On Saturday the 18th of January 2014, I had the privilege and honour to speak at the Penang Chinese Girls Private High School (PCGPHS) about ‘Setting Goals’. The invitation came as a surprise, given that the list of previous speakers were of very high caliber. What could a young punk like me offer to a group of girls who were probably more intelligent than me?
Nevertheless, I prepared and went along really with a desire to learn from them in the process. When I arrived, the first question I posed to them was ‘how many of you have recently thought about what you would like to achieve in the next 10-15 years?’. Approximately 4 people out of a group of over 90 raised their hands. It hit me at this point that the topic that I was about to speak on is probably not something that everyone has had the opportunity to encounter, and it was at the point where I realised the gravity of the next 3 hours.
I began the 3 hours by giving the girls the opportunity to brainstorm what they would like to achieve in the next 10-15 years, followed by the opportunity for them to share their list with their friends. After that, I spoke about the importance of having a purpose behind their goals and a desire to leave a legacy in the process. I emphasised the importance of making goals that are not just about yourself, but goals that can positively impact those around you and possibly even people you may not know.
It was at this point where I had the opportunity to share why I decided to not pursue a career in teaching, but to work as an intern at church with the anticipation of becoming a pastor. I highlighted that I believe everyone is create by God with specific gifts and skills, and it is my desire to help people know God better so that they can know themselves better. Given that it is a non-religious school, I could not be overtly expressive about my Christian convictions. Yet, I hope it gave them a glimpse to what motivates my goals in life.
To wrap up the lecture, I gave them an opportunity to re-think their goals and even write up a list that they would like to achieve in 2014. What started off as 4 girls having goals resulted in the entire lecture hall of students having goals that were purposeful and with a desire to impact people.
At the end, time was given for a bit of Q&A. Both teachers and students asked great questions, personal and general, which enabled me to elaborate on points that I would have liked to cover in the lecture, but didn’t get to. When that was finished, some students came up to ask some personal questions, to which I hope I was able to wisely answer.
I’m extremely thankful for the invitation to speak at PCGPHS, and I’m praying for more opportunities like that where I get to share some practical life skills and how being a disciple of Christ impacts the way I live.