Using Toothpicks to build a Foundation

CastleI just read in the chinese papers today about our nation’s junior athlete write in. She wrote about how our nation loves to invest in our athletes only a few months before an important sporting event and not from the very beginning. Our nation often boasts about our ability to hosts international events and how we want to be a sporting hub and the best in the region. But when we look deeper at the nation’s culture, there isn’t a single incentive to pursue a sporting career here. How are we going to be the  “best” when none of us locals have the incentive to best ourselves.

Basically, every one’s about grades here. The government, the industries, the civil services and of course the education system. No one cares if you are a top class athlete. Being a top class athlete does not guarantee you a job, not to mention a place in our local universities. You still need the grades.

With this culture in mind, which parent would logically invest money and their child’s time in to training for the sport?

When a big event is coming up and participating in it would bring a hope for fame and prestige, we would then actively encourage our children to train up. Well sad to say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can’t run like Usain Bolt by training for months. It takes a lot of foundation building to get there.

Now let’s bring this into our lives. How much preparation do we put into the things we do? Some of us prepare for our presentations the night before, rehearsing infront of a mirror. Some of us prepare for our exams by studying a few weeks before the exams. Most of us have dreams but we do nothing to build it up.

It is good to have dreams and goals to achieve. Just as in the story of the 3 brick layers, when a man walked by the first two brick layers, he noticed that they stopped working after a while because they said they were just laying bricks, where as the last brick layer kept going on and on because he said he was building a cathedral. Yes it is good to want to build a cathedral, but then your cathedral has to start with a brick as well.

For some of us, even me, we sometimes overestimate our abilities to perform and believe to much in ourselves. We would leave the hard and tiring stuff to the last and try and rush them through when we should have and could have started working on them from the start. It’s just like people who are chronically late. They always believe that they would be on time and fail to put into calculation road conditions, leeway for Murphy’s laws etc etc.

With every thing you do, please make sure you start it with a solid knowledge of what you want and how to do it. Don’t overestimate your abilities even if you are fully confident of them. Remember Murhpy’s laws.  Then build up your foundations steadily and do not attempt to leave things to the last minute. The guy who built castles in the air tend to see his castles crumble when the winds blew by.


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