Secrets of a High Performer

I registered for a workshop without hoping to get much out of it. It’s the kind of event that nobody would care to go if not for the 1.5 hours course credit for a useless but compulsory 0-credit course. The instructor also mentioned this at the beginning of the workshop, which ironically was a very good starter to get everybody’s interest and a few laughs.

Surprisingly this workshop turned out to be quite motivational, I actually gained something out of it. The instructor talked about how to be a high performer in study and later on in career as well as in life. Especially now at this point in life I am feeling kind of lost and disappointed, so I find these tips really useful for me to regain some direction in life.

Set specific and achievable goal/dream

Like it or not there are certain things that are just not meant for you no matter how much you want to get them. So instead of sulking and getting more disappointed when you fail, why not just find some other goal or dream that you can achieve?

List potential values for accomplishing your goals

What motivates you to accomplish your goals? It can be tangible rewards (money!), personal attainment (higher status/degree) or interest and passion. Of course passion is very important, like every successful person would tell you to do it for passion and not for the money or fame. But hey, let’s face it, even if you think you are doing your dream job or degree, there is always some part of it that you hate to do but can’t escape. It’s very easy to get fixated on your dreads and lose the passion you started with. So having some extra rewards that motivate you is also good to keep up your passion.

Analyse the situation, set realistic action plan stick to it

Just believing that you can succeed is not enough, make systematic and realistic action plan on how to achieve your goals. More importantly, ADJUST your plan if it’s not working well.

Find meaning in what you do

Apparently people who know exactly what they want and why they do something (can be anything, money, fame or passion), and act consistently are happier. To think of it, quite often I would come to a frustrated point where I ask myself why am I doing this, and frankly speaking, many of the things I did turned out to be utterly meaningless. But then I read about the philosophy of Albert Camus and the Myth of Sisyphus, it is only when we identify that life is meaningless and ACCEPT it, could we begin to live. In a way the realization that life is meaningless is also in itself finding a meaning, as opposed to not knowing why. I like Camus’ last line in the Myth of Sisyphus – “One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. (This is not from the workshop, only my own interpretation.)

Pause and reflect, or simply take a break.

This is so true for busy Hong Kong people. They are definitely on the top list for walking the fastest on streets.

Be grateful and have a positive mind

This is a personal one, definitely also my most important take away from the class. Appreciate the little things in life. Nobody likes to be around a person who is always complaining. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Identify with peers and explore new relationships

Research has shown that peers are the most influential than any other groups, and peer learning is the most effective type of learning especially in university. So… ho professors! Please talk less so that we could study better!