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World Mag > WM Winter 2020 Dear to Create > How do you define a successful life?

How do you define a successful life?

Your cloud of thoughts gathering over this question will be shaped by your origins, your personality and life experiences.

Peter Welch - AISB Director
Peter Welch - AISB Director
  • I want to earn money, respect and status.
  • My purpose is to faithfully serve my god or gods to the best of my ability. 
  • All I have to do is to survive and pass on my genes. Job done. Pass the test tube, please. 
  • I want to create beautiful or significant art, music or writing, which can affect others. You’re blocking my light, by the way. 
  • I want to love deeply, travel widely, jump off cliffs into the sea, eat everything and cram in as many exciting experiences into my short time on earth as possible.
  • I want to seek to understand myself and other people and find out what life is all about. 
  • It is enough to leave the world a better place than when I found it. 
  • It is my duty to support and honour my family and my community and serve the next generation. 
  • I have no purpose. Nor do you. Life is meaningless. We’re drifting alone in a godless universe, etc. 
  • No idea, mate. Don't ask

At AISB, in the first half of this year, I have been engaging all parts of our community in a conversation about the future of our school. It has been fascinating to listen to the multiple perspectives that co-exist in our diverse school. If we think of schools as places that prepare us for living, then our idea of the perfect school arises from what we think a successful life is. 

A common thread through all these community conversations has been that in a fast-changing world, schools need to be places that actively teach personal values and ethics. We must create time and opportunities for our students to reflect on their own value systems and intentionally nurture young people that can navigate cross-cultural currents successfully. Many parents were united in believing that success in life must be measured by self-worth not just net-worth. 

In our Alumni Association breakfast event, our former students offered many interesting insights into how an AISB education had equipped them to be successful. 

There was a consensus that the rigours and experience of the IB diploma had given them study skills and independence of mind to thrive at university. They had a sense of being further on than their peers in the first year of university. Even so, they were keen to point out that the world of work is increasingly competitive and demanding. AISB should be teaching our students resilience and grit balanced with optimism. We should challenge any culture of entitlement within our student body and not let the school be a privileged bubble. 

In the new year, we will consolidate all this future planning feedback and share a summary with our community. Then we craft the vision for the future of AISB, build our strategy to support this ambition and develop measures of success. We live in interesting times! 


Peter Welch 




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