Archives for Determination category
Posted on Jan 06, 2012 under Attitude, Believe, Challenges, Changes, Determination, Education, Examination, Hardwork, Information, Life, Mindset, Reflection, Taking action |
2012 has started and time surely moves swiftly as we move into the first weekend of the new year. How was your 2011? Has it been a great year where you have managed to fulfill all your 2011 resolution? Or has it been another year of more ‘it could have been’ and ‘if only.’ I certainly hope it was not the latter.
How about your results in your study? Did you get your desired results? I certainly hope so too. If you have not, fret not. It is not the end of the world. You might have lost a battle but you have not lost the war; just ensure that you do it better, not just any better but your very best. Give it all you have gotten and left no room for ‘it could have been’ and ‘if only.’ Life is too short for these.
One thing about study and in most things in life is that we can ‘think’ our way to good results or to get whatever we want morally. Bullshit! Yes, you are right in way, especially if we are talking about wishful thinking. Anyone can wishfully think himself/herself to good result and I can tell you right now that it will not happen. However, not everyone is willing to think to good result.
Thus, everyone can think to good result but not everyone is willing to do that. Most are just wishful thinking. You may ask me, “What do you mean by thinking to good result? Isn’t it the same as wishful thinking?” What I would like to clarify is that while you are thinking about getting good result, you are also thinking about how to get the good result and that will make all the differences.
And it is not enough to be thinking about getting good result. We will still have to take the final step – the very key step to getting there and that is to take massive action. Nothing will come through without massive action and this is the very different between thinking and wishful thinking. Without massive action, just thinking alone is just like wishful thinking.
Last night I asked two children if they are ready to change to change their results. Right now I have given you the key to getting good results. Are you gonna just hold on to the key and do nothing about it? Or are you gonna open the door to good result with that key. It is entirely up to you. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Are you insane?
Posted on Oct 19, 2011 under A Math, Believe, Challenges in Life, Determination, Education, Empowering Ourselves, Examination, Hardwork, Inspiration, Kids, Mindset, Reflection, SPM |
When I posted this in Facebook, I have a lot of comments saying, “Impossible,” “Bullshit!”
Frankly speaking, I was quite sad as I felt sorry for those who replied with the above and yet I sincerely hope that one day they will be exposed to such possibility and they will realise the potential that each and everyone of them has, which is waiting to be unleashed!
From a partner who shared, “I respect each opinion; each opinion is based on his/her individual ability to perform. Some people earn $10 an hour, while others earn $1000 an hour. When you tell those who earn $10 an hour that people can earn $1000 an hour, they will say it is impossible. But I respect them also because this is their opinions based on their ability.”
During the stone age, it would take about an hour to walk from Mines Resort to Jaya Jusco Cheras Selatan. It would have taken that long before the invention of the automobile and trust me on this as I had tried once before; walking from Mines Resort to Jaya Jusco Cheras Selatan. However, in the modern day, it will take barely about five minutes to reach Jusco from Mines. If we were to explain to a caveman that we could reach Jusco in five minutes, he/she would have said, “Impossible or bullshit” too. And we can’t blame him/her as his/her opinion is based on his/her ability.
Is there really any secret to learning Math? If there is, are you willing to not only find out what the secret is but also willing to work on it. I remember a quotation from Anthony Robbins that goes something like, “Knowing and not applying is yet to know.” If you find out about the secret of anything, be it Math or Science, but if you do not make use of the knowledge that you acquired, then what good would that make or what difference would you be compared to another who doesn’t know the secret.
Before letting you in on the secret to learning math, promise me that you will make good use of it or you may stop reading from this point onward. And also promise me that you will share this secret with anyone who is finding it a challenge to learn Math. Albert Einstein said it best when he said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” The key here is he stayed with his problems longer. There is something similar in what I have always shared with my kids, that I am not any smarter than them. The only reason why I am good in Math today is because of the past many years of experience accumulated from practicing. I did not particularly stayed longer with the problems like what Einstein did; I just did a lot of practice.
Malcolm Gladwell shared in his book Outliers about a video tape which Math Professor Alan Schoenfeld made of a woman named Renee as she was trying to solve a math problem. Renee was a nurse and wasn’t someone particularly interested in Mathematics. In the video, Renee was playing with a software program designed to teach algebra. And she was trying to figure out what numbers to enter in order to get the computer to draw a line that is absolutely vertical. She was trying to figure out the gradient for a vertical line. However, being someone who has not been a Math expert, she was finding it challenging to figure out the numbers.
When most students or people would have given up already, she stayed with the problem for twenty-two minutes before finally figuring out that a vertical line can be obtained by dividing any number by zero, which gives an undefined number and which means that the slope of a vertical line is undefined. I have seen students giving up attempt on Math questions in less than 2 minutes.
Most people would have thought that being good in Math is an innate ability; either you are good with Math or you’re not. But from the video made by Professor Schoenfeld, being good in Math could simply mean whether you are willing to try and stay with a problem for as long as twenty-two minutes. As Malcolm put it, “… it’s not so much ability as attitude.”
Quoting a paragraph from Outliers,
“Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.“
Thus the secret of learning Math is really nothing more than whether you are willing to work hard on it, which is what you have already been told umpteen times. However, have you already put it into practice?
Posted on Jun 22, 2011 under A Math, Attitude, Believe, Certificate, Challenges, Determination, Education, Examination, Inspiration, Math, PMR, Physics, Reflection, SPM, Science, Scoring A, Strategy, Taking action, Tips |
*Important note: Please note that this is a visualisation exercise for current students of visualising yourself getting the results that you want and working towards it.
What do you want to see in your PMR or SPM examination certificate? You may be asking me just what do I mean by asking you that question; it is not as if you can design your own certification. On the contrary, you have as much to say as you want to in your certificate. You can even ‘design’ the grades that you want to see on it; be it an ‘A’ for BM or an ‘A’ for Sejarah or an ‘A’ for Geografi or ‘A’ for both Math and Science. Or simply just straight ‘A’s for all subjects.
Stop reading at this very moment. Take out a piece of A4 size paper and start writing down all the subjects you are required to take for the PMR or SPM examination and create another column besides it and write down all the grades that you want in that column. Let me stress again – write down all the grades that you want to get in your examination. It is normal to doubt if you can really get all the grades that you want but just put it all down anyway. There is another more effective way to do it; find someone who has already gotten his/her PMR or SPM certificate, then make a photocopy of it and then erase the name on it and put down your own name. Then erase all the grades of that person and put down the grades that you want on that certificate.
After you are done, paste this certificate at a place where you can see very often and where your family can see it too so that they can remind you often. Do take this exercise very seriously as the moment you are doing this exercise, your grades are already changing.
Now that you are done with that simple exercise, let us talk about putting that ‘designed’ certification into reality. Putting that grades on your photocopied certificate is a way of wishing or hoping that you will really get all that grades. There is a different between just wishing and hoping for it to happen and working effortlessly towards it. If you are doing the topic of Probability in Form 5 A Math, you would know that the Probability of just wishing for the straight ‘A’s is as good as zero.
However, if you start building foundation to that wish of yours, you have a much higher chance of making it real just as Walt Disney built the foundation to his dream of Disneyland. And what do I mean by building the foundation to your wish? Simply put, I am talking about putting in the extra hard work and taking action in your study, especially in the subjects which you are not doing well now. Put in as much effort, if not more, as you had in your Dota, or Facebook game or anything which you are already doing very well in. When it comes to Mathematics, the hard work or effort is synonymous to practicing; do as much past year questions as you can.
If you are willing to put in this effort, you will surely see a big improvement in your results unless you are using the wrong strategy in solving. Change your strategy and you will be back on track. Wishing and hoping that you will really see all the ‘A’s that you want to in your PMR or SPM certificate in 2011.
Photo from http://roikinney.blogspot.com/2009/10/bad-and-good.html
Posted on Jun 17, 2011 under A Math, Attitude, Challenges, Determination, Education, Empowering Ourselves, Inspiration, Kids, Math, Perseverance, Reflection, SPM, Scoring A, Strategy, Study Habit, Tips |
Most of you would know where the picture on the right came from. Yes! It was my brother’s more than 20 years old Casio calculator but he had since passed it to me more than 20 years ago. This calculator had been through numerous examinations with me and have never failed me. Casio, are you still making good calculator like this anymore? Alright, I got digress! Back to my main point for this post!
Just the other day I was marking some A Math assignments in Trigonometry and Function by a student that I got quite pissed off; my blood was literally boiling. And for a very good why I should be pissed off: she has been giving me the same not careful mistakes again and again; it was (x – 3) in one moment and then when she copied it to the next part of the question, it became (x + 3) and everything was not right after that.
The very reason I was so pissed is because she knew exactly how to do the question. She followed the right strategy and steps in solving the Function question but she gave away marks to these kind of not careful mistakes. Trigonometry is a bigger challenge to her at this point but it will get better for sure with more practice. Right now she needs to take care of a few fundamental issues first which is crippling her progress in A Math. We will work together to take down these issues one by one. There is not much time to lose before she takes her Trial Examination follows by her SPM examinations at the end of the year.
On Wednesday while I was coaching her, we talked about her dream to study Aeronautical Engineering. I asked if she really has the passion in doing it. Depending on the fields of study which she will pursue in Aeronautical Engineering, whether she likes it or not, she will have to deal with higher Mathematics. In fact, in most engineering course, she will need to take higher mathematics. And thus it is important to build her foundation well now. I told her if Aeronautical Engineering is really her passion, then she will surely find all ways to break down all the challenges to get there.
She shared with me that she doesn’t hate A Math, it’s just that she can’t seem to understand it. I wasn’t surprising she couldn’t seem to understand it. In Mathematics, we not only have to understand the concept, we also have to practice; which is the thing she has not been doing yet. And being a kinesthetic person, who learn best by doing, then all the more she needs to practice. Just as a question I have always asked her, “How did you remember all the lyrics?” She told me she just sung them again and again and again. She responded that if only A Math was like singing. I said, “Why not? I am not stopping you. If you find that by singing it out you can remember, then by all mean sing it out!”
However, the more important thing is whether her passion lies in being an Aeronautical Engineer or is it just a fleeting thought. I told her to seriously think about what is her passion in or what she likes to do. We always share with the kids and their parents that the sooner they find their dreams and passions in life, the faster they will get there. It is thus very important for them to keep asking themselves what they want. And now a question to you, “What are your dreams or passions in life?”
Posted on Jun 13, 2011 under Attitude, Believe, Challenges, Dealing with Adversity, Determination, Education, Examination, Inspiration, Math, PMR, Perseverance, Reflection, SPM, Science, Scoring A |
Today marks the official school reopening for most of Malaysian’s students. Are all of you ready for the new semester and for the new challenges that will be coming up? I guess I would hear the loudest ‘NO.’ Yes, I do agree with all of you tha you’re not ready yet and who is? The fact is that we can never be readied. There would not be a next time when we are readied; the time is now! So embraced yourself for an exciting journey into the second semester of 2011.
School reopening also signifies ‘Judgement Day’ for most of you as you would be getting your results for the mid-year examination starting today. How did you do for your mid-year examination? Did you pass it with flying colours? I’m very sure some of you would be delighted with the results you are getting while others would be disappointed. Well done to all who had done well for your examination and for those who did badly or not so well, it is time to buck up; you might have lost this battle, but you have yet to lose the war!
Crazy as it may sound, it is still highly possible to reclaim your ‘As‘ in the final year examination. Who has the say to your result at the end of the day? Who is responsible for your result at the end of the day? Make a smart guess? I believe that most of you will agree that YOU and ONLY YOU can change the marks or grades that you are seeing in your report card. One of the most common answers I got for this was “It is impossible!”
Quoting something from Master Yoda in Star Wars, “This is why you failed!” Indeed, the question is not in the possibility because it is possible for most students to get good results. The questions are whether you want it or not and whether you are willing to work for it. How many of us have really put in extraordinary hard work in the things which we want to be better in? If we had and we are still not getting the results that we hoped for, then it could probably be a wrong method we were using. Otherwise, there would be no case where we had put in the hard work and we are not getting great result.
We are almost done with the PMR Power Revision for Math and Science. From what I observed of the student, he has a good understanding of Math. The key issue is in the lack of practice. Without practice, he does not see a broad varieties of questions for each topic. When a question is twisted a little, he wasn’t able to solve it. And he was always telling me that it is impossible to score ‘A’ for his Math and Science. He is right as he is ‘not willing’ or does not want it badly enough to put in the effort to practice.
Most of you have been taught the basic. The next thing to do is to put in a little effort to remember the basic. I know you do not like memorizing. Neither do I. How else can we remember something? Through practicing of course. When we do practice, especially for Math and Science, the basic and concept will eventually be ‘drilled’ into our head.
It is just the start of the new semester and it is highly possible for all of you to perform much better. The question I now ask you is, “Are you willing to work towards it?”
For learning strategies and tips to help you excel in examination, Call 016 773 9363 TODAY for a complimentary session for both parent and children.
The Man Who Thinks He Can
by Walter D. Wintle – Poems That Live Forever, comp. Hazel Felleman 1965
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
Some students may think that scoring A1 is difficult. In fact, it might not be as difficult as you think. In Advo, we emphasize greatly on mindset before you take your actions marching towards your destiny — A1.
Why is mindsetting very important? Because along the journey to your destiny you will face a lot of challenges. If you are not firm with your positive beliefs, you might fall down easily. If you are not strong with your passion, you will be hold down. If your mindset is not correct, you will tend to go to the wrong way. If you do not know where you want to go or what you are doing, you will lost in the way!
Therefore, be firm with your empowering beliefs. Be confident with your passion. Set your goals where you want to go. Even though you face challenges, you will not let it to pull you down. You know where you want to go. You will take whatever it takes to drive you to the direction that you want to go.
There are three little “brothers” inside your mind that will kill your results INSTANTLY. They are namely “complaining”, “justifying” and “blaming”. Let me introduce them one by one.
“Complaining” is the eldest brother. He always likes to give you a 1000′s of excuses that makes you feel better. When you fail the exam, he will tell you that it is not your fault. The questions are just too difficult that is out of your ability to answer. Therefore you don’t have to do anything. When you are not in the right mood to study he will tell you that let’s do something else. You are hungry, let’s go to eat. You are bored so let’s go to play. it is OK to do so as you still have months of prepartions for your O’level.
“Justifying” is the complement of “complaining”. He will further ”prove” to you what “complaining” says is true. You are suck in maths therefore it is not your fault to fail in difficult exams. Almost all students in your class fail the paper therefore it is completely fine for you to fail the paper as well. You need more fun before you can study. You need food so that you have higher energy. Usually what happen is you will spend a few hours to do all these and therefore your studying time is just wasted on doing on not important things. Studying is always not the most important thing to you as you never feel the urgency of prepartion towards your O’s.
Next is the little brother “blaming”. Blaming comes when you get something that you do not want. You blame your teachers are not good. You blame your tutors are not good. You blame you are given too little time to prepare. You blame you are given too little time to answer the questions. You even can blame your pens, your pencils or even the table and the chair that you are using not comfortable that makes you not getting your A1. Many things you can blame. Everything you blame, but never reflect back to yourself.
As what the proverb says, when you point your index finger on something, there are three fingers pointing back on you. Do not entertain these three borthers. The consequence of entertaining them are disastereous. They only have one purpose, that is to hold you back in getting your A’s by letting you to feel good and put you in your comfort zone.
Always think what you can do better. Any improvements that you can apply from your failed exams? What have you learnt from your mistakes? When similar situation are faced in the future, how can you act so that you wont repeat your mistakes?
Never compromise with your study time. Eating, playing and other not important things only do them after your study time. Study means study. There is no other reason you can skip it.
With these tips, you are 1 more step closer to the A1 category!
From Advo Singapore
Picture by twinkledee
“Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.” — James Buckham
I was reading Beyond Basketball: Coach K’s Keywords for Success on adversity, which Mike Krzyzewski mentioned that, “what separates good teams and individuals from great ones is the manner in which they handle adversity.”
I could not have agree more with that. Adversity provides an unique opportunity for one to grow, to discover about oneself and to breakthrough personal limits. In his book, Beyond Basketball, he mentioned that, “whenever I face adversity, I look at the problem and then beyond the problem. I look for the positive impact it will have on me, my team, or my family.”
I would never have understood that, not until two years ago when I was in Philippines and going through it myself.
I had stayed in the Philippines for almost one and a half year in 2003 – 2005 in Makati and in Davao City. I stayed in Davao City for about 8 months and I loved the city. I would say it has the best of both world. Being a city, it has many amenities and facilities that come with a city but at the same time, you will get to enjoy peaceful moment at night like in the countryside. Basically it is also a safe place to live in; I remember I was walking alone in the street 2, 3 a.m. in the morning and I did not feel threatened in anyway.
And what about this city that taught me to handle adversity? There was once I had to make a trip to a college which is about an hour or two away by taxi. I was pretty excited to be given an opportunity to present to a group of students. Throughout the journey to the college, I was going through the presentation in my mind and at the same time enjoying the scenic view on the way to the college.
When I reached the college, the students were already in the lecture hall waiting for me to start my presentation. Without any further delay, I set up my projector and the laptop. Within minutes, I was good to go. There was only one challenge; the laptop refused to power up or rather the hard disk had crashed. Basically, the laptop had chosen the ‘most appropriate time’ to break down and had it not broken down, I would not have had the opportunity to grow.
My presentation slide was in the laptop and even if I had a soft copy of the presentation slide, there were no other computers or laptops which I could use. And so I stood there for a moment facing the group of about 20-30 students and their eyes were all looking at me and waiting for me to start. What could I do? I had no choice, or rather I was already given a choice; the show must go on.
I saw a white board just besides me, I asked for a few white board markers and so the show began. At first I was worried as I did not know how I should do the presentation or what I should say; I had never done the same presentations on white board before. But within five minutes into the presentation, I found that everything started flowing naturally to my mind. In fact it was much better if I could say; the session was more interactive and engaging.
Since I didn’t need to follow the presentation slide, I allowed more questions from the student. Do you think the students enjoyed the session? I certainly believe they did.
What occurred that day was not only a learning experience for the students, but also a good learning experience for me. I remember a quotation that states, “Remember that challenges are not there to stop you. The challenges are there to help you grow.” Similarly, adversity provides us with opportunities not only to grow but also to breakthrough the limits that we set for ourselves. Adversity challenges us to change our own beliefs from ‘I don’t think it can be done,’ to ‘it can.’
Right now you could be going through adversities in your life, but remember adversity are there for a reason, to challenge you to challenge yourself.
Life Isn’t Always Easy
Life can be unfair at times
When you must maintain Faith
And Never Let Go.
It is especially during the difficult times
That you must live your life
To its fullest potential.
Those are the times to Triumph
With Hope and Courage.
Life isn’t always easy,
But if you keep Going and Persevere
To the very best of your Ability,
You will gain Strength to manage
The new Challenges ahead.
Each Goal that you reach
Is another important Step Forward.
Believe that there are
Bright and wonderful days
Ahead for you and you will find them.
- Mary A. Rothman
Photo by VinnyPrime