Finding motivation. It only takes a spark.

Recently, my school held a beyond classroom learning program in school (LOL!) whereby they hired Adam Khoo Learning Technologies to come and motivate the secondary 3 students for their O’level examinations next year.

According to his website, “Adam Khoo is an award-winning Singaporean entrepreneur, best-selling author and peak performance trainer. A self-made millionaire by the age of 26, he started and runs several businesses in education, training, learning centres, pre-school education, fund management and advertising, all with a combined annual turnover of $50 million. He is the Executive Chairman and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd and a director of seven other private companies. Adam is also a member of the Singapore Chapter of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).”

As form teacher of my class, I need to sit in the talk to take care of my students. Initially I thought it’s going to be a boring talk but I can’t help but to listen to the trainer as I try to mark my students’ holiday homework. It was a very enrichning talk. The trainer shared many things and there’s one that stuck out.

The trainer explained, what is motivation all about? It is basically turning your CANNOTS to CAN. And then from something you think you CAN do, you turn it into something you MUST do.

Cannot to Can!

It reminded me of the motivation module I went through in NIE as I was training as a teacher. When people aren’t motivated to do something, it’s usually due to a belief about themselves. “Im too __________. It can’t be done.” This then cause them to have a low expectation of themselves, which causes them to put little effort into the task. Then due to the lack of effort, the individual inevitably fails…This then reinforces the belief.

In order to break this cycle, one has to start by first believing in themselves. There are many ways to do it and one of it is to allow oneself to experience success. This is easier said than done but if done right, it can help dispel a lot of beliefs about ourselves.

When Daniel and I first started running, he never believed that he would be able to complete 5km. However, he just required that one time to prove himself wrong to kick start a cycle of transformation. From “I don’t think I CAN finish 5km” to “I CAN finish 7km!” It’s a big change in belief!

Leave no options! CAN to MUST!

There is a famous story about how a Chinese general Xiang Yu took extreme measures to get his troops ‘motivated’ to slay the enemy.

In 207 BC, Xiang Yu’s army advanced towards Julu and he sent Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo to lead the 20,000 strong vanguard army to cross the river and attack the Qin forces led by Zhang Han, while he followed behind with the remaining majority of the troops. After crossing the river, Xiang Yu ordered his men to sink their boats and destroy all but three days worth of rations, in order to force his men to choose between prevailing against overwhelming odds within three days or die trapped before the walls of the city with no supplies or any hope of escape. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Xiang Yu’s army scored a great victory after nine engagements, defeating the 300,000 strong Qin army.

When we leave options for retreat, chances are we are never gonna give our best. And sometimes, what makes someone successful is the difference in attitude towards the things that needs to be done. If you are trying to lose weight, is exercising and dieting a MUST to you or are you constantly giving yourself excuses and options to cheat? Needless say, it is the one who does what needs to be done who will succeed and the one who cheat never will. And as master Yoda once said,

as such, leave no path of retreat for yourself. Force yourself to stick to whatever you’re doing. You will see results!

All in the mind

Perhaps having said all these, whether we succeed or fail, it is all in the mind. Don’t give up folks!

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