John McGrath and the ‘Big-Picture’

28 Jun 2019

John McGrath and the ‘Big-Picture’

We’re often oblivious to this overall ‘big-picture’, however this is understandable as the daunting bombardment of school activities and commitments can cloud our perspective. We never truly acknowledge what lies ahead and the aspects of life that go beyond the HSC or IB. We are on this perpetual academic treadmill that doesn’t ensure our success just increases its likelihood in the future. So how do we see this proclaimed ‘big picture’? Although different for everyone, I think it’s as easy as opening your eyes.

So how does John McGrath, one of the most successful entrepreneur in real estate across the east coast, fit in with all this? Well, he attended one of our various Q&A sessions on the 26/6/19 to bring students his thoughtful insight about the ‘other side’ and even forced us to take a step back just to broaden our perspective little by little. McGrath did this through his own engaging life story, from an aspiring professional football player into a real estate profession. This was not one of the usual motivational talks, there was no sugar-coating, this was his authentic experience of the real world.

Much like us, he had mentally set out his own future “A professional football player that will make the Australian team”. This was the direction he was heading after leaving school, however, this was abruptly shattered over a weekend due to a collapsed lung. This was the turning point. Could our hopes of being a Hollywood actor, a leading surgeon or a CEO of the top law firm, be just a fantasy conjured by our teenage spirit? This was the real world, no matter how we prepare through academics and training, there is no certainty. This is the despair that the real world brings.

Yet, with despair we are enraged with a fighting spirit to escape this void. This is exactly how McGrath felt, “if I couldn’t be the best football player, then I’ll be the best salesperson”. By getting knocked down, he got right back up and landed the unexpected left hook. This was his message. The ‘big-picture’ is never what you want or expect, but you never disregard it, you build from it. McGrath has used his ability as an amazing speaker to calibrate his message to each of our individual interpretation.

Finally, I want to note the efforts of the Economics Q&A club. As we progress further into the year, the Q&A only gets better. Big names are now popping up for next term: Reserve Bank Governor Philip Low and Barry Jones Quiz Champion from BP picket box.

Bill Tran (12St)