Opening Address: You Can Be the Best

In my last opening address, I talked about the hard work and time invested to master a skill.

Singapore’s newly minted Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling is exemplary in this aspect.

I’m not going to talk about his punishing training schedule or the sacrifices he and his parents have made, as by now you probably would have known them by heart.

Besides proving the maxim you reap what you sow, Schooling’s story has one other message.  It’s the underdog achieving victory.

Honestly speaking, when my colleague told me Schooling had emerged the fastest in the semi final, my response was one of dismissive. I said Phelps could be conserving his energy for the final while my colleague thought that Schooling’s result was due to his younger age.  Both of us had not expected that we could hear Majulah Singapura at the Olympics.

Roughly a week after Schooling flexed his muscles to show a small nation is able to achieve great things, Singapore Toastmaster Darren Tay became the first Singaporean to be the world champion of public speaking.

Months ago, English football club Leicester City beat the odds of 5000-1 to win the coveted English Premier League title.

What are the morals of these stories:

  1. never underestimate the underdog,
  2. every underdog would have its day, as long as it doesn’t get limited by its own beliefs or doubts cast by others.

Never stop believing, you can be the best in the world.

Let’s start from here, today. You can be the best speaker, best table topics speaker or best evaluator…only if you have participated.

Let’s actively participate, for your own learning and development.



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