Future proofing the next generation is a challenging task in this ever-changing world. The education we provide today is not going to be able to prepare our children for the jobs and opportunities that will lay in front of them as young adults. They simply haven’t necessarily been invented yet; we do not know what that world will look like. Let’s face it, 2020 wasn’t quite the year we had expected. On my run this morning, busses passed with masked passengers looking like something out of a Hollywood movie! I would never have predicted that!

So, what do we do? Give up? Decide it’s too difficult? Stick to what we have been doing for decades? No! We look to provide our children and young people with a toolkit, a survival rucksack for life, that will equip them with techniques and tools to give them confidence, help them to seize every opportunity, to enable them to find their passion that gives them that energy, excitement and motivation to be the very best versions of themselves, in any situation. Building their happiness, and consequently their selfesteem, around not how good, or right or clever they are, but how much they have learnt. That way failure need not be feared, new opportunities not missed and challenges always welcome.

Being honest with the young people in our care that life can be hard and it has its ups and downs, but life happens for you, not to you, it is a gift and we need to make sure that we live each day of our lives. And I mean really LIVE. We can choose to have ‘life ordinary’ or we can choose to have ‘life awesome.’ Knowing and understanding that all skills, traits and talents are malleable, ‘you can teach an old dog new tricks’ nothing is impossible. The power really is in each individual, through hard work, focus and understanding that the greatest success comes from our greatest failures, and ridding ourselves of our own limiting beliefs and the limiting beliefs that others put on us, helps us secure our goals and dreams.

Having the knowledge of how to change our state, whether something is making us angry, or upset, or worried or anxious, dipping your hand in that toolkit and choosing the techniques best suited to change how you are feeling and have a different focus and a new energy is simply life changing. We are providing children and young adults with tools that they will rely on and use for the rest of their lives. Having a positive outlook on life also comes from having a deep-down appreciation of our wonderful world. By taking time to have an attitude of gratitude each day can really shape an individual’s future. And, our hope is, that there will be a ripple effect, that they will then teach these techniques to others that they meet in their communities, to enable and empower each other, becoming the future coaches of our world, supporting each other through the ups and downs in their life journey.

Through this growth mindset and sense of success though our learning also comes finding happiness through serving others. We all know that when you smile the world smiles back, but a deep centered happiness comes from making others happy. Serving others, collaborating with others and understanding that sharing our skills and learning from each other can make our successes even more magnificent. If you ask any parent, from any part of the world, what do you want for your children in the future? It is always happiness! Teaching these fundamental skills, which weave through each section of the curriculum, will future proof their futures, providing them with the mind set edge and emotional parachute to jump right into success without fear!

Penny Ford