The Butterfly Circus

“ The Greater the Struggle, the More Glorious the Triumph”

Nick Vujicic has always been an inspiration to me , and the butterfly circus one of my faved short movies. You can view it via the link below, it is well worth a watch.

 While I was watching this the other day. A thought came to me.

Most people see obstacles as hindrances to their goals. They see obstacles as things to overcome, to force through in order to get what we want.

But what if we view obstacles as measures to prevent others from reaching our exclusive goals? That’s a whole new shift of perception.

 Obstacles are meant to keep other people from reaching the goal that you want. The greater the obstacle, the more difficult it is for other people to share the same goals as you do.

 Let’s say you own a store selling coffee. Now that’s relatively simple to achieve. But what if you wanted to dominate the industry and become the first place of choice people go to whenever they think of getting a cuppa? Now that’s a whole lot harder.

And that’s what keeps other competitors from taking over the Starbucks niche.

Change your perception of obstacles. Then change your world.

Contributed by Shawn Yeo, Founder of AdvoMinds

Shawn Yeo’s experience in coaching young students began all the way back before his university days as a martial arts coach, where he often worked with young students. Even during then, he placed great emphasis on the potential of his students, which many of them failed to see for themselves. He believes that that one is able to achieve great things if only the student believes he/she can, and he demands on them to reach their fullest potential. After graduating with honours in Bioengineering from NTU, Shawn followed his passion to coach and influence lives. 

Shawn believes the pursuit of dreams will give meaning to our lives, and that the pursuit of dreams of our loved ones can be even more meaningful than our pursuing our own. Dreams give hope and create wonders Focus on dreams and all else will follow. Shawn seeks to influence his students, to enable them to see themselves as bigger than who they think they are. He seeks to reignite their dreams and put meaning into their daily life. Any obstacle can become an opportunity, and the dreams of children will come to life if only they choose to pursue it.

Today, Shawn continues his mission to influence many others to live a fulfilling life as virtuous and confident people.


Power of Thoughts

Tired and bored of your same old routine in life?

If your answer is Yes, you have probably gotten used to your past challenges and you are basically wasting your time away, not knowing that you are actually meant and able to achieve greater things in life.  You have got so much untapped potential yet you are not unleashing them to empower yourself more, to create a change in you and the people around you!

Take each day as an opportunity to challenge and outdo yourself, discover that you actually have got no limits! Live life to the fullest, be who you really want to be, have a dream and live it!

Be passionate about what you do because you will thoroughly enjoy the process of hard work and the outcome will always be great because its your passion! I always believe in planting the seeds of hard work and dedication, and achieving success in multiple folds!

Contributed by Elsie Tay, Top PSLE Math Coach from iSun Education Pte Ltd

Elsie is a strong believer of the power of positive attitudes. Currently a graduate from The University Of Birmingham, holding a BSc(Hons) in Business Management,  Elsie is always coming up with strategic plans and creative ideas to tackle problems. She has a strong passion in Mathematics since young and is always motivated to overcome challenges in life. With more than 3 years of coaching experience for Mathematics and life skills, her ability to deliver strategies and inculcate positive values has greatly inspire and motivate students to attain their goals.

Not only does she focus on achieving good grades, she strongly believes in nurturing students to have great discipline and the right attitude towards learning and in every aspects of life. Elsie passion towards coaching and moulding strong characters had strived her to become a confident and enthusiastic coach. She believes in cultivating great values in lives and empowering passionate learners with the right learning strategies and expanding their credibility to the fullest!

Windows of opportunities

I saw a tag…”Those who are heartless once cared too much.” It is an interesting quote as it talks about the human evolution of perspective and emotions. Why would a person forsake a previous perspective for something new? Why would a person who might be once against something suddenly change his mind about a situation and embrace an entirely new notion?

These can be seen in how people start to take a radical approach towards situations and can also be observed in human relationships. But the underlying issue is disappointment. Disappointment causes a rift in emotional attachment to goals, to dreams and create as well as enhance a person’s inclination to be very objective driven.

As a student, the main dream or goal would often revolve around making it into the school of your choice or scoring the grades that you desire. When such hopes are dashed, there could be an apathetic reaction and response to circumstances and that could be counter-productive to progress.

In ancient transcripts from the bible, there is a saying that ‘ A hope that is deferred makes the heart grows sick.’ When a target is consistently missed and we miss the mark continually, disappointment sets in and the heart does grow sick with all kinds of ailments such as depression and a feeling of loss. There are those who can recover from these quickly depending on the level of self-efficacy that they possess but others, who when dealt a blow like that find solace in withdrawal.

When we set a goal, we usually define the window of opportunity within that goal. For some people, that window can encompass a large portion of their lives, leading to them being consumed within the pursuit of that achievement. There are advantages and disadvantages when that happens. Some people, consumed with the fervour of possessing an achievement are dealt a huge blow when they missed the mark and find it difficult to recover while others set certain boundaries to limit for themselves the extent that they are willing to be consumed by the window of opportunity.

Neither is exactly right or wrong, but rather, it is an optimism that must be present that allows us to continuously believe that there is a greener pasture elsewhere. Hope is possible even in the darkest hour when you can fix your eyes on a perception, either tangible or intangible and work your way towards those opportunities.

Mobile communication, good or bad?

If you have taken the train or the bus, you would have realized an interesting scene. If you look around you, you would see people bowing their heads looking as though they are fervent in prayers. Some of them have the arms positioned at a particular angle as though paralyzed, staring at a handheld device in front of them.

Students everywhere are entering into a new age of communication. Where in the past, face to face communication or even picking up a phone to call someone, now we have come to an age where people are satisfied with messaging each other, commenting on facebook and doing status updates. Whatsapp has revolutionized instant messaging when you can see if people are typing ‘real time’ and it has become preferable to whatsapp than sms or call someone.

Is this good or bad? When your handphone has become not just a medium of communication, it has become communication in itself, people feel a sense of loss when they leave home without their phones and are distraught when they don’t have access to communication on a regular basis.

Has this affected human relationships? There are articles written about how social media has transformed the way we are communicating and affected the quality of relationships. We see this at home, where your kids are more comfortable using facebook in his room than coming out to have a chat with you. We see this in communication between parents and child when a one liner…’I can’t join you for dinner’  sums up the absence of his presence at the dinner table and further questioning leads to a lack of response from his messaging or a refusal to pick up you calls.

Schools are banning and minimizing accessibility to mobile devices, regulating the frequency that kids use such tools, with the hope that students can focus better in school. People we have spoken to shared their concerns about how mobile communication has minimized and even diminished the quality of communication.

The advent of technology is good and contributes to new education methodology that involves the use of devices such as ipad and mobile devices to allow students to communicate with their teachers after lessons.

Yet despite the ease of accessibility that mobile communication has injected into our daily lives, nothing beats face to face communication and a lesson done live in front of a class.

What is quality tuition?

The process of searching for the suitable tutor can become a headache for parents. The first thing that comes to a parent’s mind when looking for a tutor is usually home tuition. There are many tutors out there in Singapore who have registered themselves with tuition agencies and essentially you get what you pay for. If you are looking at qualification and experience, you would be paying the rates accordingly.

Parents look for a tutor for various reasons, the main one being to accelerate his improvements when he is no longer able to make progress in school on his own under the teacher’s tutelage. As such, the ability of a tutor is important in aiding the child in doing better in his exams and he should be able to experience the transformation fast.

The headache comes when parents are dissatisfied with the tutor’s ability to deliver. Often, these tutors are part-timers or are not trained adequately for the service they are providing.  When a parent’s budget is limited, they might not be able to hire an ex-MOE teacher or someone in the education industry.

Therefore the best way to ensure that quality is regulated is to go for a tuition centre where most tutors are trained to address parents and students’ concerns with a clear overview of the methodology that will be enforced during the duration that the student will be under tutelage.

Yet, not all tuition centres are the same, some are focused on delivering results, some focus more on the experience while others on technology. The similarity is that regardless of the methodology used, parents are still concerned with one thing at the end of the day – Results.

Where home tuition has a more free reign when it comes to selection of tutors for your child, tutors in tuition centres would usually go through a stringent selection process before getting hired. And in most centres, these tutors are constantly put through upgrading programmes to improve their pedagogy and ability to deliver.

If you are looking for quality tuition teachers, feel free to contact EdValue for education programmes that will bring a spark to your child’s eyes.

Email: Contact: 62590188 / 90051674

It is okay to come back again

During my trip to Nepal last December to trek the Himalayas, I had a physically exhausting time trekking the mountains. Though it was tiring where I had to trek for 5 to 8 hours a day up steep inclines, it was mentally rejuvenating and on a whole, the experience was something I treasured.

I have always been fascinated with the mountains, and been so close to Everest was surreal. Having read books of heroic and inspirational figures in the past who have reached the summit of Everest, I was inspired to do that one day.

Climbing a mountain and reaching the summit is as clear an analogy of life as any. In NUS, I sat in one of a sessions organized by the University to listen to the Singapore team’s tale of conquest of different mountains and that day as I listened to them, they shared how they had to turn back from the summit of K2. That was an expedition that lost a few lives in the team.

As I was trekking with my guide, he shared with me how there were Korean mountaineers a few years ago who have set off on an expedition up Machapuchare, also known as Fish tail and have not been seen again. their loss was the final straw as the Nepali government banned expedition up the mountain after a few other teams before them has failed to return. Staring into the distance at the ice capped mountain when I was on the Annurpurna trail to Annurpurna Base Camp, I wondered what went through the minds of the mountaineers as they fought their last breath. As avalanches were quite prominent in the Himalayas, especially at high altitude, they could have perished from such forces of nature.

The interesting thing about climbing is that climbers are taught and conditioned to say ‘no’ and turn back. Sitting in the room that day and listening to the Singapore men’s team, one of them menetioned that they decided to turn away from K2 because they could always come back to climb a second time. Looking at the weather conditions, they could have died if they had continued with the climb.

Being in a condition as raw as 7000m above sea level, where frost bite is common and altitude mountain sickness hits even the fittest of them, things are put back into perspective and we realize what matters in life in those instance.

Society has taught us to pursue after success relentlessly but are these pursuits at the expense of other things? Despite the importance of success in life, there are other values and mindsets that are crucial to the overall development of a healthy, emotionally sound and holistic person as well.

A couple of my friends went trekking after I came back from Nepal and they had to turn back this time around due to a blizzard. The trial was slippery and someone ahead of them actually slip and fell and had to be evacuated by helicopter. The same guide that I had told my friends that the wise thing to do was to turn back and continue the next time.

In life, there are times when you might be hindered from your success, when you are met with oppositions that will stop you from getting to where you want to go. It is okay to turn back. It is okay to be delayed. But remember, come back again to do it a second time. And that is not failure.

-Shane, EdValue

Underage prostitution is not ok but prostitution is ok?

Is there a displaced view on the morality of educators?

With the current spate of sex scandal in Singapore with high profile civil servants being charged in court, across the blogosphere and our conservative society, there have been concerns raised about the moral integrity of educators in Singapore. With the teaching profession being upheld in an integrous light since ancient times, these incidents have dented the confidence that parents have in educators.

When an ex-principal of Pei Chun Public School was charged and jailed for his engagement of service of an underage prostitute, there was big hoo-ha and it led to comments online that covered a mixture of disgust and disappointment in his behaviour.

Right now in America, there are regulations of social media interactions between teachers and students due to a  concern over inappropriate acts between the two.

On one end, we feel that educators at the end of the day are still human beings and they go through challenges and personal struggles that sometimes seeped into the working life. There have been cases in the past of teachers having affairs with their students and sometimes these teachers are having marriage problems or experiencing personal woes themselves when these cases are reported.

Perhaps there should be initiatives for more familial culture in schools and the education sector so that teachers who are experiencing difficulties in schools can feel that it is alright to share with their colleagues or mentors at the workplace what is going on. We feel that just as in any workplace, with the work stress and all other factors taken into account, mutual support could be an aid into lessening the stress at home or work for these educators.

Also, apart from the myopic view of press reporting at times, let’s consider psychological, sociological as well as environmental factors when looking at a person’s behaviour.

Having said that, we are just wondering rather than a fixation on under age sex, shouldn’t the focus be on the educators if they should even be visiting prostitutes in the first place?

We are just confused by the reporting on underage sex. Legalization of a certain trade might not necessarily means it is ethical to engage in the service.




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