I was recently reading about ‘Ganbatte’, the Japanese philosophy based on the concept of never giving up no matter how hard the challenges might be.

The philosophy sees exposure to the concept through different avenues, which for children may include completing homework, stumbling in sporting challenges, managing social interactions and trying new experiences. It is also used as a form of support, encouraging others to do their best with what they have and drawing on their toolkit of strengths in times of challenge.

Many aspects of life are beyond our control, and how we deal with setbacks and difficulties is as much of a choice as how we approach everyday tasks. Tenacity and resilience enable difficulties to become easier and the insight to separate the ‘difficult’ from the ‘impossible’. A Ganbatte approach empowers us to learn from our mistakes, cultivate patience, work mindfully and with thoughtfulness, and continually improve our responses to challenges. It reminds us that a slow route can be as effective, if not more so, than a quick fix approach.

It is fantastic to see the successes of TKS students that have embodied the Ganbatte philosophy over the last week. The secondary school students excelled at the Championship Swimming Carnival at MSAC on Monday, encouraging each other to do their best and claiming line honours in numerous events.

In less obvious manners, students have juggled school commitments with extra-curricular activities, managed time constraints and assessment deadlines, and overcome less than good health yet still achieving personal success, growth and development through focus and effort. While their achievements may not be as evident as other, they are no less notable or commendable. Each student has determined their best with what they have available to them.

The philosophy of Ganbatte can also be extended to our well-being. Wellbeing is not something that we just ‘have’ or magically acquire; we need to be intentional about our daily actions, our daily habits and our self talk. We should take the time to reflect on who or what gives us happiness and how we can give happiness to others.

How will you engage the philosophy of Ganbatte this weekend?

Toni-Ann Bright
Head of Middle School