Keeping an Open Mind
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."―James Dewar
This quote resonates strongly with Mr Lee Ah Kow’s life philosophy, whom at 81 years old, is still leading an active and fulfilling lifestyle. During the day, he dedicates his time and energy to volunteer at a church. At night, he is a tennis coach and has been one for more than 30 years. His students range from those as young as his grandchildren to seniors like himself.
Mr Lee is open to trying new things and is an avid learner as he attended an array of courses under the National Silver Academy (NSA). Just last year, he participated in 4 Intergenerational Learning Programmes (ILP), as well as the “Computer Media A-Z” and “Legal Matters” course to upgrade himself.
“By not restricting yourself and encouraging yourself to explore new things, be it new interests or places, you are evoking curiosity and can keep yourself constantly engaged with new knowledge and skills,” said Mr Lee.
Motivation for self-improvement
Consistency is key for Mr Lee as he regularly participates in taking up courses and activities to expand his knowledge and be exposed to new experiences. He also made use of SkillsFuture Credit to do so.
He added that a major motivation for him to learn is also to stay relevant with the times and keep up with the latest trends.
Have the right attitude
Initially, Mr Lee faced challenges in the learning process when he started to attend the courses, particularly in the technology aspect. But that did not dampen his passion for learning. Instead, he put in extra hours after class to keep up with the lessons and sought help whenever possible from others around him. He started improving gradually. Mr Lee said: “As long as you have the right attitude, you will be able to achieve anything.”
His advice to fellow seniors is that the silver years is the time and opportunity to pursue their interests that they did not have the chance to do so in their younger years of working life.
Currently, Mr Lee is a regular volunteer at the NSA mini-roadshows to share with seniors on wide range of NSA learning opportunities available for seniors aged 50 years and above. He hopes to encourage more seniors to embrace lifelong learning and constantly pursue new knowledge.
** Special thanks to Mr Lee for accepting our interview, we wish him all the best in his lifelong learning journey.
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