Saturday, 31 March 2012

Street Fighter and Street Smart


I understand why top students - the A+ types - learn physics and calculus. I get why they study classic literature and the details of history. The kids in this brainy group are the future professors, scientists, and engineers who will propel civilization forward.

But why do we make the B students sit through these same classes? That's like trying to teach a walrus to tap dance. It's a complete waste of time and money. And most students fall into that middle category. I assume this ridiculous educational system is a legacy from a day when generic mental training was good enough for just about any job.

In our modern world, would it make more sense to teach B students something useful, such as entrepreneurship? 

Unfortunately, our culture continues to place highly on a college degree. Parents and teachers can seldom imagine other possibilities, especially for the intelligent. Employers lazily use college degrees as a cheap way of screening job candidates. Socially, people who don’t go to college are often regarded as weirdos.
I think it's a bad idea to evaluate our school system based on international test score comparisons. While it's important that our top students are as good as top students everywhere, our biggest untapped resource is our B students. Maybe we should start teaching them useful skills.

Simply put, school isn’t for everyone. Although there tends to be a stigma attached to being a high-school or college dropout, a number of well-known and highly successful men began their careers by taking a calculated risk and dropping out of school

Richard Branson is worth $2.8 billion and that’s not too shabby for a guy who didn’t even finish high school.

Branson suffered from dyslexia and had a hard time with educational institutions. What he lacked in schooling, however, he made up in curiosity and entrepreneurship– when he was 15, he had started two business ventures: growing Christmas trees

Branson dropped out at the age of 16 to start a youth-culture magazine called Student. Later Branson opened a small record store in London called Virgin which lead to recording label. 

Now Virgin became a veritable giant (branching out into things like airways, telecommunication and so forth) and Branson was knighted in 1999 for services to entrepreneurship.

More education doesn’t mean you’ll be more successful. It’s all about your drive. Your passion in life and sticking to it.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Carpe Diem


Life is a journey. And we mark the milestones in our own way. Some are good at keeping diaries and scrapbooks, but I believe most of us just store these moments into our memory banks.

For most of us, final SPM paper we took marked the end of secondary school education and it marked a turning point in our lives where we moved from studying together to embarking upon vastly different pathways. It marks the beginning of numerous decisions that we have to make and includes getting a lot of advice from school counselors, worried parents and knowledgeable seniors, counsel from helpful relatives, visits to campus open day sessions, mountainous stacks of college brochures and reading the education sections in local newspapers and websites trying to figure out what to do in the next phase of life.

Every year, without fail, each time the public examination results are announced, there will be the usual stories about the top achievers.

But if we look at things in the proper perspective, the life of a budding teenager, or a young adult, is not determined at this point, whatever the examination results.

Statistically speaking, super-duper achievers are very much in the minority and many people do bloom and reach their full potential much later on in life for example like me which my SPM result is not that good.

So, my encouragement to you is don’t worry. Try different routes. It took me many years to find my passion but when I did, I never looked back. But looking back, I would not change my past. Each experience I had, good or bad, helped me learn about myself and developed me. And all these experiences helped me find out what I didn’t want to do and what I was truly passionate about. So, my take is, enjoy life after SPM. Don’t fret. But keep exploring and keep experiencing and you will surely find your passion in life

And so, today, I wish all students who have just collected the SPM results, by all means rejoice in your distinctions, but do not despair over your credits and passes.

Life is a journey, and the SPM is just a little stop along the way for you to pause and reflect, and to move on.

As we stood for the recessional, Gaudeamus Igiture (Let Us Rejoice), I silently wished all the student well and prayed they would not compromise their values in their pursuit of success.

Note:- I am not intelligent (based on my SPM Result) so I have to work "smart"

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Innocent moves


The enigma of the origins of chess has puzzled historians for decades. Some claim that the chess game elements branched from different sources, which evolved and transformed into modern chess.

Many countries claim to have invented the chess game in some incipient form. The most commonly held belief is that chess originated in India, where it was called Chaturanga, which appears to have been invented in the 6th century AD. Although this is commonly believed, it is thought that Persians created a more modern version of the game after the Indians. In fact, the oldest known chess pieces have been found in excavations of ancient Persian territories.

Now I want to compare life as if it would be a game of chess. I think of it as I am representing the white and black is what I have to overcome in order to reach my life goals. My life goals is to be happy, reaching success as a writer, have many nice friends, getting a good girlfriend, raising successful children, being healthy, having financial freedom and helping other people to become successful.

I think it is important to understand that it is you who control the pawns, how they move and what happens to them rather than thinking that you are the pawns and they are controlled by God, your genes, patter in society, just random or any other such idea. Personally I believe that if you can establish the thinking that you are responsible for anything that happens in your life or did not happen which you wanted to happen then you have come far on your way.

The black pawns is every kind of obstacle or problem coming or standing in your way in reaching your goals and the game is if you can reach your goals despite any and all reasons. I believe you can, within reason.

In chess you predict what your opponent is going to do and each and every move has a consequence and meaning in the overall game. The same is in life. If you can predict what will happen in the future when you do certain actions and how your actions affect everything else I believe you are good on your way.

Did you ever play chess and stood up and walked around and saw the game from black’s side? Try to do the same in life. See life from other viewpoints and angles. Try the unknown, test things, learn, discover.

Probably the biggest difference between a game of chess and life is that in chess you know all the rules on how everything works. This is not so in life. In life you start as a child without a manual on how to live. Your parents and school will learn you a lot but most of the things you have to learn yourself. And many things are not easy. It is expected that you get good grades in school, find a good place to live, a job you like, a good wife or husband and successful children. This is not easy and some things can be very hard.

Perhaps you have seen the famous quote that says that your enemy is your greatest teacher? Well, in my example, I like to see it as the black pawns is what you learn from. Study how they move and what they do. See every setback as a new opportunity.

No matter how much you learn there is more you can learn. Never ever assume you know all about something. When I was a kid I read in an excellent article that an important point in becoming a genius is to learn something new each day. Focus on the things that will make you win over black and reach your goals in life.

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas A. Edison


Note:- Write this due to my chess loss last week.