Find fulfilment in what one does best YourLetters

Everyone has his own idea of what constitutes a successful life.

But to many parents, success still means excelling academically and landing a cushy, well-paid job, preferably in a clean, air-conditioned environment.

Being a plumber, construction worker or hawker, sweating it out in hot, humid Singapore, is hardly anyone's idea of an ideal job.

Until this deep-seated mentality that some jobs are superior is addressed, the ministers will have an uphill task convincing parents that there are many alternative routes to success (Levelling the educational playing field; May 27).

Of course, since Joseph Schooling's phenomenal success in the sports arena, and with the Direct School Admission scheme taking into account achievements in non-academic areas, some change in parental attitudes has come about.

But whether the change is significant enough remains to be seen.

More has to be done to persuade parents to look at their children's unique strengths, talents and abilities and develop them to the fullest.

With the long hours students spend in schools these days, teachers are usually aware of what a child's inclinations, strengths and talents are.

Parent-teacher conferences can include discussing what the child may wish to consider for a career, given his abilities and interests.

What is crucial is to find fulfilment in doing what one can do best, not merely doing the thing with the best monetary rewards.

To that end, I hope published interviews in future can include a segment on what interviewees find most meaningful and satisfying in what they are doing, rather than how much they are making or what car they drive.

Money should not be the ultimate measure of success.

A homemaker who takes pride and finds satisfaction in keeping the house spick and span, raising happy, healthy children and giving her very best to the family is also a successful person.

Ultimately, one has to be happy in what one does with one's life.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Find fulfilment in what one does best'. Print Edition | Subscribe