Known as the ‘flying doctor’ and ‘the fastest man in Asia’, no one can parallel a champion’s mindset more than Tan Sri Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan.   A title he held to this day, Tan Sri Jega made history in 1962 by becoming the first Malaysian to win an Asian Games gold medal. He is one of the top figures to drive Corporate Coach Academy (CCA) to become the World’s Top 3 ICF Coaching School.  Tan Sri Jega has been providing visionary direction and wise guidance to CCA over the years.

One of the best advice he gave was the speech he delivered to over 200 coach graduates at the Coach Convocation 2022 on The Mindset of a Champion.

The word mindset means your body may do the work but it is your mind that controls it.  The word champion means you are the best among your peers. The guy who wins the 100m race in the Olympics means he is the fastest of the 8 billion people on this planet. He is certainly a champion but how did he get there?

  1. Talent Identification

    The first step is to find out as early as you can what you are good at. Sometimes, these talents are what you born with, your genes and your personality. ‘I was lucky as my father was the first non-British person in 1924 who was allowed into the national meet and he won the race. So, I already had the genes and my two older brothers were champions as well. Can you imagine if my parents had said, don’t waste your time on running? That would have killed my talent’. 

    2. Talent Development

    Knowing your talent alone is not enough. You need to develop it.  There are people who will support you; it starts with your parents, your teachers, your coaches and others.  You need to find the right environment to grow your talent. If the environment does not encourage, entice, applaud, reward and enhance you; it will be harder to succeed. ‘On 31st August 1957 when I was 13 years old, my father brought me to Dataran Merdeka. He led the Malaysian contingent to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.  I saw the winners standing up on the rostrums.  I told myself one of these days, I am going to win the race, get up on rostrum, make them raise the Malaysia flag and play the national anthem.  And you know what? I did it 11 times’.

    3. Talent Realisation

    To realise your talent, you need to dream about it.  Don’t be afraid to dream because it’s only when you dream, you work out what you want to be. Visualisation is one of the powerful ways to dream. Come 1966, I was in the Asian Games final.  The media was talking about the Singapore athelete who was going to beat me the first time. I was afraid because he was very fit and I was in my final year medical studies.  Everyday, before I go to sleep, I would visualise myself diving forward at the end and win him by a nose.  In the race, he was leading all the time, but towards the end, they had to look at the photo to decide who was the winner. They finally decided I beat him by a nose and I was named the fastest man in Asia. So, visualise your dream to make it happen.

    4. Talent Enhancement

    Even after you have achieved success, you need to continue to improve your talent.  The most important thing is Discipline.  You may have a goal but if you do not have the discipline, you will not reach your destination.  The most important word in discipline is ‘No’. You must have the ability to say ‘No’ to distraction and all the negative thoughts.  Then you will build the mental toughness to take criticism and setbacks positively. You must convince yourself you are doing the right thing and life is never one step up all the time. 

    Enjoy your journey, try to be the best in what you made up your mind to do.  Even if you are not the best in what you do, you can be a champion for yourself. And remember that no matter how big you have become, you never did it alone.

    Written by Nancy Lee, ICF-PCC, Program Manager and Mentor Coach at CCA

    Corporate Coach Academy is the World’s Top 3 ICF Coaching School and Top Coaching Provider in Malaysia. It is known for its ICF coaching programs and offers the best executive coaching programs.

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