Monday, October 29, 2007

Wanting to be the best

Isn't it nice if you can be the best? It doesn't matter whether it's in studies, in sports, in music, in business — in fact in any field at all. To a certain extent, all of us would love to excel over the rest. Some of us are obsessed with winning. There is a word for it — kiasu.

Malays have been urged to be kiasu by Professor Ungku Aziz. He deems it necessary to achieve excellence in life. Come to think of it, I am kiasu too; and I would not hesitate to admit it. I always try my best to excel in whatever I do. But I don't think the Malays are not kiasu; in fact, I think a lot of them are. The real question is the approach that one adopts to achieve excellence.

I had a niece who was a "praise-addict"; and she was kiasu too. Her parents would overly praise her whenever she did good. And I fancy that it became quite stressful when she was unable to achieve what was expected of her. So she started cheating in school exams so that she could get better grades and position. She stole money to buy things to show off to her friends. She told lies all the time to keep up with being the best. Unfortunately, that trait continued into adulthood, and she ended up being a disaster in every sense of the word.

The advice of the Professor should be heeded with caution. Not everyone has the ability to achieve greatness — to be the best. Some people are smarter and luckier than the rest; and the sooner we realise it the better.

Winning is not everything; wanting to is. As long as we've tried our best, I think it's OK if we don't end up being the best. There is no need to adopt all the crooked ways to create the impression that you've achieved excellence.

Get over it!

No comments: