The Leadership Conference 2021 was the largest online gathering of The Girls’ Brigade Singapore with more than 700 Girls in attendance.

It’s tough to be a leader when things around you don’t seem to happen the way you intended them to be. Can you still have the strength to lead others even when you don’t feel like it? International author Nick Vujicic, Esther Tan (from the Singapore Women’s Everest Team) and Aiken Chia (online talent and content creator) tells us 3 important choices you can make to keep you going – one day at a time.

Born in an Unprecedented Time

Is it even possible to have a bad day when you’re an international best-selling author, a female Mount Everest climber or an influencer with more than a million YouTube subscribers?

It happens more often than you think. In a torrid year filled with uncertainties, many may have felt crestfallen by the loss of opportunities that would otherwise have been part of their youth.

Can we pull ourselves back on track when we have to deal with a whirlpool of languishing emotions we face daily with seemingly little progress?

Here are 3 important choices you can make to keep going – one day at a time

1) The Choice to be Vulnerable

Born with no arms and legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disabilities to live a fulfilling and independent life. His quirky antics and exuberant outlook drew many worldwide for inspiration. Ever since the pandemic struck, reduced appearances, cancelled gigs, loss of potential income plunged him into a deep valley of grief and mental exhaustion. Nick had every reason to believe that all odds were stacked against him. Yet, he chose to bounce back from the deep end to emerge stronger than ever.

Nick encourages young people to embrace and process and their emotions. “Find a mentor you can trust, journal down your thoughts on paper to understand your feelings better.” Being able to be vulnerable with ourselves before others can help to open up to even the best of us.

” Embrace and process your emotions. Knowing your purpose gives you courage and strength to manoeuvre life.”

– Nick Vujicic

2) The Choice to be Surrounded by Mentors

Every good and meaningful relationship is a blessing that we can reach out to. No one is meant to journey alone in this world. At times we need a little help from those we trust to keep us accountable to our goals, encourage us and be there when we need a little support.

Sometimes, having a friend to journey with us in times of trouble can give us the strength to prevail in seemingly insurmountable situations. 

Many know Aiken to be an up and coming influencer who has hosted more than 200 episodes on Food King. Growing up in a single-parent low-income household, Aiken fell into a bad company which got him into trouble with the law. By the time he was fifteen, he had dropped out of school. 

On his journey to find himself, Aiken found a community of mentors who deeply cared for him and acted as father figures when he needed one the most. Surrounding himself with people who want the best for him meant that they were there to point him in the right direction, groom his talent and prime a safe environment to grow into a better person.

Even at this point, Aiken has at least ten mentors in his life that he is accountable.

As you think about your own experience, you may have found his story relatable in some areas. You might think you are on your own journey to find who you truly can be. Can you name the mentors in your own life at this moment?

Perhaps you are building up your own identity, searching for places to fit in. You may have found his story relatable in some areas. Maybe it’s time to surround yourself with the right mentors.

Captain’s Advice: Ms Yoke Khee from the 54th Company said, “Do not be afraid to reach out to Captains, mentors or even seniors to learn from them even when you don’t feel like it. Absorb the values that they embody and resonate with you the most.”


3) The Choice to stick to your Goals

What is it that you truly live for? Having a purpose in life gives us a goal to live for. It pushes us to get past every rut and difficult experience that we encounter. As the first women’s team to take on the arduous task of climbing Mount Everest, Esther and her team had one purpose in mind – to reach the top of the peak in 5 years.

The day that they arrived at base camp 1 (midway to the summit) was the day that they received news of a recent avalanche that happened at Khumbu Icefall – a dangerous path that they have to take at all cost in order to reach the peak. Having travelled thus far and after investing half a decade of their lives preparing for this trip, the team was now faced with an important decision that all their years of training did not prepare them for – turn back, or take the dangerous risk and soldier on to reach the top of the mountain. Against all odds, the team made the difficult decision to keep with their plans and take the risk.

In the same way, it takes a lot out of anyone to be committed to their goals. Are you willing to stick to them even when you don’t feel like it?

Aiken too had to stick to his decision to stay in school and complete his degree whilst having a full-time job hosting. Nick pulled through a tough season to build his business back up. But at the end of their journey, they were able to finish what they started.

“If you don’t realise what your Everest is, you will never reach it – Find your Everest and climb it.”

– Esther Tan

What is your Everest?

What lies before you this year? Is it an academic goal? A sporting achievement or even leading others with grace and humility for the period of their leadership.

Others who have gone before us have graciously shown us that these aren’t impossible feats. Give yourself time, the discipline to stick to your goals and be vulnerable and willing to be your true self.

You’ll always be a great influence when you first lead yourself. Be the best version of yourself. Be true to who you were meant to be, walk with friends who matter and go climb the mountain you were meant to climb.

“Hardships Builds Character and Resilience. When you Overcome it, you can Face Whatever.”

– Aiken Chia