Having been a student in high school 3 short years ago, I can attest to the fact that a majority of the speakers who had came to my school were either not relatable or whose main goal was to simply get me “excited” about what I was already doing. Although I agree that changing the psychological state of a person can influence their actions, there was always too much of a “rah-rah” aspect to them making them seem unappealing to me with no useful content to take away.
These speakers all commonly focused on using positive thinking and changing your mindset, to all of a sudden become the best version of yourself. While I do believe this takes a role in overcoming obstacles and attaining a goal, there is so much more to it. These “rah-rah” talks in today’s speakers did not display enough practicality. Not only were all of them double my age, but they couldn’t relate anything they said to what I was dealing with at that time.
I would leave these assemblies with an exciting feeling of being capable of anything, but then waking up the next morning not knowing what to do.
Listening to someone else’s personal struggles, and being told “if I can do it you can too” will not go nearly as far as telling them the skills allowing them to take immediate action.
MY approach to motivating students is quite different and has had a more lasting impact on their lives. Instead of emphasizing the struggles that I had faced in my life (as would motivational speakers), I like to become more in tuned with focusing on the obstacles that each of them are facing right now.
With that being said, I am a very “results oriented” person, and my number 1 goal is to have the students be able to walk away with the ability to look at life in a different hindsight after being provided a set of skills. Knowing how to take action in their life is the first step.
Instead of motivating them to do the same things as I have, I teach them to take advantage of what cards they have been handed and to how to use them efficiently with the least amount of risk for regret later in life.
Even if a student doesn’t remember my name, the one thing that I hope to instill, is to give the students the empowerment to leave the session and know what to do differently in order to make their life better.
“My goal isn’t to motivate you with my story, it’s to motivate you to create an amazing story for yourself.”