each day with this excitement.

Our ever-shrinking global village is going through a profound change and life is not ever going to be the same again. We are living in extraordinary times of uncertainty and turbulence. What has worked for us in the past, won’t work tomorrow. We need to change our mindsets; we need to change. Change is real and ever present.

Every day brings its own set of new challenges, and serious levels of confusion. Our Port Alfred School community is not exempt in the slightest. Our community members, parents, teachers and learners will admit to the complexity of it all. We are all stressed by all these changes and their challenges.

As a global village, we as the inhabitants, are being refined. Just like gold, when it is refined it must endure great heat for any remaining impurities to be removed. The crude gold is melted and then treated, resulting in any impurities, naturally drifting to the surface to then be removed. The result of the process is the production of 99.5% pure gold.

So, while all these significant global changes are taking place around us, what is it that I can do?

  • See this pandemic as a gift rather than a scourge. Focus on the positive impact that it already has had on you. Only the spread of fear and panic can out do this pandemic. Focus on the gift of time with your family, the free time to reflect, and enjoy yourself.
  • Take care of yourself – your mental and emotional health just as much as your physical health. Spend time by yourself, reflecting on and expressing your expectations of life (What makes you happy, joyful, grateful?). Get rid of the negative clutter in your mind, it is energy sapping.
  • Choose how you respond to each situation. Choose how much energy you are willing to put out into the world. Will it be positive or negative? Will you be the light in the storm?
  • Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers, and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.

In a recent blog, I stated that, “I’m grateful to be alive (irrespective of the situation or circumstances), enjoying human life to its fullest while I can. I’m not going to waste it now on any negativity as it will rob me of the many blessings of life.” #StongerTogether.

I would like to encourage you, the reader, to embark on a Metanoia (noun), with me – The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self or way of life – a complete change of heart. The origin is from the Greek word metanoein – change one’s mind.

There is so much more to life than what we enjoy. What is your wildest expectation?


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