Saturday, 14 February 2004

"To climb Mount Everest, you first have to climb Bukit Timah"

.. so said Mr Khoo Swee Chiow at the motivational talk i was invited to attend today, organised by folks from Cybercare (local charity) for a group of teenagers from around Singapore (I, of course, wasn't there as a "teenager" even if I wanted to pretend to be one.. haha.. was there to learn how to motivate young people.. :))... of course he said quite a bit else but I don't seem to be able to remember much of it now.. must have been the late nights.. haha.. oh ya, he also shared

1. How to train the mind... (this was really cool!) .. his method:

- run 20 km at East Coast Park (he started by doing this, which he achieved without too much difficulty)
- run 20 km on a track (400m x 50 - this was a lot more difficult as i imagine, as a runner myself, it must have been pure drudgery compared to running from pt A to B)
- run 20 km on the spot (i.e. treadmill!! i can't even believe this can be done! he was basically teaching about how, when you have to run for such a long time (literary) "on-the-spot", you have no choice but to "focus your mind" and concentrate on just "putting one foot in front of the other", a skill which came in handy on his long treks to the North and South Poles)

2. The importance of teamwork (he used the analogy of how he had to stop to wait for his teammate to "dump" on the snow while they were all tied together by rope on the way up to Mt Everest. He even had a picture of it to demonstrate his point - got the kids laughing.. haha.. but it's quite apt i have to admit)

3. i didn't listen to this one properly.. but it was either (a) Courage = "daring to do what has never been done before/try something new"; or (b) Courage = "daring to do something even if no one else believes in it"

4. Some goals take more than one attempt to succeed, i.e. the message of Determination (this was related to his 2 attempts before he succeeded in reaching the North Pole, the first time failing because he suffered from frostbite after only 9 days into his expedition)

i was quite impressed by how he managed to simplify his message to get it across to these 15, 16 year-olds..

i admit i was rather sceptical of him at first as well, particularly because of all the media hype that surrounds him everytime he embarks on yet another one of his new "adventures".. but after seeing how inspired the kids were at his talk today, i had a new impression of him.. he is at least someone who has given to others part of what he has been blessed with, proving himself to be much more useful to society than probably many of his critics..

see a pic of him on the mountains.

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