Those of you who read my earlier post would have realised by now that I’m not one who really fancies studying. One of the reasons for my disinterest really has got to do with the standards set my brother, really. After a few years of trying, and the with the lure of Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Command and Conquer, I eventually succumbed to the temptations of procrastination, recreation and procrastination. Things weren’t very rosy back then.
Yet, whatever I lacked academically, I’d excelled activitically (is there even such a word?!). Yet, through it all, my mom never stopped me from pursuing and exploring my interest and activities which she thought would do me good.
You see, as a Staff Sergeant with the school’s National Cadet Corps, I was given the unique task of training a group of 13-14 year olds who had become somewhat the stars of my school. Practically everyone who knew about the NCC had something to say about this unique group of young men. The trouble then was, none of it appeared to be about anything good! The school’s discipline masters were always on my back complaining about their lack of discipline, and they were written off by our Commanding Officer where their level of discipline and performance were concerned.
I’d wanted to change all that.
Reforming the group took lots of time, effort and much planning and strategizing. I saw my “men’s” potential, and I was determined to turn them around. I did, eventually, after a year’s worth of hard work. Although my grades weren’t exactly drastic, they were worse than spectacular. In fact, they were spectacularly worse than the year before!
Yet, my mother kept faith with my abilities, and allowed me to explore my interest and passion in training. Though I’d manage to salvage my grades at the end of secondary school, I reckon that the lessons learned and perspectives gained from my first real training experienced laid a foundation for who I am today.
I’d often asked Mom about why she’d allow me to do the things I did, when other parents would have probably banned me from doing what I did to force their kids back to studying. Her reply would always be “Well, just do. As long as it’s good for you”.
Her words gave me courage to embark on my first ever overseas trip (ALONE) to Hong Kong, and the courage to set up my own businesses, and the courage to embark on a path less taken by university undergraduates, to conduct training and speaking on stage.
I may really dislike studying (sometimes), but my love for learning really grew only because my mother gave me the room to explore and nurture my interests and strengths.
As a trainer I am blessed to be given the unique opportunity to mingle and network with students from all walks of life. Very often, I’ll be amazed by the talents, abilities and potential that some of them possess, either as speakers, actors, leaders or ___________ (you name it! Indeed, the images of hope and possibilities that comes to mind are a beautiful sight to behold!
Yet, despite the talents that each student holds, there often comes a time when I come across a student who seems to have the wings of his spirit clipped by disbelief and low self-esteem – simply because he/she is measuring him/herself by the yardsticks of society.
I came across this saying once: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.
I think every individual should be given the opportunity to explore his/her passion and interests, and be given the chance to develop it into his/her strengths. No doubt, I understand the risks involved should he/she decide to turn it into a career. I know the economic demands of the capitalistic society can be very cruel. Yet, everything is possible. With the proper training, you’ll never know when you might be able to discover the next Fandi Ahmad, Corrinne May and Steve Jobs.
I’m not saying that every kid’ll be able to do that. I’m saying, every one of us is special – and we’re blessed with a unique set of strengths that, when allow time and air to grow, has the potential to add something especially wonderful to a world that’s increasingly dominated the colours of black, white, and blue.
Indeed, the world may very well be a better place if we could just give a chance to nurture a kid’s talent(s). There’s really nothing to lose! Let them “Go forth and Explore”! But remember to tell them this:
“As long as it’s good for you!”
Mom’s Lesson #1 – Family First
Mom’s Lesson #2 – More than Just a Thought
Mom’s Lesson #3 – Discipline – Respect for your Elders
Mom’s Lesson #4 – Just a Little Bit More
Mom’s Lesson #5 – Don’t Give Up – Just Do Your Best
Mom’s Lesson #6 – Go Forth and Explore
Mom’s Lesson #7 – Love & Sacrifice