What we can learn in life from things that don’t go as planned – Alex Kuch

“We learn little from victory, much from defeat” ~ Japanese Proverb ~

First, of this write up is not to gain sympathy but to share my personal reflection and experience of what I have and am learning since I have been back from my trip from Switzerland in July and after finding out recently I wasn’t accepted for the Rotary Peace Fellowship.

This July I was accepted to attend to Global Changemakers Youth summit in Switzerland. When I first heard about the forum I was really nervous about applying as they always get 4 thousand applicants and only 60 people are chosen.

I first thought what chances do I have and is my story and work unique and important enough. However, thanks to the encouragement of a good friend and support from family and friends, I decided to apply.

In the process, I decided to focus on my unique story of adoption and my work and how I want to bring change on a global change.

When I found out that I was accepted I was so happy and I thought I would be really happy with myself when I went to Switzerland.

At the same time before going to Europe, I was nominated for the Rotary Peace Fellowship, which is for a fully funded master’s program, where I would be investigating children’s rights. I had my interview before flying from New Zealand. Which went really well, I had put a lot of effort into preparing. I was humbled to receive so much support from family, friends, and professionals working in international affairs.

My time at Global Changemakers was life changing I made friends for life, who at such a young age had achieved so much. The first-day hearing people at Global Changemaker, my thought was to do I deserve to be here and am I good enough?

I was also humbled to have several meetings with international organizations and high ranking people working in foreign affairs to talk about international adoptions in Geneva. This experience was so motivating for me, as I initially had only 3 meetings in Geneva and then ended up having 9 meetings in 2,5 days, thanks to so many last minute introductions. I had to look at the geneva hotels metropole because I thought I was going to stay even longer!

However, after arriving back in New Zealand I kept comparing myself to my new friends I had met in Switzerland and kept thinking I’m not good enough. This was even furthered when I found out not so long ago that, I didn’t make the final selection for the Rotary Peace Fellowship.

I felt so down, and kept thinking to myself, am I not good enough etc. I kept reflecting on what I could have done better.

However, reflecting on this experience and talking with family and friends I continue to learn that I’m good enough and that I should not worry about the things that are beyond my control but instead focus on the things I can change. This mindset is stoic, which essentially is to focus on the things that one has control of in life.

Looking back, summarizing, I learned these core lessons that I believe we all can apply to our life:

1. Each of us has a unique story and purpose in life.

2. That our self-worth is not based on achievements, external measures but instead on internal values.

3. That at times that seem like rejection we learn and grow the most.

4. That one should never give up on their dreams.

“ Remember, what you put in your mind, no one can take away”

~ The Choice: Judith Egar: Holocaust survivor and psychologist ~

About author

Romanian-NZ Adoptee, NZ Ambassador & Board of Directors


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