Watching my thoughts

Today is the third session of my College’s dance interest group. It was contemporary dance. Needless to say, I was completely clueless of what to expect, although I was looking forward to be taught by Hui Jun, my student’s dance instructor.

Student’s dance instructor … I like this oxymoron.

Hui Jun is a talented young dancer with a great attitude about life. I recalled meeting her during the College’s scholarship interview and was impressed by her commitment and passion about dance. I remembered taking down these notes during the interview:

This young lady knows very clearly about what she wants for her life. She believes that if a person puts his/her mind and soul into something, everything is possible.

Just on the latter statement, I connected with her psychologically as we shared the same belief system. To commit to dance for life takes a lot of courage and I can readily sense her conviction during the interview. Dance will always be a part of her life, so I thought to myself as I scribbled that down on my excel worksheet.

I always envy people who somehow get their lives all figure out at a very young age. In comparison, I never knew I wanted to become an academic until I turned 39. Hui Jun is probably only around 20. So young, so much conviction.

For some strange reason, Hui Jun reminded me of Margaret Thatcher, the late first woman British Prime Minister. Not for her hard stance when dealing with men (Hui Jun is far more feminine :)), but for her conviction to become a politician at an age like Hui Jun.  This famous quote by Margaret Thatcher came to my mind:


Hui Jun is a great example of how a thought of wanting to dance can translate into a series of words, actions, habits and to her resilience character. I know one day that this character will brace her through many disappointments, pains, happiness and joy, before finally fulfilling her destiny. It will not be an easy ride and she has what it takes to make it till the end.

As Hui Jun was orchestrating the dance routine midway during the session, I could sense something was amiss. The usual confident Hui Jun seems distracted. She seems overly concerned about whether the participants will be bored by the repeated and mundane contemporary dance moves, to the extent that she even acknowledged to everyone how boring the moves were to her. Why should Hui Jun think that we are not enjoying ourselves? I thought her worry was unnecessary. The contemporary dance moves were slower and required more precise muscle control. As a result, I found it easier to sense the different parts of my muscles when compared to Hip Hop.  Honestly, I was enjoying myself.

Upon reflection, I have realised that I am now witnessing how a single thought that people may not enjoy her session can shake the confident of a talented person like Hui Jun.

Just a single thought, yet so much damages done.

I refused to let that thought continues its path of destruction in her. So I told her honestly how I felt about her session and why she should not be bothered if the participants may find her session boring or not. I told her that contemporary and hip hop are like apple and orange. Someone will like apple more and someone will like orange more. There is no need to feel that Hip Hop is better than contemporary and vice versa.

This incident with Hui Jun reminded me of the importance of watching my thoughts 24×7, and of the very need to make a conscientious effort to flush out the destructive thoughts and keep only the constructive ones.

As I head back to my apartment, I cannot help but to feel grateful to Hui Jun for these reflective thoughts.

And so, I end this blog with my heart-felt gratitude to my student’s dance instructor.

Thank you, Hui Jun for reminding me of the importance of watching my thoughts.

I owe you one.

Jenson Goh




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