To all of those people out there who use excuses in their lives please think of my daughter last night. At fifteen years of age she walked across a large stage and received an ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement’ award for five consistent semesters of five A’s or more. Academically this is a brilliant result but what makes it truly amazing is the fact that this child watched her brave father fade away and die and yet never used it as an excuse. She misses him every single day and could have given up on life, on school work and lost hope. Instead she strives for excellence never ever using this tragedy as an excuse. My daughter set her mind on a goal and worked tirelessly towards it. Don’t be fooled, she did not get it because of good luck or natural ability it was because of pure determination and hard work.
It goes without saying her dad would be proud, just as I am, of the hard work that she puts into everything but the real pride would be in her unwavering attitude to live the best life she can for her. For my husband a positive attitude and hope was everything.
“There is a Tibetan saying, Tragedy should be utilised as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV.
Tonight I was reminded of how much hope my three children have. They don’t use excuses. They have experienced loss yet have never lost hope, motivation or joy. They feel the great loss and void that is ever present in our lives, they allow these sad feelings to surface but make the decision to keep living. The true skill is finding the balance.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating the need for fame, awards, accolades or approval, I am acknowledging the sheer pride I feel when I see my children make the most of their lives and for this I couldn’t be prouder. My daughter would not tell you about her achievements if you met her because she is not motivated by others, instead she is totally self-motivated and self-driven. She does not crave the attention of others and is humble in her strengths and aware of her weaknesses.
For my other two children they may strive for totally different goals because all that really counts is the way they live their lives with enthusiasm shining brightly in their own individual way. Last night, they sat proudly watching their big sister and clapped enthusiastically because in our family we support the big and small things happening in each others lives.
I think that the real lesson here is to live a magnificent life and never be afraid to shine no matter what that may look like for you.