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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Overachiever/High Performer

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Phone in hand, PETER is pondering.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Here's a Quora answer request for me: What do overachievers want to achieve other than their careers?

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Overachievers are perfectionists. They judge their worth based purely on their successes. They avoid failings at all costs.

  8. Peter begins to type on his phone.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): They want to reach the finishing lines of all of their goals. So achieving their careers are just part of their goals.

  10. Typing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Overachievers need to achieve more and they'll strive to do that.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Achieving more can't be bad, except that overachievers may sacrifice their health, relationship and happiness in their pursuits.

  14. Act 2


  16. Peter is swimming near the outer boundary of the bay water.

  17. PETER (V.O.): Am I an overachiever?

  18. Reflecting.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm quite a perfectionist. I'm committed to not just meeting but exceeding others' expectations in my performance.

  20. Swimming.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having worked for over 40 years, I still have the stress and anxiety, as I'm very demanding of myself too.

  22. Swimming.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Days ago when I turned 67, I made a wish that I might work for another 30 years. That evidences my focus or worry on the future.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was with the Government, I did work too much and didn't take holidays.

  26. Pausing

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I did sacrifice a bit of my health, relationship and happiness in my pursuits.

  28. Swimming.

  29. PETER (V.O.): But I never lost my temper and I never acted imprudently. I exercised able leadership and played my due role.

  30. Swimming.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And now, I 'm enjoying my present.

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I've done less, particularly in song-writing, as I've become concerned how well are my songs.

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): All in all, I think I wasn't, and am not, an overachiever. I'm a high performer.


  37. Driving leisurely, Peter listens to the radio.

  38. PETER (V.O.): The story is about Fan Zongyan (范仲淹). He was a very high-ranking scholar-official, who worked for the Government for several decades.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I worked for the Government for several decades, retiring just as a department head.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Dealing mostly with legal policy, was I a scholar-official?

  43. Recalling.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A late uncle of mine often remarked that I was scholar-like...

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I love Fan's famous saying: Be the first to worry about the country's problems and the last to enjoy the joy of its fortune. 先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂.

  47. Thinking.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Was Fan an overachiever or high performer nearly 1000 years ago?

  49. Peter continues to follow the story.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, he died at the age of 63. That might be a reasonable life expectancy then.

  51. Act 3


  53. Peter researches with his phone.

  54. PETER (V.O.): During Fan Zongyan's official career development, he proposed reforms on administration and education.

  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He is also known for his prose and poetry.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And he has 4 sons and 3 daughters.

  59. Pondering.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I can't and wouldn't beat him. I'm content just to be a high performer.

  61. Reflecting.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'll think more before acting.

  63. FADE OUT.

  64. THE END

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