Believe You Can!

June 27, 2018 at 9:11 AM

‘To win, you have to believe you can do it. You have to be passionate about it. You have to really want the result, even if this means years of hard work.’
Sir Peter Blake, KBE (1948-2001)

Whilst today’s Girls’ School students are not old enough to remember the impact that Sir Peter Blake had on the country, his legacy continues. A New Zealand born yachting legend, Sir Peter was an outstanding New Zealander who inspired the country and the world with his leadership, prowess on the water, dedication to the environment… and his famous red socks.One of his greatest attributes was his ability to build and lead great teams, understanding that this could not be done alone. 

Following his sad death at the hands of pirates in South America, the Sir Peter Blake Trust was set up with the key aim of inspiring and mobilising the next generation of Kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists. 

In his final ship’s log onboard Seamaster, Sir Peter wrote:
‘We want to restart people caring for the environment as it must be cared for. And at the same time, we want to do this through adventure, through participation, through education and through enjoyment. To win, you have to believe you can do it. You have to be passionate about it. You have to really ‘want’ the result – even if this means years of work. The hardest part of any big project is to begin. We have begun, we are underway, we have a passion. We want to make a difference.’ 

Since 2007, the Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Week has been a time when New Zealand celebrates great leadership. In anticipation of next week’s annual Leadership Week, the Girls’ School were pleased to welcome Ms Sally Cannan, NZ Human Resources Director at Frucor Beverages and one of the Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream presenters.

The Dream Team is a large group of inspirational Kiwi leaders from across the country who set out to inspire thousands of Kiwi youngsters to follow their dreams. Ms Cannan spoke candidly about her life and how, despite growing up in the ‘remote’ Isle of Man, her sense of adventure was great and consequently she travelled broadly to extend her horizons, developing sound leadership skills that led to her current profession in Human Resources and leadership training. 

Ms Cannan said, ‘Choosing courage over comfort is my main theme - pushing yourself out of your comfort zone mentally and physically for me has always led to friendships, networks, confidence, and achievement beyond what I thought I would do.’  

She encouraged the girls to ‘Challenge yourself. You’ll learn more and achieve more. It’s lovely to be in a comfort zone, but you won’t know what you are capable of achieving if you don’t step beyond.’

Having explored three main themes, she hoped the girls would take these ideas away and act on them:

  1. You can do anything if you put your mind to it
  2. Step outside your comfort zone
  3. Believe you can

The girls in Years 7 and 8 loved this session and left empowered understanding that ‘a journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step.’

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