History was made recently at the University of the North West when 28-year-old Lehlohonolo Phali became the youngest graduate in South Africa to receive a PhD in Applied Mathematics.
A natural numbers guy, Lehlohonolo (now Dr Phali) was in love with maths ever since he first set foot in school, excelling in the subject from early on. His love affair for numbers and problem solving continued and it inspired him to take on this challenging course that’s usually fraught with the stigma of maths being difficult.
Being #SuperSmart as he is, Dr Phali also saw the lack of researchers in the field and the opportunities that maths bring. In fact, his passion for maths and the opportunities it brings runs so deep that he aims to open an academy to help young people overcome their fear of numbers and motivate them to excel in the subject.
One of his biggest motivators was to give people courage and show them how to achieve their goals by giving these simple, yet effective tips:
Love what you do
Loving what you do instills the passion that is required to achieve success.
Know your goals
It’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve. Clear goals helps you focus on what needs to be done in order to achieve them.
Don’t expect to get anything on a plate. If you really want to excel at whatever you put your mind to, you have to work hard no matter how talented you are.
Achieving greatness takes both effort and time. Most people who achieve great success didn’t get it overnight – the guy who made Pokemon Go spent 20 years developing the game!
Working hard over a long period of time takes a lot of dedication. It’s easy to lose focus and even the motivation to continue, but being disciplined will keep you on track.
Almost every goal worth pursuing will have its challenges. Facing a challenge forces you to come up with solutions to overcome these obstacles, helping you grow and become better at what you do.
There’s a saying that if your goals don’t scare you a little, you’re not aiming high enough. It takes courage to take on the challenge to achieve these goals, because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone into unknown territory.
Learn, learn, learn
Knowledge is most certainly power, and if you want to achieve your goals and be the best, you must never stop learning.
Finally, says Dr Phali, (if you’re a person of faith) pray for it.