Two Form 2 students asks me the question.
They find it difficult to study. One admits he is not trying very hard. The other says he does work hard; but just cannot manage to remember the material. One has a father who seems never satisfied how hard the son tries; hence there is no reward nor joy in studying. The other sees no strong motivation to study. They think that some of the most successful people are not very well educated. Studying is hard, there is no joy in it, and it does not seem critical to success. So, why bother?
Being poor was strong motivation for me and most of my friends. But more than that, I actually enjoyed learning. And the more I learn, the more I enjoy it.
I told them there is indeed satisfaction in studying, in learning something new, in solving a problem, and in getting a job done well. They could also learn to find and savor that satisfaction. They can give themselves that reward, without depending on other people’s praise. Once they learn to enjoy studying, there will be no lack of motivation.
Actually they don't have much choice. They have to be in school until they finish Form 6. They can either suffer through it. Or they can find a way to enjoy it.
Being so young, they have a lot of unrealized potential. They simply do not know how good they can become. They are at that critical age when they can still learn to learn. If they don’t do it now, that potential may never be realized. And they are going to regret it later in life.
Some of these buddings will grow into trees. Many will be stunned, or even die. Which will my two young friends be?