I am finally back after a very challenging and exhilirating experience training 130 teenagers in our Indonesia…It marks the launch of the ‘AIG‘ June Enrichment Program in Asia’s largest Muslim country of 200 million people. What was a headache though was that there was only ONE computer with Internet access in the entire hotel and it was on DIALUP. So I had over 400+ emails that piled up while I was gone and what was worst was that I had to monitor and trade on my stock portfolios by calling my partner Patrick in IAG Malaysia every couple of minutes in the late night. So the next time I go there, I am not going to leave any large leveraged positions in case the market suddenly turns the other way around.
Anyway, back to the training! Because of our premium pricing for our camps (6.5 million rupiah per student – equivalent to S$1300), we obviously only attracted children of the super duper duper rich in Indonesia. We had kids whse parents were government officals, tyccons, CEOS of MNCs and so on. Majority of them were from International schools or private schoools who spoke with an ang moh accent, so English was not a problem for most.
What was great about the kids there was there was hunger and willingness to learn all the life management skills and accelerated effective study techniques that we were there to teach. To many of them, concepts like ‘NLP’, ‘Mind Mapping’, ‘accelerated learning’ and ‘Mindchamps‘ were very new and mind blowing as they do not have a chance to be exposed to all these concepts in their schools. Not like in Singapore, where kids go through june enrichment camp that they give you the ‘ I Know it all attitude’. It was becasue of their openess to learn and maturity that I was surprised that the mind maps they did and the test scores during the camp were of much better standard than those we get in Singapore. Again, it is not about talent or intelligence, but simply about hunger and willingess to learn.
To run our very first outdoor camp there, We had about 8 coaches from Singapore and 15 Indonesian coaches who did a great job in guiding and inspiring the teenagers. The greatest challenge was overcoming the mindsets of some of their parents who thought our training was too harsh with their kids. Most of these kids are from rich families and have never been exposed to a tough training. So, initially some parents freaked out when they learnt that our camp was like a miliatry boot camp. Teens had to wake up at 7.30am and sleep at 1am. There did up to 300+ push ups a day when rules were broken (more siong than SAF!) and had to run to touch a tree and come back when they were too slow.
At first, some of the kids got a huge culture shock, but I was very proud of them when on the last day they said that it was these physically and mentally tought activities that really stretched hthem out of their comfort zone and gave them a new level of confidence they never felt before. I kept giving them the motto ‘whatever does not kill you will make you stronger.’
In fact, what worries me so much about the younger generation in Singapore is that altough they are intelligent, talented and with all the opportunities to succed, many are just too complacent. They are too comfotable and have lost their hunger for success. many are living in their happy little worlds, totally oblivious to the competition that is emerging from ‘so called’ third world countries like China, India, Indonesia and so on.. When I go to these other countries, I see their drive to succeed. They are willing to pay the price and work hard to make it. I fear that if this carries on, our futrue will be doomed. How are our next generation going to compete with these super talented, hardworking people at half the price?
I have been getting resumes from PhDs in China wiling to come here to work for my companies at S$1500! There are brilliant IT engineers from India who score 98% for their National exams who are willing to come here and work for half the pay of most Singaporeans. This is why my best enrichment camp in Singapore are now focused so much on building personal drive, resiliance and crafiting personal vision than just scoring As for exams.