President’s Opening Address
Title : “Focus on OUR Efforts, Control the CONTROLLABLES!
It was a Sunday night in September 1992, the shocking realization had dawned upon me that time WAS not my ally. It was the eve of my “A Level” History preliminary exam paper, the paper that many nicknamed the “trial” paper before the actual. For many scoring well in the preliminary exam was an indication of how well one will do eventually…..
I had by then realized too late that for the past 20 over months…I was heavily involved in ECAs…serving in the Student’s Council executive committee and college band….
I remembered vividly when I flipped over the question booklet, my mind was a complete blank…as barren as a dessert…devoid of any knowledge to produce even a decent answer. In a desperate attempt, I wrote a few lines to each of the essay questions and left the examination hall in less than 30 minutes. The result was most memorable – a pathetic 13 out of 100 when my teacher give us back our scripts and to add insult to injury, she fired sarcastic remarks at me in front of my classmates hinting that I was a full time student counsellor rather than a full time history student.
At that moment, feelings of guilt consumed me, I remembered my parents had told me they have set aside a sum of money to put me through university education in Australia should I fail to be admitted to the local university. And that was the turning point…..
For the entire month of October riding up to “A” Levels in November, I burnt the midnight oil, devouring from cover to cover the ten year series, and memorizing every salient point that I could get my hands on…all with a guiding thought that drove me…failure WAS not an option…and there was NO WAY I was going to spend my parents’ hard earned money due to my lack of responsibility. Judgment day arrived, I flipped over the question booklet and wrote and wrote…I wrote like there was no tomorrow until the invigilator announced clinically “all right time’s up please stop writing!”
I walked out of the exam hall, and prayed for a miracle. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I scored an A when the result was released. And to make my surprise even sweeter…I was awarded the Academic Distinction for A Level History in the graduating class of 1992 because my college had written to Cambridge University and amongst all who scored an A in the exam, my score was the highest.
So ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering, why is Dexter sharing his personal story as an opening? The answer is this…I drew a connection between the tight timeline for my preparation towards A level exam to the end of the current term. We have until 30th June to add 4 new members and 3 more competent communicators to our track record.
Sometimes focusing on the outcome can be overwhelming, let us focus instead on our efforts and control the controllables. What are the controllables? That is for every member to keep inviting guests to every chapter meeting and for Roy, Bernard and Liu to keep up their momentum and complete their remaining projects.
Keep inviting and keep doing projects – these are our processes which we must manage effectively and the result will take care of itself.
Let us keep our eyes on the target, focus on our efforts and manage our process. We shall march forward and claim our prize – the President’s Distinguished Club.
Back to you toastmasters of the day.