A Girl on Fire: Play Hard, Work Even Harder

By: Eli Chan


I have come to realize that being happy inside and out can attract an incredible amount of positive energy. This is a true story that I feel extremely grateful to be able to share from my experiences during the past few months. I dedicate this post to all of my supporters and friends, including those both internal and external to Scouting, who have helped me discover my true potential in such a short period of time.

As a member of the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group, we set annual personal development goals, which we are encouraged to push ourselves to achieve or exceed. However, four months after I had set my personal goals, I felt like I had not made any progress towards my goals, and there were missing puzzle pieces in my life that seemed unsolved:

  • I still needed to find a co-op placement for my upcoming work term in the summer.
  • Second semester was also starting for school with a large homework load expected to pile up.
  • Furthermore, I had wanted to apply for an executive position of a student club to contribute more towards the university community.
  • Aside from these items on my agenda, along with my scouting commitments, what else is better than having an early 6 AM work shift every Sunday morning?

At times like these, when nothing seemed to be living up to my expectations, I must admit it is inevitable to look towards the darker side of things. Perhaps we tend to expect the worst to save ourselves from the heartbreak of things not turning up the way we want. Ultimately, it was this mental burden that made me feel more apprehensive of pursuing more goals and tasks that would be adding on to the endless cycle of anxiety that did not seem to end anytime soon.

But I realized I still had to with the stress, regardless of how I perceived the situation. That is why I decided to turn away from this apprehension. What motivated me to push myself and not give up from dealing with the dark days and stress was to be happy- not just content, but to surpass that point in order to be truly happy on the inside and out. At random times throughout the day, I found myself smiling – to the bus driver that took me to UBC, to a fellow student that helped hold the door for me, and even to myself when I was alone doing my homework. I’ve always known that a smile can be contagious, but only recently have I recognized its true power, because it made me feel better about myself on the inside. During the roughest of times throughout December to February, my internal happiness helped bring out my infamous smile that attracted my closest friends to come even closer and give me the tremendous amount of support that I needed. Long phone-calls with my best friend and talks with my mentor within the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group helped me believe that I was not alone in this journey. As long as I kept on smiling, I hoped for a better day to come.

Soon enough, that was when I saw an unexpected turnaround.



Nearing the end of February, I received a call from the Canada Revenue Agency offering me a co-op job that would commence this May which I was both ecstatic and overjoyed to accept. I also got an e-mail from a UBC student club, Young Women in Business (YWiB), telling me that I have been accepted as their VP Member Development on their executive team for next year. This was especially humbling as I was originally turned down for the position I had applied for, but they told me that my personality and enthusiasm persuaded them to create this new position for me on the team. This series of successes earned me a nickname of “The Girl on Fire”.

That was when I came to this realization: Keep on having a positive outlook on life and things will turn out better than ever expected. Have you ever heard of the saying Work Hard, Play Hard? That is the mindset I hope to carry on for the rest of the year to make sure I am creating opportunities for myself and meeting my goals. With that being said, I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming summer season – work, work and more work, while playing some Ultimate Frisbee in the setting sun and living up to everyone’s expectations as The Girl on Fire!

So I urge you to continue on smiling because there are just so many things out there to discover right in front of you. Within the time I have been with the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group, not only have I learned to aim high in the goals that I set for myself, I have also learned to put the values of P.E.R.S.I.S.T. in my everyday life. And you know what? It is never too late for you to do the same as well. It is up to you to determine whether you are passionate and persistent enough to find newer and better opportunities than what you have now. 🙂

https://dge9rmgqjs8m1.cloudfront.net/global/367e94738680d1f8b76f1e42901bbf126c6fd3f9d498d94d6096b4426115754b0e4466ff456f8c0e952d82df80e366937023d46d590f59060eb4c5294cceabd321477f9f84c8faaf90833f918af323cf/avatar.gif?r=3 Eli Chan first joined the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group back in 2011, and is also an active Cub leader with the 33rd Richmond Buddha’s Light Scout Group.  Since joining our Group, Eli has been instrumental in the planning of several Crew events.  Additionally, Eli also participated in our international service project to China in 2012, and took on the role as a presenter in a Personal Development workshop to groups in China. 

Outside of Scouting, Eli is a third-year student majoring in Accounting at University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.  Congratulations to Eli on her recent successes!

Blaise Wong

One Response to “A Girl on Fire: Play Hard, Work Even Harder

  • Mostafa
    4 years ago

    What an amazing story of how you picked yourself up and stayed focused on your goals, regardless of all the hurdles along the way.
    You’re absolutely right! With positivity, hope and faith things will turn out better than ever expected. Reminds me of this famous quote that says ‘Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together’. Although we might feel down or disappointed at the time, months/years later when we ultimately achieve our goal and start to look back in time, we would understand how God has always had a better plan for us.

    Oh yaaa …. You got it right! Una sonrisa es la llave secreta que abre muchos corazones. (#iProj14) A happy smile and positive energy would definitely attract people!

    Just see how everyone was praising you yesterday during the PERSIST Award ceremony! To me, this is the most rewarding part about this whole journey: Knowing how your peers and friends value you for who you truly are.

    Eli Chan, once again congratulations for winning the PERSIST Award.
    You truly deserve it. Good luck to you the “Girl on Fire”!
    Shoot for the moon. even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars! (And trust me, you’re already there, so keep going)

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