Monday, 23 November 2015

Target Driven Life

The past weekend has been physically exacting for me, because I was irrational bold enough to join the Sports Day organized by my employer Bank Negara, knowing I was/am not much fitter than the majority population. Still I challenged myself. I knew the chance for me to win anything was extremely slim – close to 0%. I took the first step and stepped out of my comfort zone. I made an impulsive decision to sign up for 800m and 4x400m even before I had time to regret over my decision. I took the risk of embarrassing myself.

The result? I managed to clock 2 minutes 47 seconds for my 800m run, attaining fourth place out of 6 runners. The runner who got third was not too far ahead of me, yet I had ran out of energy to sprint in my last 100m. Even more encouragingly, the other two runners in 5th and 6th places were physically fitter than me. For the first time in my life, I did not book the last spot in an athletic competition. It was a personal victory for me. I was extremely thankful, and definitely delighted.

As a consolation prize, I managed to get third place in an impromptu event I joined that day itself. I participated in the Tug of War event due to my slightly fine physique, and despite my team lost to the champion, we still got a medal. It was probably the first medal I have ever attained despite not winning the match LOL! But because there were only three houses in the Bank (Sasana, Tunas and Lanai), only three teams were sent, thus the medals – gold, silver and bronze. For some reason my team got a bronze, despite never get beaten by the first runner-up. I reckon we could have beaten them, but a medal is still a medal. I’m glad!

What’s next? I have been receiving a number of comments stating I am still young, so I have a lot more opportunities to join various sports events. I concur. Participating in this annual athletic event organized by my employer was just the first step. I am currently controlling my diet and taking my weight seriously. I have been weighing 80kg for a few months now and I don’t feel comfortable about it despite my general fitness level shows otherwise. I am feeling better than ever and I have no plan on backing down.

Last week I spoke to a senior colleague who has been fairly active in running especially in the recent past two years. He has been participating in various marathons and ran half marathons a few times. Half marathon covers 21km, in case you don’t know. I didn’t know, thinking it was just 10km. He gave me some advices on running. Apparently running is not all but just the first step. Knee injuries are real and will eventually come as one progresses further in running.

It is not surprising that many footballers tend to encounter knee injuries once in a while as they compete weekly league fixtures throughout their entire career. Is there any way to prevent knee injuries? Fret not, of course there are! There are plenty of exercises to strengthen the hips, adductors and core muscles. Strong relevant muscles will help absorb the impact rather than it going straight down to the knees. Even the running techniques matter, all to protect our athletic knees.

Setting realistic targets is not easy as it requires courage and strength to pull through every temptation not to keep up to the target. We have every reason to be lazy and let the passion die off gradually, but persistence will keep us afloat. I am not someone who will settle for things, because once I start settling in, I will start being complacent. I hope you will keep on improving every area of your life too, setting seemingly unattainable targets to push yourself to the next level.

Above was only my target on my physical health. One major issue about setting target though is the fear of failure. If you can overcome this fear, you are bound to achieve success in areas you wish to see breakthroughs. Opportunities are limitless, so one failure should and would never determine your fate and destiny. Giving up upon encountering one failure only shows our weakness on our desperation to succeed. 

Of course the magnitude of failures varies, so it will be foolish of me to deny its emotional impacts on each person. But the underlying principle behind every failure is always the same, regardless of its magnitude. Never ever stop to give it another try, because the next try may be the key to getting the qualification. Key to your dream job. Key to your dream relationship.  

My personal career progress currently revolves around actuarial professional papers. The most commonly taken Specialist Technical papers are Life Insurance (ST2) and Corporate Finance (ST5). Whenever I heard of someone taking Enterprise Risk Management (ST9), I will be utterly impressed because insofar I have yet to hear any success story regarding this paper. My dream of taking ST9 paper was recently revived all thanks to my senior colleague who has passed ST9 paper, thereby proving it is not impossible to pass this paper. Thanks HS! 

Indeed, setting targets not only sprinkles more flavors into your life, but also propels you forward as you hit those targets one at a time. Try it! I promise it’s going to be fun! You will discover a different side of you, something I reckon you would never regret. 

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