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Impact 0158: National athlete with a big heart

Jen Goh · 7 September 2021
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Jen Goh, 26, is a golfer with Team Singapore and her passion lies in youth empowerment through a ground-up initiative she co-founded called Hopefull, that provides educational resources to youth from low- income families. She shares some values that she has learnt on her journey thus far:

1.
Be a knowledge sponge

A mentor once told me, “If you’re not learning, someone else is and you’re missing out.”

Harsh, but true. Having these knowledge nuggets help me see the big picture and connect with lots of different people. Read widely, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, seek out interesting conversations – you don’t know when you might apply these learnings.

2.
Prepare for your moment

The most important thing I learnt from my years as an athlete and also as a co-founder – success is when opportunity meets preparation. I can’t tell you how often I felt like I was putting in the work, but the results said otherwise. Then the next week everything would click, and I would finish at the top of my game.

Such are opportunities, they are fleeting, so work towards being ever ready and strike when the iron is hot.

3.
Find your one per cent differentiators

High performers are differentiated by the smallest of margins, so every little bit matters. 0.75 seconds sealed Singapore’s first Olympic Gold Medal!

I used to think this was exclusive to sport, but how I approached work and life changed when I started asking myself this simple but cardinal question: “What can I do one per cent better?” Answering this helps you find your edge.

4.
Default of being uncomfortable

Asking for donations doesn’t come naturally. My brain would conjure numerous reasons why I would be rejected should I ask, and I’d be reeling from nervous discomfort. But every donation I receive makes the situation worthwhile. It also makes the next time I have to do it less uncomfortable. Magic does happen outside our comfort zone.

5.
Dig deeper, there's more

When starting something new or pursuing anything lofty, there will be incredibly tough days. But don’t underestimate your strength. Trust me, after five surgeries in five years, I know that if you dig a little deeper, you’d find more inside yourself than you even thought possible.

6.
Don't lose your why

Since I read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”, it has been a guiding principle for all I do. I encourage you to do the same. There will always be more work to do and more people to answer to, so you’ve got to stay grounded to why you began. If not, it’ll be so easy to sidetrack from your vision or even worse, start going through the motions.

7.
Stop and celebrate

When you are busy building something from scratch, it can feel like being on a train that misses its stops. It keeps going and you don’t realise how far you’ve gone. I remind myself to stop and take stock every once in a while, celebrating how far I’ve come with my team. It’s these little moments that make the journey a beautiful one.

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