[To Get Ahead] Topic 1: The key is to self-believe

Wednesday, May 31, 2017



Since I have about 2 months before I started working, I've decided to begin a series of posts entitled 'To Get Ahead' which you will find a stream of ideas on self development. I encourage opinions and discussions so if you any comments at all, let me know!



I think for a lot of people, the word 'opportunist' carries a negative connotation. People who are opportunistic are seen as selfish, unkind and greedy. The first picture that might pop up in our head is this manipulative person who speaks and befriended others only for the sole purpose of accomplishing a higher self-driven agenda that profits the one and only - them-self.


'Opportunity' on the other-hand seems to bring a brighter and more positive aura. It is the word of educator, social advocates, and politician among other groups of people translating hope to targeted audiences. We see 'opportunity' as an entrance to a path for a better future and growth.

Areas where these words are relevant cross many chapters in our lives not only for our careers and studies. Opportunities are there for example when we found a discount for that favourite coffee machine we always wanted or we saw an empty parking space in a busy parking lot on Saturday afternoon or when our flatmate was away for work and we had the whole space for ourselves to do whatever we want in this life! - OK I might exaggerate that a bit but you get my point.

Finding an opportunity to get ahead is something almost everyone has to do to survive. Maybe we do not notice it but every single person from the day they were born to the day their heart stops beating, choices that they make in life will lead them to a different path every single time. These choices are what I see as opportunities.

The best decision that I have ever made in my life is when I decided to believe in myself that I too can be as good as any of my friends if not better (i.e. on education/career). This actually brings me to my first point on why some people fail to get the right opportunity - because they fail to see that they can achieve what they have aspired to become. Self-belief is an incredible intrinsic power that is independent of any external elements in this world. It can neither be transferred nor acquired. It is a power that can only exist when a person decided to create this special energy from within.

Yes, one could argue a supportive environment encourages self-belief and therefore it isn't right for me to claim it being independent. If we are to accept this fact, those in unsupported environment will never be able to self-actualise and discover their full potential. Yet again people do, hence my point isn't entirely inaccurate. 

We don't need to have power, money, intelligence and strength as prerequisites in believing. Being the best student in class and getting A+'s in all of your subjects in school will give you some advantages and open doors but they shouldn't be the sole aim when learning. They are just a black and white of your academic capabilities. It doesn't necessarily show your talent or reflect your passion and skills which in real life what actually matters. Therefore, don't feel you need to have clean records to start believing. There are so many parts of us that the world is waiting to see.

I might have mentioned this story to some of my friends. It is  my own personal experience as to how I started creating this energy of self belief. An energy that has impacted my journey in life until today. In high school I studied in a classroom full of competitive and incredibly talented group of students - the so call crème de la crème of the country. One afternoon after school ended, I broke down crying in my room when I was by myself because I couldn't cope with learning and the high-pressure environment. I was still quite young and lived far away from my family just as the rest of my friends who I am sure some of them had gone through some difficult times as I was. 

At that moment I told myself I could either give up and change school, or I could just push myself to work harder. I didn't do both. I just sat there, took some quiet time and had a monologue with myself. 

In that monologue, I said it doesn't matter what will happen to me, whether I will come out from this school with good grades or not. It doesn't matter what other people think about me whether I am going to be good enough or not. There will always be someone out there who will better, faster, smarter and stronger than I am. I can't live my life to keep up with what other people think of me. What matter the most is what I think about myself. I know that I can be the best version of myself and I know I am going to make it.

That is the powerful moment when I realise we are all have our own strength and it only takes one moment to acknowledge it.





Never underestimate yourself and always expand what I would call as 'the ring of my biggest problem' - I think I might need to give it a shorter name. One's biggest problem relies on their current circumstances. A fisherman's biggest concern is making a good catch during the monsoon season, A doctor's biggest concern is ensuring his patient is not deteriorating due to complications, A prime minister biggest concern is perhaps when the national security is threaten, and etc. The highlight here isn't what they do but it is the level of accountability and responsibility they have.

A doctor can also think about issues on national security or figuring how to handle a fishing net but they wouldn't be in that position to actually be involved and make an impact. Same goes to the others. If we are serious about getting ahead, we need to push that ring of accountability more and trust ourselves to jump into it. By expanding that borders of accountability, indirectly we are slowly creating a path for ourselves to get ahead. If not we might be oblivious to the fact that our biggest problem is probably not as big as we think. 

You know, the first time I step my foot in the United Kingdom to pursue my interest in Medicine, I felt like nothing can ever stop me and I can achieve anything that I set out to achieve. It boosted my level of self-belief to a completely new horizon. Other people didn't see it or didn't really care about it. I also know stepping my foot in the UK was nothing more than my body physically being in a different geography of the world, but it was that level of conviction that I had for myself that meant so much to me, it gave me hope to believe in something greater. This is one of those moments when self-belief initiates positive feedback mechanism in opening up more opportunities.

I am going to continue writing this series of "To Get Ahead" and hopefully by the end of it, I am able to share my ideas with my readers in the most constructive and beneficial way possible. Stay tune for next and hopefully it will be more sensible as we go along!

Topic 2: Dreaming will only take you so far 

What I am writing are opinions of my own. Please do take some of my bold statements with some pinch of salt.

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