The Staff Room
A few months ago I was speaking at a school to a group of young students about how small consistent actions lead to massive changes and the message was extremely well received.
But let me take you back 30 minutes before my speech. That morning I arrived early at the school to prepare and ensure I was ready to deliver a flawless message. I was scheduled to speak at 1pm but I arrived around 12:15 , so the principal told me to go and take a seat in the staff room.
I have never been in a staff room before, but it’s what you’d expect. There was lot’s of coffee, cookies and lunch bags from all the teachers and other staff members. I quietly introduced myself to everyone and then took a seat on the couch. Over the next 45 minutes I chatted with a few people before getting up and going to gym where I’d be giving my presentation.
I then delivered my keynote as planned and had 4-5 staff members rush over to me after I finished with huge smiles on their faces. I thought they were going to say “great job” or “that was amazing”, but instead they said “we owe you an apology.”
Confused, I responded by asking “for what?”
Then the teachers said that when I left the staff room they were all joking about what I was going to say that would impact the students. What was a young guy like me going to say that mattered. Of course afterwards they told me how great of a job I did and I accepted their apology but that in-counter never left my mind.
I’m too young to make an impact
Often as young people or as students we don’t believe we can make an impact because of our age. We believe that being young is a disadvantage. We think that because we don’t have a degree, we don’t have much money and we don’t have a job that we can’t start our own passion projects. Not only do we believe this as young people, but the idea gets reinforced from society.
Sometimes it’s the people who want us to succeed the most like our parents and teachers who unknowingly support this idea. I will never hold these teachers at fault because this limiting belief has been around for decades, but it made me realize that it’s time for a change.
It’s time that us young people stop using our AGE as a crutch or excuse and realize that being young is actually one of our biggest advantages.
Whats funny about the story I shared is that at first I was doubted (“what is this young kid going to say that’s so brilliant?”), but after delivering a bomb speech all the teachers had their jaws on the floor! Then they began saying, “he can speak like this and he’s only 19 years old?!”
What first appears as our disadvantage can quickly turn into our greatest asset if you do your job to the best of your ability (exceeding all expectations)
Furthermore, when you’re a young person so many people are willing to help you. I have over 5 mentors for different aspects of my life due to the fact that I’m not afraid to ask for help and more often then not these people agree to grabbing a coffee or chatting on the phone for 20 minutes.
Being young is our greatest asset and if we don’t use it to our advantage we’re giving away our power to make a serious impact on the future of our home.