Carry on

Reading about Joseph Schooling’s (The Singapore swimmer who won the gold medal in the Olympics for swimming) background story towards stardom reminds me once again that success doesn’t come easy. You have to go through lots of debilitating obstacles before you reach the pinnacle. That’s how life is, was and will be. You can’t change it.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he is too stupid to learn anything.  And he made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.  Many athletes, actors/actresses or other famous people took years of training, hard work, blood, disappointment and money before they make that break in their pursuit of their dream – sometimes from as young as 3 years old.  Read about Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Socrates, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and many others and you’ll see the same story of failures before success.

Even millionaires and billionaires don’t become what they are now overnight. Read their stories and understand how they struggle in the beginning.

How do these people carry on their desires and determination through years and years of hard work?  Do they at one time give up? What makes them rekindle their desire?

Talent is not enough. Though nature may equip you with a talent, but if you don’t nurture it in your lifetime, it will not shine and it’ll go to waste. Or if you fail, you should not give up but instead carry on until you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Persisting is one of the 16 habits of mind (HOM) that we educators should strive to teach. Kids nowadays think that success can come easily or if they have the money, they can get whatever they want. They give up easily or they ask for help at the first instant of difficulty. Either they are just too lazy to think and try or they are just too pampered.

(16 Habits of mind) and powerpoint slides 16 Habits of Mind

We really have to teach our students and own kids to be persistent and persevering. We have to teach them to want to carry on despite hindrances, failures, afflictions and discouragements.

Without this desire to carry on, success would remain a dream, failure would become the norm of the day and life would become stagnant.


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