Have you ever seen a super successful person and thought that luck really favours only a few people. But you know better, luck only favours those who work the hardest.
And most often, hard work comes from squeezing out blood, sweat, and tears, and then some. It's never the easy road, and certainly never handed to you on a platter.
Instead, it's all about braving the odds, trusting your gut, and standing your ground that will yield you results.
And in this new world, women are breaking new grounds, glass ceilings and climbing to the top shoulder to shoulder with men.
Every woman who steps into a leadership position is a role model for the next young one wanting to make a mark in life. And this not only applies to the girls of Singapore but across the world.
And today, we tell you about some of these inspiring girls from Singapore who are making all the right noise. Not only did they dream big, but they believed in themselves – qualities that today's young girls and boys can learn from.
For the unaware, Inspiring Girls Singapore is a Facebook page dedicated to inspiring young girls that connects them with female role models.
Here are five such inspiring role models who have tasted success after years of hard work and with an unwavering determination to fly high.
1. Tuminah Sapawi
CEO of Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (Singapore Muslim Women's Association).
As a child, little Tuminah dreamt of being a teacher. She was inspired by her own primary school teachers she had.
But that soon changed into wanting to become a lawyer when she was in secondary school. She was inspired by the series "Paper Chase."
Even though her dreams kept changing, Tuminah's penchant for writing was always constant. As a result, she ended up in journalism where she spent more than 24 years.
She always dreamt of achieving more and was not ready to settle down. So at the age of 48, she took the bold step of joining the civil service.
This was one of the best decisions in her life as she went on to head two organisations - Yayasan Mendaki and Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura or the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS).
The latter is an NGO, dedicated to helping the less-privileged women, kids and their families.
Advice to her nine-year-old self: "Never fear to dream big. If the path is difficult, it is because your purpose is higher than you think."
2. Michelle Hon
(Founder of MomBoss Academy, an author, entrepreneur, and mum of three)
Michelle Hon was always a very happy child. She always felt blessed even though she knew she was poor.
Michelle was confident because her mum always reminded her that she can achieve anything if she set her mind to it. But her life fell apart when her mum passed away 11 years later. She lost all her confidence.
Michelle had to go through lots of ups and downs. She started modelling at the age of 16 years to support herself and went to host a music chart show. She moved countries twice and even lost money in her first business.
But after years of hard work and lessons she learnt on the way, Michelle today is a successful author and is leading four businesses. She is also a mentor to other women entrepreneurs.
She admits that she could never regain her full confidence and still suffers from imposter syndrome from time to time. However, Michelle now knows that she is surrounded but she also knows that she is loved and blessed.
3. Pek Lay Peng
CEO of Shingda Group of Companies and Founder of Society
Pek stayed with her grandma as a child for an extended period of time in Singapore, while her family home was in Malaysia. Her grandmother played a pivotal role in shaping her belief and outlook towards life.
She got to know and understand things from her grandmum's perspectives about life. Hers is a story of an immigrant from China in Singapore.
Pek always saw that her grandma didn't have it easy but this never deterred her from moving ahead in life.
Advice: "Life is not what is given to us but what we make out of it and then it becomes a life that we own. Grandma showed me how and I will have to remember that."
4. Yui Pow Redford
Avid traveller, linguist, educator, business owner, nonprofit founder, and a mum
As a young girl, Yui always had a deep sense of curiosity and a penchant for adventure. She went on to travel the world, making history as the first Asian woman - and first Singaporean - to visit every country.
She shares that it is perfectly okay to not conform to what society thinks you should be doing.
"It's your life, not theirs. You get only one chance to live this life," she's said.
She admits that she realised this hard reality as an adult. Something she wishes she knew during her younger years which she feels he wasted on trying to be like everyone else.
Yui says that it's only been ten years since she began embracing her own path. And it has brought her so much more satisfaction and happiness in life.
Advice: "Everyone's journey is different. Trust yours."
5. Indranee Rajah
Minister in Prime Minister's Office
As a child, Indranee Rajah loved reading comics and books and spent hours dreaming about the faraway places she read about. Indranee also loved attending school because she had great friends and teachers there.
Indranee's father passed away when she was barely five years old. That became her motivation to succeed life. She saw her mum work hard as a nurse to bring her and her siblings up.
It's not like Rajah did not have her moments of self-doubt. The politician went through her ups and down here she wasn't good enough. But when in doubt, she would pray and answers would come.
She had never thought that one day she would become a lawyer and a minister. But life had more to offer and Rajah's hard work brought her here.
Advice: "Be yourself, chase your dreams and do what you love doing. Try to treasure your family and friends because they are precious and they are the ones who make it all worthwhile. Be kind to yourself. Take each day one step at a time. And one day, you will get to where you want to be."
Cheers to the inspiring girls Singapore is so proud of!
This article was first published in theAsianparent.