Live life to the full

by Aldric Chau

Enhanced mental capabilities boost physical strengths

Nelson Yip, founder and executive director, Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power co-founder, Energy Saving Concern Alliance and the Hong Kong Electronic & Technology Association
CEO, EP Power Limited, EP Venture Limited and Appetizup Limited
Photo: Wallace Chan

Not only have the Beijing Olympic Games heralded China's prominence in the international arena, they have also shown the strenuous efforts of China's athletes and displayed their commitment to excellence. It is this effort and determination that inspire people around the globe to strive for excellence in their personal and professional lives.

Nelson Yip, official representative of the Hong Kong Paralympics Equestrian Events, Beijing Olympics 2008, keeps clearing the bars to success, excelling in the fields of sport, business and civil service. In the Career Times seminar "Striving for Excellence" last week, he shared with participants insightful tips for professional and personal success.

According to Mr Yip's philosophy, excellence is about expanding a person's capabilities. "Whatever the tasks, you do them better than you did before," he said. "It is this continuous process of improvement that wins recognition and achievement, and creates motivation for moving forward."

CEO of EP Power Limited, EP Venture Limited and Appetizup Limited; and co-founder of Energy Saving Concern Alliance and the Hong Kong Electronic & Technology Association, Mr Yip believes that sports and business bear great resemblance to each other in many important aspects —b oth are people-oriented, competitive and stressful at times. "Sometimes you work in a team to achieve a common goal while there are times you compete with each other," he explained, adding that reaching for high standards of performance is the most interesting facet as it engages a high level of concentration and energy, driving people to perform at their best.

In Mr Yip's opinion, setting personal goals is of utmost importance in sport and business. "Doing so gives you a clear direction," he said, emphasising that a realistic goal should be specific and attainable. "Take the initiative to set goals for yourself. In the business world, if you do not set goals for yourself, people around you will definitely do it for you. What follows will be a truly difficult time, as you may feel negative about the standard that others expect from you if the goals are too easy or too difficult to achieve."

Mental strength

Having set a clear goal, a plan for the actions required to meet that goal must be made. To this end, Mr Yip believes that time management is vital to maximise available resources. "People should prioritise tasks so that the most important ones are always completed first," he advised.

He suggested people be well aware of their biological clocks. "Everyone's biological clock setting is unique, you must find out the time of day during which you work most effectively," said Mr Yip, who assigns the most important tasks to the period during which he works his best. "This way, you will be able to accomplish your missions more productively," he expanded.

As both sport and business demand high performance, stress management becomes a focal concern when striving for excellence. "It goes without saying that a certain level of stress is good for boosting performance but once it's over the optimal level, it crashes and messes things up," Mr Yip remarked. "Athletes have ways to relax their muscles with stretches and massage, while we should find our own way to cope with stress. If you experience trouble dealing with stress, focus on performing one task at a time, so that you can cease the stressful multitasking mode and enjoy a more tranquil period of concentration." Mr Yip feels most relaxed when horse riding, as he stays completely focused on just the practice and interaction with the horse.

To get past hurdles along the way to success, Mr Yip pointed out three essential factors: mental, physical and spiritual toughness. "They form a golden triangle which backs you up throughout the everyday challenges," he said. "It is harder for us to succeed if we miss out any of these integral parts of life." In particular Mr Yip highlighted the importance of mental toughness. "By always having a positive outlook on life and enhancing our confidence, we can take full control of ourselves and win the mind game," he added.

Summing up his philosophy, Mr Yip reiterated that the very first step that people must take is to set goals in life by undergoing a thorough soul search so as to confirm aspirations, boost self-confidence and find the motivation for continuous self improvement.

Taken from Career Times 03 October 2008, p. B13
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