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AJ Minai is the ‘big brother’ of Global Oak Tree Scholars, although he does give out ‘fatherly’ advice during his S.H.I.N.E. classes.

S.H.I.N.E. which stands for (S)ocial, (H)umble, (I)maginative, (N)etwork, (E)ffective – is the first experiential Emotional Intelligence (EQ) focused training framework in Southeast Asia (SEA).

Like everyone else, Minai has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But far from despairing, Minai is using the setbacks to become a better person.

Besides coaching in GOTS, Minai is a two-time TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, coach and trainer who has spoken at over 200 events globally. Earlier this year, he was part of the Forbes Communications Council global expert panel.

“Anybody would be lying if they said it is fine. Covid-19 has affected everyone in some way, shape and form,” said Minai.

“Everyone is asking the same question – what does this mean for the world? Are the changes permanent, or are they temporary? Will we go back to leading a normal life?

“For the past three months (since the Movement Control Order on March 18) I’ve been mostly at home. I only go out when I have to.

“But we should not be worried. We must use this experience to explore other avenues and adapt to the situation.”

“I believe pain is transformation and greatness lies at the end of this pain, which in this case, is Covid-19.

“Most of the people we look up to had some form of pain in their lives. A jolt which pushed them to aim higher.

“We should embrace this pain, transform and learn from it to become a better person.

“It is not about glory, fame, status or money. This is what I try to impart during my classes at GOTS.”

He said he is using these lessons to make himself a more capable father, husband and coach.

“I will have to adapt the way I coach in GOTS as part of the lessons involves us being in close proximity, doing activities side by side and giving each other high-fives for a job well done.

“That’s got to change. That’s why I like to repeat the ethos – embrace the pain, transform and learn.

“We have to find a different way to bond and build that respect.”

Minai who is married to Zainab Khan, with whom he has a daughter – Eva – hopes all the fathers in GOTS be they staff or parents, have a wonderful Fathers Day.

“Remember to spend as much time with them as you can. Shower them with love and affection as who they become is a reflection of their family.”

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