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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Slow and steady wins the race

Whenever I left my relatives after visiting them during my holidays, they would give me a parting advice - study hard. One of the best advices regarding schoolwork that I can still recollect today was dished out by an uncle. He told the children, including myself, that form four is not a honeymoon year. You see, in the Malaysia school education system, the students will have to sit for the national school examinations in form three, as well as forms five and six. So I followed the advice.

Actually the syllables in lower form were very different from upper form, and I think many of my classmates took the new challenges ahead for granted. Like the hare in Aesop's fable, I think they thought they were ahead in the race and continued celebrating their success after the exams. However, the pace in form four picked up pretty quickly and I think gradually they slipped away and lost the race. Well, at least this was my perception. They would probably disagree.

Later on, I hear people saying not only do you work hard, you must also work smart. This is also true. Sometimes when you don't have enough resources, you have to figure out creative ways to accomplish your task.


Still, I think in life, there is no substitute for hard work. The worse thing you can do to yourself is to fool yourself into thinking that you are too smart to need to put in efforts to achieve your goals. You see, the learning process is not a straight line. It is like a series of steps. It takes an incredible effort to climb up the step and you only get to rest after you have got over the edge. And once you are there, you will have gained valuable experience and knowledge that is etched into your memory forever.

I know a good friend who admitted his lack of knowledge and experience in his field of work. He overcame this shortcoming by working hard and became better in what he did day by day. I also know some friend who picked up badminton pretty late in their lives but they work diligently on improving their game, and were winning medals in tournaments. So, the moral of the story is slow and steady wins the race.