Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Characteristics of mental strength

A friend SMSed me last night and said all 3 of my mentors stayed cool under pressure and asked how do we get our kids to do that.

To be sure they were all complex men and each were Captains of their Industry. But let me try to find a common thread here.

The first is of course their indomitable fighting spirits. They were also all problem solvers and doers.

So why didn't Dato Hisham go to the meetings with me when so much was at stake. He was building me up. If he had gone, he would have become the player not me. The others would have referred to him and honestly I would also have deferred to his superior knowledge and experience. I made many mistakes. He made time for me, reviewed my decisions and then I went out again and again. Bruised and battered but learning.

As for Dato Hisham's comments about not talking about my problems and worrying, the point is this. Mr Yan put it best to me. Shortly after I was appointed Corporate Director, I went to Yan and said again I had a problem. Yan looked at me and said, "Raymond, dont come to me with problems. You go out and find the answers and then come back to me with 3 carefully considered options/solutions. We will then review and see which is the best one and implement that".

But they were also "humble" men. They were not afraid of arguments/challenge in the search for answers. And they were not afraid to look at places other men feared to look.

In short they had character. Now in chess, we have this wonderful opportunity to teach our kids. You see, that type of character was formed in the fire. In chess we can short cut this. For in chess, the players have to look at their thinking and accompanying emotions move by move, game by game and tournament by tournament. They can have endless practice until they get it right.

I believe this tool can raise even bigger mental giants if done right. You see, if it is done right, our kids will also have learned how to be cool under pressure for during the course of this training they will have attained carefully prepared goals, gain in real confidence. They will know how to attain results.

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