Students in lower secondary levels learned power study strategies at a recent seminar run by City Harvest Church.
By Chua Xueli
“We have the power to determine the outcome of our lives,” Glenn Lim, an education psychologist and a former youth pastor, told his audience of 120 lower secondary school students.
Growing up, Lim was labelled “hyperactive” and rebellious. He ran away from home, got mixed up with the wrong crowd, picked up smoking and even experimented with drugs.
In 1994, he was caught in possession of marijuana and was arrested. Had he been found guilty, Lim would face life sentence and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane. To his amazement, his parents, with whom he had broken ties for many years, bailed him out of prison. He eventually reconciled with his parents and found God in the process. By the grace of God, the Attorney-General’s Chambers reduced his charge. He only had to serve a six-month imprisonment.
Since then, Lim has dedicated his life to empowering and training youth through pastoral care, and serving as a youth specialist consultant, curriculum developer, counselor, and trainer in the community. He started Glenn Lim Consultancy Pte Ltd in 2009, a social enterprise that develops training programs to impact young people and their social circles.
Lim spoke at the Power Study Seminar held by City Harvest Church on Mar. 3. The seminar was organized with the aim of equipping lower secondary school students with skills that would help them excel in their studies. It also sought to help Secondary 1 students adapt to their new learning environment.
A similar seminar was conducted two weeks ago for students taking their GCE N- and O-levels this year.
Power Study Strategies
Using his testimony as a platform, Lim encouraged the students to believe in themselves and shared with them three power study strategies:
1. Positive Reframing
Our mindset influences and shapes us—we become what we think. It is, hence important to watch over what we think about ourselves and our situation.
Quoting from James 1 in the Bible, Lim encouraged the students to be optimistic when facing challenges and to see them as opportunities to build themselves up. He challenged the students to see their problems through positive framing—a technique of seeing things one cannot change in a positive light. Learning to look at problems positively motivates one to deal with the problems.
The current generation of students have too many distractions in their lives and it is hard for them to focus. Setting specific goals helps one to be disciplined and on track. It is important for one to first understand what one wants to achieve—that understanding would create a positive vision that he can focus on while working towards his goals.
Lim also gave the students a formula to help them achieve their goals: “If this is what I want, then this is what I do. If this is what I do, then this is what I get.”
“If you find that you don’t like what you get, then you should either break your goals—what you want—into smaller goals or change the actions you take—which is what you do.”
One of the things that cause distractions is habits. Lim reminded the students that some of the habits that they have cultivated, such as excessive use of Facebook, can be a stumbling block. It is crucial to not just identify these bad habits and deal with them, it is also important to replace the bad habits with good ones so that they do not experience a relapse.
Lim concluded the seminar by showing a touching video of the last race of Derek Redmond, a record-breaking athlete. Many expected Redmond to win this race and retire a champion. However, halfway into the race, his former leg injury resurfaced and he could not continue running. But he decided to finish the race despite the pain. As he was struggling to run the remaining distance, his father rushed down from the spectator stands and supported him until he reached the finishing line.
Using this story as an analogy, Lim reminded the students that God is running alongside them when they face challenges in their lives. He closed the meeting with a prayer for the students who are going through a hard time in school.
The seminar was well-received by both the students and the parents present. One mother, Eunice Wong, 40, said, “Our generation was different from our child’s. (The workshop) definitely helped us parents to understand today’s youth and to play our roles better.”