In Singapore, it is compulsory for every male to serve the nation for 2 years. While serving the nation, they face strong organisational discipline and culture. Every action of theirs is being observed and if a mistake were to be made, there will be zero tolerance. They will face vigorous training as a form of punishment, or any other forms of punishment for the men to learn from their mistakes.
Singapore is known to have high workplace stress (The Straits Times, 2016), and not everyone is able to handle stress. “Some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events more quickly than others”(National Institute of Mental Health, 2017).
The possible source of stress for men in the army could be from the training that they face or even from their personal problems outside the camp. Also, these men would have to put down their concerns from their civil life and put military as their priority. For example, if a soldier had just broken up, he will not be able to leave camp to patch back the relationship.
With high-stress tension in the lives of the men, they would be unable to think with a clear head, resulting in a rash decision and acts that they could regret. Emotions are so volatile that it cannot be clearly defined with a line, to control, or to lose control. Therefore, we intend to seek ways to educate men to take control of their own emotions.
Taking an example, a soldier who is both close to his family and carries the army values well has been selected to be an officer. Throughout the last week of his Officer Cadet Training, he received a news regarding the death of his beloved Aunt. As he was a good nephew and a good cadet, he was stuck. He has to choose between his desires to seeing his Aunt for the last time or to complete his final week of his training
Objective of Study
Knowing that emotions are difficult to handle, our focus will be tackling problems related to stress, mental strength and problems faces. Problems should not be faced with just one single mindset but should consider all circumstances, responses and outcomes.
The objective of this study is to help soldiers or people in high-stress situations, due to work place stress and personal problems, to resolve their problem through exploring different mindsets and responses. This is so that Nsmen are able to better understand themselves and better manage their emotions.
Potential Solution / Implementation for Problem Solution
The 6 Seconds Model has 3 main points: Know Yourself, Choose Yourself and Give Yourself. This model aims for people to become more aware (noticing what you do), more intentional (doing what you mean), and more purposeful (doing it for a reason) (Freedman, 2010). Nsmen will be able to think about their actions, understand themselves, and think about what are the consequences of the actions if it were to be carried out.
By applying this concept, the users would have higher EQ and be smarter with their feelings and be able to more accurately recognise emotions in themselves and others. This framework will help users make decisions and craft effective solution for the life puzzles that they face everyday.
By deliberately stopping and processing their thoughts with this framework, they would be able to distant themselves from their emotions when the situation calls for it.
So how is this 6 seconds model applied? Not many people know of the model, like how the majority of us only know about it through this module.Therefore, the very first step in helping NSmen apply this model is to teach them about it.
When men first enter NS as recruits, they are of variable mindset and are at their weakest emotionally and mentally. This framework should be taught to them in this early phase of their NS life, so that they will be better prepared to handle the challenges ahead.
However, this proposed idea is only solving the problem on the surface.
“Emotional intelligence begins to develop in the earliest years. All the small exchanges children have with their parents, teachers, and with each other carry emotional messages.” Daniel Goleman.
From Goleman’s quote, we can conclude that people have already developed a rigid mindset by the time they reach NS. For more effective education, this model needs to be taught to them when they are younger and still developing their mental frameworks.
Another suggestion would be for MOE to implement it in the primary/ secondary school curriculum, just like how students went through lessons for SexEd. For example, what could be done during the lesson, is to teach them through a movie that relates to children, like the movie “Inside Out”.
If the children were to learn about it when young, they will be able to have a better understanding of how the 6 Seconds Model can be implemented through progressive learning through the years. Thus, when they grow older and arrive in the army, or even when they enter the working force, they will have a better understanding of how to handle their emotions, no matter how much pressure is put on to them.
Data Collection/ Research Method
2 research method is carried out:
- A survey is catered to Males who are undergoing NS or have completed NS. The main focus was to capture real life data of men in Singapore and understand their take on NS. This survey focuses on the emotional turmoil that they face and problems that they encounter.
- Another method is through online research and reference with academic resources.
By being able to manage one’s own emotion, s/he would be able to cut down on conflicts and lighten their stress by having a different and positive perspective of a problem.
There is always a solution to everything. But not everything has only one solution. One can always work around the problem by finding alternatives that will be able to resolve the problem without having a backfire.
Freedman, J. (2010, January 27). The six seconds model of emotional intelligence: EQ in action. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from
National Institute of Mental Health. (2017, March 13). 5 things you should know about stress. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
The Straits Times. (2016, October 19). Stress and lack of physical activity are top health issues for workers, say companies. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/manpower/stress-and-lack-of-physical-activity-are-top-health-issues-for-workers-say
(edited on 13 August 2017)