What is your why?

A message from Academic Prefect, Kento Hikima presented at our Scholars’ Assembly – February 2023

Good morning Headmaster, Mr Ickeringill, Dr Swann, Mr Angus, teachers, guests, and most importantly boys.

Today, I’m here to talk to you about your why. 

Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why Am I living? Why am I on this Earth? What do I want to accomplish?’ I understand that this is a difficult question to answer immediately however, this is the most fundamental question of human existence. Why are you living?

American writer Mark Twain said that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. For most of you, you are yet to experience that second important day. That is because you have to go find it. It’s on you. It’s on you to find out why you are here in this world. You’re not going to find out your why, by simply listening to me. However, my goal is for you to start having that conversation with yourself about ‘why’?

This process may take you a couple of weeks, or a couple of months, or even a couple of years or longer. But you’ll never find something you don’t decide to go look for. As the good book says, ‘seek and ye shall find’. If you start having these talks with yourself, you will understand that inner reflection is the path you must travel, to find your why.

My why gives me the strength to be the first in and last out. To work until quite literally the wheels fall off. To do what it takes. To stand up and fight no matter how many times it seems like life is punching me in the face, taking away everything that I’ve worked towards. We all have times of struggle. We will all have times when we feel lost. And I understand. I’ve faced them too. But, my why became my lamp in the darkness. And, your why will become your voice of reason and will give you that inexplicable fire in your belly when you need it most.

I am fighting every day because I know my why. And here’s the thing:

I am who you are fighting for. You are heading into a world and will compete with people like me, people who work like their life depends on it. Because it does. People who know that their children’s life depends on it as well. And I’m here to beat you. Because my why counts on it.  

If you want something enough, you must know your why. You must experience that second great day, in order to make your dream a reality. I don’t believe these dreams are just cloudy images you see in your sleep. I believe that these dreams are rather the colourful and vivid visions you see when you close your eyes. They keep your from sleeping, because you’re tossing and turning, about the possibility of you, and the potential of tomorrow. I’ve got a dream. And I’m sure you do too.

But so many of us let fear get in the way of what we want to achieve. So know this: the failure is to fear failure. If there’s something that you should fear. It’s a life without you achieving your dream, and not knowing your why. I got this from David Goggins, but every time I go past a graveyard, I wonder, how many of you died without knowing your why? How many of you missed the opportunity to live?

But, you and I are living. And we, the people who live today, can make tomorrow great. I’ll say it again: We, the people of today, can make tomorrow great.

I want all of you to close your eyes. Take your right hand, and place it on top of your left chest. Your crest. You should be able to feel that slow thud, pounding through your chest and hand. That is your heartbeat. But it’s much more than that. That palpation in your chest is engraved with the words, ‘you are still alive’, so act like it. There is a reason you are here on this Earth.

So, go find your why. Fight for it. Protect it. And do everything in your power to make it happen.

Meliora Sequamur.