I Want To Succeed

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (July 27, 2013)


“I want to succeed!”


I recently started getting personal training sessions at the gym. I was recommended a lovely lady who’s a professional trainer and if the recommendations weren’t enough, seeing how she looks like a model after having 3 sons sealed the deal! She did the assessments and then came up with a workout plan that will help me work off all that I have accumulated from Christmas dinners, Chinese New Year feasts and the many buffets I’ve had. Aside from being a genuinely kind lady, I am most drawn to her because of her encouragement. Every time I do an exercise, she praises me for doing well. Despite my levels of unfitness, she always seems pleasantly surprised by what I can do. As I do exercise with her, I realised that I’m so motivated to do even better because I am made to believe I can. I want to do well. This experience made me think about children and how they learn which has led me to one conclusion:


All children want to succeed.


I truly believe that all children want to succeed but they might not know how. I don’t believe that children enjoy being told they’re not good enough, that they can’t do something or that they’re not as capable as someone else. I don’t believe that children like being nagged at or failing constantly. If they’re told negative things long enough, they are going to believe those things and soon live it out. If someone is told they can’t swim and will never be able to, soon enough they will believe it.


I believe that people want to succeed and can succeed but it also requires the environment and people around them to help them. Every time I see a child, no matter how ill behaved or rebellious, I remind myself that this child wants to succeed. If it doesn’t come across now, it’s believe he feels like he can’t so he’s acting in ways that shows his frustration. Given a choice between winning or doing well, I believe that children would choose that over losing and doing poorly.


But the question then is: how can I help my child succeed?


I think there are a couple of things we can do (that have worked for me!):


1) Break things down

If I were told I had to sky dive in 1 hour, my immediate reaction would be ‘I can’t do that!’ But if I were given time to mentally prepare, given training sessions about the equipment, what to do and how to do it, I would approach it with much more confidence. With all that children have to learn nowadays, some might feel like they are being told they need to skydive, mountain climb and fly a plane all in one day! When things get overwhelming, telling them that they can succeed probably won’t help them. Break down their task into smaller sections. For example, in learning to tie shoe laces, first learn to make ‘bunny ears’ with the laces, then learn to cross and knot. If tasks are divided into smaller chunks, it makes it easier to accomplish and master. They will want to succeed.


Give encouragement

In the process of trying, giving encouragement is so crucial. Praise the child for the effort and determination shown, not just for the successful end result. This ensures that he will use that same effort and determination for other tasks. I don’t think anyone dislikes encouragement so be generous!


See the best in them

It’s easy to forget that children want to succeed when they seem lazy, disengaged and rebellious but choose to believe that they want to succeed. Choose to see that they are gems waiting to be discovered to shine. Choose to see that they are full of potential. The way we see them determines the way we treat them.


All children want to succeed so let’s help them do just that!



#Perseverance #success #fail #win #lose #encouragement #appreciation #praise #confidence

「我要成功!」


最近我參加了健身中心的私人訓練課程,他們推薦了一位很和善的女教練給我,就憑她那生了三個兒子仍保持得像模特兒般的身段,不用多費唇舌,便決定了跟從她開展課程。她替我作了評估,根據我的狀況安排鍛煉計劃,減掉積累良久的聖誕節大餐、賀年食品和多頓自助餐。其實她除了真誠善良,最令我感動的還是她的鼓勵和支持。我每做一項運動,她都會讚我做得好;儘管我的體能差,但她好像總會為我做到的成績感到驚喜。我發現當我與她一起做運動時,便會有動力做得更好,因為她令我相信我做得到,更令我想做得好。這個經驗讓我想起孩子和他們的學習方法,得到一個結論:


所有孩子都想成功。


我確信每個孩子都想成功,只是他們可能不知道應該怎樣做而已。我不相信會有小朋友享受被人說他們不夠好,被人說他們做不到某些事情,或他們的能力不及某某高。我也不相信小朋友會喜歡被人嘮嘮叨叨和不斷經歷失敗。如果他們長時間被告知負面訊息,他們將會相信這些說話,然後很快便會「應驗」出來。正如有人被告知他們不能游泳,而且永遠都學不懂,很快他們便會相信自己真的不行。


我相信每個人都渴望成功,而且也能夠成功,但需要他們身處的環境和身邊的人幫助他們。無論孩子表現得有多頑皮或叛逆,我總會提醒自己「這個孩子渴望成功」 尽管我們目前看不出来,我相信原因就是他覺得自己做不到,並以這個方式表現其挫折感。在勝利及做得好與失敗及做得差之間選擇,我相信孩子都會選擇前者。


然後問題就是:我應該怎樣幫助孩子取得成功?


這裏有些我們可以做的事(對我很有效!):


1) 把事情拆開來做

假如有人要我在一小時後跳降落傘,我的即時反應必定是「我做不到!」但如果我有時間做心理準備,有時間上訓練課程來瞭解相關的設備、要做甚麼和怎樣做,我會跳得更有信心。今時今日的孩子要上無數的課程,有些孩子可能會覺得像一天之內做齊跳降傘、攀山和駕駛飛機般困難!當要做的事情過多,说他們不能夠成功不会有幫助。可以嘗試把他們的任務分拆成較小的部分來做,例如教他們綁鞋帶,先教他們用鞋帶做一雙「兔耳朵」,然後才教他們把鞋帶交疊和打結。假如任務被分成多個細小的區塊,孩子就能更容易掌握和完成。他们会想成功。


2) 給予鼓勵

在嘗試過程中給予的鼓勵舉足輕重,不應只在孩子成功做了某件事後才加以讚賞,其實當他們表現出努力和決心時便應給予鼓勵。這樣能確保他們在其他時候也會有同等的努力和決心把事情做好。我才不信會有人討厭被人鼓勵,所以大方點讚賞你的孩子吧!


3) 欣賞他們的特質

當孩子看起來很懶散、很反叛的時候,我們往往很容易便會忘記他們也想成功。時刻提醒自己他們是一顆顆正在等待被發掘的耀眼寶石,是充滿潛質的人兒。我們看待他們的方式,決定了我們對待他們的方式。


每個孩子都希望成功,讓我們一起幫他們達成心願吧!

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