Below is a transcript of my speech at Jerudong International School (JIS). It outlines an intimate part of my childhood. One that most people would not openly brag about, but what’s the point of holding back, if telling the story can help even one person.
This is a talk that I wish someone had told me when I was in high school. I hope it makes a difference to those who think they are not good enough.
Part 1. Finding Passion
There are 3 reasons why you attend my talk today.
1. You are curious about Marketing
2. You are clueless about your Future
3. You wonder who the loser is!
When Ann Lord asked me to write a short description about myself to ‘promote’ my up coming career talk; I thought I’d be as honest as possible about my experience. So that I could connect with the students who were like me, when I was your age – Often Clueless, Mostly Hopeless.
This was what I wrote:
- At Form 2, Shaun cried all night after receiving his report card, he got the last position in class.
- At Year 1 of University, Shaun’s dad wanted him to study Accounting, to follow his rich uncle’s footstep. Shaun failed most of the units, but stepped into a fascinating Marketing Lecture. The rest was history.
(Correction – I failed most of the Units in Year 2 when the curriculum shift focus to everything Accounting. You learn general business units in Year 1)
When I was little, I could never connect with the studies at school. Nothing seemed to interest me. That, or there were too many distractions; the girls, basketball and of course, Super Mario 2.
My objective today is crystal clear: To do what my Marketing Lecturer KY Lee did, in delivering a lecture that changed my life forever.
Of course, my Marketing lecturer would never know the profound impact he had on me. Similarly, I would never know what impact the talk will have on you, until perhaps one day when Siena returns home from school and tell me the story she heard at the career talk from the guy or the gal who used to study in JIS.
No, I couldn’t remember what KY said in the first Marketing Lecture, but I remember he was extremely lively, funny and for the very first time in class, what the lecturer said actually made sense to me.
Perhaps it’s my upbringing with mum and dad being a business person, perhaps it was my love for TV ads since young, or perhaps Marketing is actually an easy subject to comprehend, it connected. Even today, I often find it difficult to explain how I knew Marketing was going to be a long term career for me. I just knew.
Finding Passion is a little like falling in love; you would not quite have the answer even if you dissect the heart into pieces. You just know.
So, what is the key to finding your passion?
To me, it’s simply: Goosebumps!
That, or you could find a better answer on Derek Siver’s blog about passion here.
Today, I am living the dream of my life. I am running my own marketing company, making change happen and earning a decent income for doing what I love. On top of that, I am also married to the love of my life, Deon, who gave me the best gift ever: our beautiful baby, Siena.
I firmly believe none of these would ever have happened, if mum & dad had not grind through the hefty few years of supporting me for further education abroad. (Remember, I sucked at school – Big Time!)
When I was oversea, I often felt guilty, as many of my classmates who were way more intelligent than I stayed behind, and settled into a mediocre job, earning an average income, living a mundane lifestyle.
I do not exactly know when I found the new perspective to remedy my guilt, but it gave me a renew sense of purpose throughout my study career and later on in life. I learned one day that the way forward was not to feel guilty about my situation, but to understand the God-given Privilege and use it wisely for good.
That point on, I promised to work hard and live well, I promised to ‘do it’ for my classmates. I believe I owed the Privilege to everyone of friends who stayed behind.
The ability to study in JIS, one of the most elite institution in the region if not the world, is too, a Privilege.
Do not feel guilty. Enjoy what you have. Make full use of the opportunities to learn and to develop. Above all, when you step into the society, I wish you all the Success in the world. But do not ever forget to pursue Significance. Do something to make a difference to those less fortunate than you. Do it for Rosmita, do it for Lonnie and do it for Yooram!