March 29th, 2011

Fulfil your heart's desire

 I CONGRATULATE Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia top scorers. For those who studied hard but did not get the grades they wanted, please do not give up hope. It is not the end of the world.

You have many good years in front of you. You can try again or choose to study something you are passionate about.

There are many ways to climb a mountain. If the willingness is there, the difficulties cannot be that great. You will get what you want if you are willing to pay the price. If you can dream about achieving it, it lies within your power to make it come true. So, never, never give up.

To those who do not know what to do with their excellent results, I would like to share my experience with you. Choose your career choice carefully because one wrong move will take you years to correct.

A top scorer from SMK Methodist ACS said that he was torn between his passion and putting to good use his excellent results of 10As. He wanted to be a famous artist and set up his own company but, at the same time, he wanted to be a scientist.

What exactly is your ambition, may I ask? You can be a scientist and an artist at the same time. But the question you have to answer is what you are passionate about.

I have read stories about people who forgo their ambitions and suffer throughout their life. They regret their decision for choosing a field they had no interest in.

Chef Wan was an accountant but his passion was in cooking and making delicious food. He is now a successful entrepreneur.

My advice is never to give up your ambition. Do something you really love. Earning a lot of money in a career you hate is no blessing. Yes, you may be rewarded materially but, spiritually, you are a poor man.

Follow your heart and I can assure you that you will have a great life. I wish I had followed my instinct but I did not. It showed early in my life that I was good at writing and speaking, but I ignored these gifts. How I wish I could turn back the clock!

Now at 55, I am doing what I really love -- writing something every day and sharing my knowledge and experience with anybody who wants to listen to my story.

Last but not least, please take your time. Do not rush yourself in making important decisions. Remember, it is your life.

You choose the way you want to live your life. Choose your own dreams and work hard and smart to achieve them.

2011/03/29 AHMAD NASIR MOHAMAD, Alor Star, Kedah

Source: SPM: Fulfil your heart's desire

Ray of hope

 I WRITE to express my support for the letter "Support and advise those who didn't do well" by Hayati Nordin (NST, March 25).

The letter asks all parents and family members to show understanding and sympathy to those candidates who didn't fare well in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. That call deserves our attention and support.

Education is the process of nurturing and realising the human potential -- intellectually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.

There is no doubt Malaysia has one of Asia's top education and schooling systems. However, the current system is too examination and result-oriented, with too much focus on academic achievements.

Many also lack life-coping abilities and often suffer in silence when faced with difficulties. At the end of the day, many are physically exhausted and mentally drained.

The materialistic nature and high expectations of society are making our young people desperate and finding it hard to cope, resulting in great mental stress.

As a result, some of them have turned to crime to get away from reality and, more tragically, some have even committed suicide.

It is time for the Education Ministry to incorporate a more open, humane and holistic approach into our education system.

Thomas Alva Edison, Helen Keller and Nelson Mandela are examples of great personalities who give the not-so-academically brilliant students a ray of hope and the motivation to shine.

These three great people shared the same qualities. They never gave up despite the obstacles, they kept fighting till the end and became the best they could be. That is the formula for their success.

2011/03/29 DAVID TIH, Malacca

Source: SPM: Ray of hope