Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random thoughts: Bo Tar Chey, the in theme now?

I subtly noticed after our PM mentioned about success even without a degree, many have started sharing the Bo Tar Chey BTC ( never study) success stories.

In fact, some of the otherwise mild people now openly declare their success as compare to their BTC status.

My thoughts on this matter:

1) I agree that u dun need a degree to be successful.

2) However, no need degree does not mean BTC. People who BTC are usually forced by circumstances and not by choice. It could be their family circumstances then were not favorable for education to be pursued. Or it could be, the pupils tried as they might, are just not academically inclined, and found better passion and energy else where. Given Asians generally pursuit academic excellence as a doorway to a comfortable career, many of these BTC is the yesteryears have to go through a lot of hardships and graduate instead from the school of hard knocks, and rightly become very successful people in their own field.

3) BTC will not work for people if they think of it as a easier way out. Many of the BTC, I believed, had tried hard at their studies, endure low esteem, pick themselves up and had a shot at other areas. 

I worry about glorifying BTC, especially if students think they can be successful even if they BTC. 

If they had tried hard, pick themselves up after numerous academic failure, and finally move on to other areas, I am confident that they will find their pasture.

But for the soft jelly, if u take BTC as a excuse not to study hard, I think they are sadly mistaken. TC is a proven path for the mainstream, a highway if u like. You can take a path not taken by others, but make sure u have the stamina and parang to bash through the way, and might end up going in circles. 

For my cilents who tell me BTC also can succeed smugly, I will give it hard to them. For those trying very hard and show grit but get very demoralized, I will tell them there are other paths to Rome. 


  1. TC is just a safety net.

    and sometimes it unfairly allocates different lifepaths.

    1. Hi SMK,

      When I say success, I refer narrowly to monetary success. E.g. Doctors earn more than a blue collar worker and is more successful monetarily.

      In terms of that, some unfairness is perhaps true as a lot of money and support can be spent to make one TC better.

      But I wouldn't use that narrow definition on life path, although undeniably, it is part of the path.

  2. Hi Si,

    TC does not guarantee success. Similarly BTC also does not guarantee success lol! What is the thing that guarantees success? A bit of luck, a lot of hard work lol

    1. I have to agree on that. :)

      Hard work improves your luck, and luck is still the biggest factor in success.

      Some are born well, that's luck. When I said born well, i don't mean born with a silver spoon, but imagine you are borned in a country with rampart corruption and civil disorder? Not sure hard work will help for most people in that situation.

  3. Hi Silly Investor

    "many of these BTC is the yesteryears have to go through a lot of hardships and graduate instead from the school of hard knocks, and rightly become very successful people in their own field."

    I strongly agree on this part. Successful BTC of yesteryears also cultivated "TC" habit through their sheer hardwork , learning "street smarts " through school of hardknocks .

    天时 地理 人和 缺一不可

    1. STI,

      天时,is almost the same as what LP refer to as luck, there are years when we just stink even if we bath everyday...

      Not luck, life goes on. When we down on luck, we hope to meet good pals, people who help is along.

      Karma... Eh... Be good ...

  4. Hi uncle temperament,

    precisely, that why I say BTC is different not getting a degree, you can just have a diploma or O levels, but keep TC in your own ways.

    Of course conventional TC is a proven path, go ahead and take it, it is not the end of the world if you cannot walk this path,but don't delude yourself that other paths are red carpets lay out especially for you.

    We are in SIngapore, you know

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