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25 Years of KYS: Refining Excellence

By Muiz Zafri

Watching KYSERs come and go along the years, achieving their wildest dreams and forming families of their own proves that KYS has travelled a long journey as an educational institution.

This Silver Jubilee celebration is an occasion to appreciate the efforts of every single student, ex-student, teacher and staff that have put their heart and soul in making KYS what it is today. 

Tan Sri Halim’s vision for the school lies upon 5 principles, or as we would call it the 5 Pillars of Excellence.

The philosophy behind these principles were carefully crafted in order for students to not only be well rounded but also for them to leave the school with a mission to become leaders of quality and integrity for their country.

However in hindsight, students would normally equate excellence with academics or maybe a slight pinch of co-curricular prowess which is not necessarily heavily looked upon as we step into the real world.

The 5 Pillars of Excellence was designed by KYS’ founder 25 Years ago

Our journey or perhaps our goals are not merely determined by the number of A’s we get in our tests, the scholarships we manage to secure or even a placement in high ranking universities. Excellence in definition itself is subjective to an individual’s life goals and aspirations.

What keeps us intact with those goals are emphasised in our fifth pillar, character development, which provides an everlasting effect on how we view hurdles and a sudden change in direction.

Playing in an Infinite Game

People seldom pay attention to the game that they are in, and in this world there are two, finite games and infinite games. Infinite games are those with known and unknown players, there are no fixed rules or regulations and the motive is to stay in the game. 

Sure, when put into context, we cannot disregard laws and prohibitions, but the phrase “no rules or regulations” refers to how we play the game.

Unlike a game of football, in order to succeed you need to play it in a certain way, you cannot put the ball in the goal by throwing it in with your hands. 

However in this world, success can be achieved through multiple ways and that success is defined by you.

The Infinite Game Theory is explained by Simon Sinek in this video

It is important that we view life as an infinite game, I would say most of us are playing it wrongly, as finite players. Infinite players do not have everything in their life planned out, but instead they consistently keep their goals and aspirations in mind, developing them to become more concrete over time.

Infinite players have things under control by always reassuring themselves with questions like “Why am I doing this?” instead of worrying about “How can I get there?”.

Infinite players acknowledge that some days they will be on top, some days at the bottom. They understand that everyone’s journey in life would not be similar to one another, thus causing them to pay more attention to self-improve.

“The value of a person is built through the advancement to become a better version of him or herself the next day, not by comparing themselves to others”

Simon Sinek

Sticking to an Open Plan

A common misconception amongst the youth is that we glorify a specific blueprint to success. Attached below is an example of one of those blueprints. Seem familiar?

Fixed plans are commonly used by Finite Players

We do not deny that it is great to get a placement in a top-ranked university, competing with the world’s best. However, this is not the only path for you to achieve your goals.

The worrying issue is that once one of those steps are not achieved, the entire goal goes down the drain. It is difficult for the youth to stay motivated when these pre-existing notions have been normalised for decades. This should not be the case! 

In life, it is important for us to prioritise where we focus our energy onto. Instead of dwelling about the past, regretting not being able to reach our benchmarks, we should focus our energy on what’s ahead.

If we have just joined university, we should allow ourselves to get out of our comfort zones and watch us grow amongst a new community.

There might be times when we get stuck in a job or project which we would not enjoy as much. Take the opportunity to prove yourself wrong and learn something new. Who knows, this might be the breakthrough you need.

The skills you have learned might also be beneficial for a job you take on 10 years from now, there is always a blessing in disguise.

Always tell yourself to keep an open mind.

Charting Your Own Destiny

In the end, it does not matter if the route that we are currently on is what we initially planned, but it’s important to strive as an infinite player that does his or her best no matter what path opens up.

Hurdles are meant to be dealt with positively, bite the bullet and take it as a challenge.

The Pioneer batch of KYSERs presenting a token to the school in conjunction with KYS’ 25 Years celebration

There is a leader in all of us, and this Silver Jubilee Celebration symbolises that KYSERs are meant for great things. It is not about the power, the wealth or title you earn, success as a human being is measured by how much you have contributed back to society.

Whether if it is in the field of climate change, scientific research, humanitarian aid or the economy, it does not matter. There is always a place for you in this world.

To all teenagers out there, lets not get worried about what our prospects are in the future. Take a step back and spend some time to think about a problem that you are passionate to solve in status quo.

If everyone was meant for different purposes (careers)  in this world, then surely the journey to get to there would be different from others.

Let’s focus on the Why not the How. 

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