“We don’t want motivation but we want transformation!”
With these words that were repeated several times during the 3-hour session, Adam Khoo Learning Technology Group (AKLTG) top trainer Leroy brought us through the highs - hoping to rejuvenate the sagging shoulders of the 30-something strong jobless group that filed in amidst a very grey over-casted sky yesterday.
Incidentally, I detected most of our events were often carried out in cloudy rain-soaked conditions and yesterday was not any different – an ominous sign? I hope not…
Leroy, a Malay-Indian-Portuguese mix with DJ model looks, effortlessly kept the audience attentive with his animated gestures and gift-of-the-gab articulation.
After a sumptuous buffet lunch offered by AKLTG, we needed someone like Leroy to make us sit up.
He also mentioned that the brain consists of millions of neurons and it is mostly wasted as few people use it to it’s maximum capacity.
Moreover, he said that people can change their behaviour through how they think.
“Though patterns are important,” he exclaimed.
“If you wake up feeling negative and your body sags, you will feel like a failure the whole day.”
Leroy told us how he woke up daily at 5.30am to jog so that he will always feel in peak top performance.
He also reminded us that the people we mix with are also important. Some people will just drag us down with them whereas others will bring us up.
He also used alot of analogies and metaphors to illustrate his pointers – usually involving animals.
I guess he must be an extreme animal lover.
For example, he said that elephants are often tied down with a simple soft rope and they would not escape as since young, they were pinned down by metal shackles that were further hammered down on the ground with metal bars rendering any efforts to escape impossible.
After that, the elephants are so conditioned that even a soft rope will do the job.
Leroy reiterated that many people also behave alot like the elephants – we are so conditioned to think negatively when we faced with all kinds of rejections during job interviews that we may approach any future interviews with the same attitude as if we will not land the job at all.
Our body language and the way we answer interview questions will give us away – Leroy qulped.
His messages reminded me how not to let my mind dwelled on negative thoughts too much as I am, like many people here, more prone to negative thinking.
I am those who ususally see a glass half empty than half filled sort – fortunately I am very much better now after practising cognitive behavioural therapy for the past few years.
Its a psychological therapy used by many millions worldwide to change how we think.
I also have many positive-thinking friends and they all have blessed me to be more forward looking.
I needed the positive outlet as counselling often involves talking with negative-sounding people and it does get into you after a while.
In the US, counsellors are listed as one of the top five careers that have the highest suicide rate.
Moreover, through the years of endurance training in adversity, I am now alittle bit more hardened than before. It may take quite alot of stuff to knock me down unlike previously when a simple setback will deflate me easily.
Adversity has a funny way of either snapping you out of shape or driving you to be more arduous – and it all starts from the mind and how you react to adverse situations.
Life is indeed hard and you will experience quite alot of setbacks by the time you hit the 30s – it will either make or break you and it all starts from how we think.
You may have even experience minor setbacks in your early childhood when you fail certain exams and got the rod. That is probably why we react to failures like the plague here.
I remembered reacting negatively when I was jobless for the initial six months during that dreadful period in 2001.
I was always blaming anyone in sight and just wished that someone would offer me a job to get out of the bottomless pit.
Six months down the road – after experiencing extreme trauma, hatdship and suicidal thoughts, I decided to change how I reacted.
I also took up jogging – eventually running marathons, went to seek support from a social worker friend who offered to speak with his boss on getting me a life-line through a temp social worker assistant position and read up aggressively on positive thinking so that my thought patterns could change.
Through my 4-year counselling experience with the jobless community, I always shared with them my transformation secrets like what Leroy did. Together with my team of volunteer counsellors and coaches, we may have seen at least 500 people who need our assistance by now.
Besides listening to what the jobless have to pour out, we also tried our level best to encourage by imparting some skills so that the person can cope well on his own.
As Leroy had proclamied so often during his 3-hour talk: “We don’t want motivation but we want transformation!”
Motivation is temporal but transformation is life-long.
This is also my sincere wish to the jobless community in Singapore as we face one of the hardest period of our working life since independence.
I have being through six recessions already and I must add that these few years were the hardest that I have seen.
If anyone here is feeling the same, do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we have experienced coaches and counsellors to lend you a helping hand.
Don’t suffer alone – seek help!
Written by: Gilbert Goh
Editor’s note: We apologised for the unclear pictures taken from a Nokia E71 handphone.