Wednesday, 19th September 2018
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The real test in life

One of the most stressful times in my life was when I was studying for my leaving cert some 38 years ago. My motivation was to never come back and repeat any of my subjects. I found languages especially difficult but was determined to make sure I did not have to return to school.

When I received my results, I was delighted to see that I had passed my exams. But the real test now was to see if I could do what I loved. I always wanted to be a nurse, and even as I grew up, many people told me that they thought I would make a great nurse. It wasn't to be, sadly, and my next step was to start studying hotel management that September. But they say what is for you won't pass by you, and the following February, I attended a couple of interviews for nursing in Dublin, and was accepted by Jervis Street Hospital. That was the start of a 20 year career in nursing, and it also ultimately led me to where I am now, working in complementary health.

This week, leaving cert students across the country will receive their results. Some will be over the moon, others will be quietly contented, and some will be disappointed with their points tally. But the real test in life lies not in examinations, but in how you respond to your results, and how you channel your motivation to get to where you want to be. As my story illustrates, you may take a different road to reach your destination rather than the pre-planned route you had before the exams.

Who knows? Some time in the future, state exams and the points system may be abolished. The educational system might change from an academic model to a more practical or entrepreneurial arrangement, where students get the chance to demonstrate their abilities within a company, hospital or trade. Students could learn in areas where they have a passion, and have the opportunity to develop relevant skills and become a great asset. In fact, to a small extent, this system already exists, with the transition year, where students go out into the workplace, gain experience, and if they are lucky, realise that learning new skills can be fun.

So to all leaving cert students, I say that whatever result you get this week, I wish you every success in what you choose to do. Remember that everything in life is about how you feel. Every decision you make in life is based on how you feel: "do I feel good or bad about it?" The single most motivating power of you entire life is your feelings. Do what makes you happy, follow your dreams and believe that you can achieve what you want. But most of all, choose now to be happy and accept that you are always doing your best, even if it's bronze or silver some days, and not gold! Everything is possible for the person who believes.

Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos rgn runs busy natural health clinics in both Waterford and Kilkenny.

Contact Health Therapies Clinic, 13 Gladstone Street, Waterford. Tel: 087 2025753 or Insight Natural Health Clinic, 15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny. Tel: 056 7724429.


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