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23 December 2010

10 Things I Love About 2010

Before I sign off 2010, I'd like to share the things I love about 2010. Yes, I may not be able to post any entry after this because it's vacation mode already so I decided to write this article now, than never.

1. 1st Year of Married Life.
First year with my exciting and blessed marriage. My wife, Chona, has been both my encourager and prayer partner more than anything else.

2. 3 regional travels in a year.
Been in Hong Kong twice and Hanoi,Vietnam once.

3. Breakthroughs in professional career.
Worked with excellent people, met marketing gurus, inspired by entrepreneurs and expanded my network. Consulted for a music enterprise. I even hosted 3 wedding receptions! What a break!

4. Debt-free living.
No need to explain this one. :)Up next, abundant living!

5. Dad's recovery from illness.
Successful operation of my Dad and provisions for the bills.

6. The birth of Shining Light Generation Youth.
Experienced the revival of God's word in the life of the youth in our church.

7. The Accidental Musician blog came to life.
The next time a speaker ask who has a blog, I can raise my right hand and smile at my neighbor.

8. Opportunities to inspire others.
Limitless opportunities to inspire people to achieve their dreams and raise their standards. Some where applying my humble advice already. (I don't know with the others. haha!)

9. Overcame all struggles.
By the grace of God, the squeeze of 2010 failed to bury me underneath. Instead, my God raised me up and built my faith, confidence and patience.

10. Excited about new things in 2011.
As the year end, it's about time to expect greater things in the year to come.

With all these things, I thank God and I give back all the glory to Him. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

20 December 2010

Followers? Anyone???

I'm curious about people who wanted to be leaders but despise being the follower. And, I'm troubled with people who don't want to be a leader because they fear responsibilities and commitment. Have you ever met somebody who's telling you what you should do but didn't show you how? He's cool! Just imagine a ball coach who can't shoot while telling his guys not to miss a free throw? That's unbelievable. He must be the son of the team manager or owner.

We can't pass on to others what we don't have. It won't work that way. The moment we gain the experience, then we become credible to tell others the mess we did or the triumph we achieved. Great leaders emanate from their past victories over struggles. After all, they won't be great if they have surpassed easy jobs.

Those footmarks we leave become the trail of those who follow us. When we look behind and see there's none who wants to be like us, it could be a question to the quality of life we offer to this world. I mean, there's no room for hungry learners because they are always out to look for someone they wanted to be like. Just like me. I look for people who became successful not because they inherited the success but strove to meet the peak. Thankful that I am, I can't count them in my fingers. I'd like to listen to those who were once "the ordinary" with an extraordinary heart to serve men, not just to earn profits and recognitions.

It's so inspiring to meet people from all walks of life but let us examine those we follow. The two are both both accountable- the leader and the follower. Don't forget that. Leaders must produce alike. Followers must become leaders too. Followers will never come to extinction, only leaders.

17 December 2010

Travel Time

I heard people who talked about how time flies. Ask a kid and an adult what do they want with their time.

For the kid, he wants to grow now so he can do what he wants. He looks forward to having a good job to buy simple things like cars, gadgets, laptops and more. Plus, the privilege of going home late without parent's consent. He dreams of wearing a necktie, traveling to places alone and buying those coffee. What a kid. He just didn't know how adults have thought about the time passed.

For the adult, or shall I say, the grown ups with family, with the things any kid would like to have: going home late (much of this), eating delicious food (bloated already), buying good clothes (really?) and 3 mobile phones (for work, personal and extra). On the other hand, men think of working hard to earn a living. Women think of what to cook, where to buy groceries and how to raise her children. Working women battle with deadlines and spending little time with family. How they wish they could ride a time machine and be a kid again so life could be much easier.

Different perspectives. Different expectations. Kids may see a lot of adventures, both painful and worth remembering throughout the journey. Older people wanted to turn back time to correct mistakes, forgive those who hurt them and make better decisions.

Dreaming is traveling from today to your good future. Let your life goal bring you to the fulfillment of your dreams.


14 December 2010


Wonder why eraser exists? It's a tool to correct our mistakes. This life never expect us to be perfect, not even God. So, that eraser is essential. It reminds us that along the way, we'll slip from the lines, cross some strokes and write the wrong word.

So, the next time you commit a mistake, think about the number of people who committed the same mistake, and even worse!

A lot of people I have observed mastered the fear of committing mistakes. As if the new technology is designed to blow things. There are user-friendly manuals to guide us so why fear?

Step on the things you messed up and carry your mats. Move on. No one becomes successful by giving up at the first try.

09 December 2010


The weather at Central, Hong Kong is 13 degrees and for me, a native of a tropical southeast country Philippines, this is too cold. I could feel the freeze penetrating inside my skin. So much different from my hometown where sun rays are injected inside my veins. A change of climate may mean a change of lifestyle. Let me stress my point.

- A change of boss means a change of leadership style.
- A change of glasses means your vision needs more aid for good eyesight.
- A change of hairdo MAY mean a different personality or mood.

Chameleons adopt the color of their surroundings. Parents change their baby's diapers when wet. Things of this world are susceptible to change. We change clothes everyday. We change cellphones after a year or so. We change car every 3 to 5 years.

There might be changes in life, for better or for worse. I find the reason why those things happen- CHARACTER EXTRACTION.

We'll know the real person when they face changes in life. At that moment, life principles are revealed, values become obvious, purpose is at stake and future would be undefined.

Don't let movements push you back. Aim acceleration rather than deceleration. Step on the changes, make them the stones to step on towards success.

Want to know who you really are? Move from where you are standing now and see a lot of differences in your words, thoughts and deeds.

30 November 2010

No Shortcut to Success

There's absolutely no shortcut to success.

When we cut through a vehicle ahead of us, it won't do us any good. For quite sometime, we'll feel the boast inside blowing all horns aloud but that's not enough to prove the quality of our being. What makes a leader fine and effective? The Process.

To mold the glass, you need intensive heat, directly against the fire.
To create a sharp sword, you need to apply so much force and weight.
To soften the beef, it needs much pressure and heat.
To win a basketball game, endurance, teamwork and nice play setting are required and that can't be achieved overnight.

We need to understand that success has a PROCESS. Everyone needs to undergo the process, no one is exempted, everyone.

Through the process, our character is molded, our skills are refined, our emotions are prepared and our beliefs become clear.

Take it easy. Endure the process and reap the harvest at the end of the line.

Thanks to Francis Kong for reminding me of this in his talk at The Leadership Factor seminar last weekend.

24 November 2010

The Origin of a Champion

Take a look at this series of unpleasant events from a notable leader of history:

* 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.

* 1818: His mother died.

* 1831: Failed in business.

* 1832: Ran for state legislature - lost.

* 1832: Also lost his job - wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.

* 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.

* 1834: Ran for state legislature again - won.

* 1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.

* 1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.

* 1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature - defeated.

* 1840: Sought to become elector - defeated.

* 1843: Ran for Congress - lost.

* 1846: Ran for Congress again - this time he won - went to Washington and did a good job.

* 1848: Ran for re-election to Congress - lost.

* 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state - rejected.

* 1854: Ran for Senate of the United States - lost.

* 1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention - got less than 100 votes.

* 1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again - again he lost.

The name of the champion? Abraham Lincoln. He was elected president of the United States in 1860.

No one has ever won a title without experiencing defeat. Pain has its specific function to prune a person and extract the patience and determination. Difficulty is commissioned to strengthen our will to win and fight for the victory. These help us understand that the origin of a champion is failure. By this, a champion doesn't need to boast of his triumph. The real champion recognizes, in humility, the intensive training of life, which is defeat. After all, you can't see a champion giving up. Once knocked down, he rises again.

Please remember, our destiny is not defeat. We just have to be fitted in our greatest life purpose. That's why gold needs to be tested and purified in fire. It's inevitable but fulfilling in the end.

17 November 2010


When I was in high school, my friends and I ate our lunch meal during recess at around 930 am. We share our food with everyone, as long as they have their own spoon and fork. During lunch time, we'd spend time blocking the doorway to ask junk food from our classmates. That's our survival techniques!

I'm already a working professional and I still bring something for lunch. A rice meal, pasta or veggies, anything that fits my lunchbox. I also have sandwich or biscuit for snacks. My wife cooks good food for me everyday. (You gotta have a lovely wife like her.)

Ever heard that our heart is like a lunch box? Filling your lunchbox will junks will kill you. Yes, they guarantee taste satisfaction. So delicious, and you crave for more. I must admit that once I popped my favorite corn chips, I'm gonna empty it. I know some who love eating cholesterol, or simply, FATS! But how about the nutrition? Being healthy? "Oh, there's an alternative" , you might say. "I have vitamins." True. But it doesn't permit you to store up junks in your intestines. Later on, you'll be consumed.

Same thing with our heart. Don't store up junks and trashes or you may die earlier. We can't live storing up hate, fear, vengeance and such garbage in our heart. It'll gonna consume us. Remember, we bring those junks everywhere! It's unhealthy to think a hundred reasons why you hate a person, a thousand chances you missed, a hundred thousand mistakes your parents committed and a million why you hate your neighbor's dog! Those are trashes. We can't change the past. We can only change Today and Tomorrow. So, instead of stamping your feet and planning to break into others' lives, think how you can be better.

If what we eat is healthy, we can only expect living healthy lives. If our heart is healthy, our words, thoughts and deeds will nourish others as well. Not everything we eat is nutritious. It's our decision to choose the right things to store up in our Lunchbox.

11 November 2010

Same Feathers Flock Together

I remember the first time I spoke to a crowd of young people, I spoke so fast. In my mind, I have everything I have to tell them and unknowingly, I was running after a bullet train. Somebody had to raise his hand and boldly advised me to slow down so they could understand what I was talking about. Then, after few years, I found myself struggling and trembling (again!) while presenting book titles in front of category managers of a leading bookstore chain.

Speaking in front of a huge crowd keeps butterflies inside me. I couldn't escape from it because that's the nature of my work. Whether it's interpersonal or giving a talk to hundreds of people, my knees tremble and my tongue stutters. I thought to myself, "my English is terrible...I might forget what I want to say...there's limited time so I need to talk faster."

Now, telling all these, you wouldn't believe I hosted 5 wedding receptions and I have one this December. Thanks to my dear friends who trusted me their memorable day. How were I able to manage the butterflies? That I owe to my coaches.

I listen to audiobooks. I watch public speakers over the internet. I ask advice from my friends who speak with eloquence. I search for public speaking tips. I enrolled to a public speaking training center and befriend the master speaker. I practice what I learn. And, I force myself to speak in public. Terribly, I need to volunteer myself so I could have the learning experience. I stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped into the circle of public speakers (whether they like it or not!).

The sayings goes, “Birds with the same feathers flock together.” When we are surrounded with inspiring people, later on, our feathers will be like theirs. Somebody might tell you, “you look like them” or “you act like them” or "you think like them". The Holy Scripture taught me to “keep company to the wise and I will be wise.” It really matters. Tell me your environment and I'll tell you what your lifestyle is. If we want to change our mind, we have to change our environment. It's a discipline. Our mind is affected by what we see, hear and feel.

You want to change your attitude? Change your environment. Negative people will tell you hundreds of reasons why you should give up! Get out of the cage of fears and low self-esteem. Be surrounded with good people who won't embarrass you when you commit a mistake. Ask somebody you know could help you to become a better you. Don't be afraid to ask because only the fool thinks he knows everything. Wise men know there are so much more to learn. So, widen your network. Scratch your feathers with eagles, not with ducks nor chickens. Then when you soar high, it's time for you lift others. Be with the flock of happy and successful people.

09 November 2010

The Mirror Challenge

One of the important things in life which we somehow ignore is the mirror. The mirror reflects the subject it faces. Side and rear mirrors are important for drivers. Girls stare at them to check if their face is worthy of the man's attention, making sure the hair and make-up is still good. On the other hand, just imagine those videos of funny cats scratching against their enemy on the mirror.

When you look at the mirror, what and who do you see? Do you see an enemy? Do you see a friend? Do you see someone special? Or do you see someone miserable?

What you see is what you get. What you think of yourself is what gonna happen. There's also an old principle of man that's perfect for this- "To see is to believe." Unless you see yourself succeeding, you won't believe you are on the road to success. You will reverse the gear and live defeated.

Try this not for fun but to inspire you. Face at the mirror and tell the best things you want to happen.

"You are gorgeous!"
"You are a millionaire!"
"You speak well!"
"You are intelligent, brilliant, good looking and healthy!"
"You are the next Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Manny Pacquiao and John Maxwell!"

Then, substitute the YOU with I AM. Suddenly, you will feel the hair all over the body rising. Your sleeping confidence wakes up. You empty esteem level goes high. See? Then believe! Don't make enemy of yourself. You are not a junk but a person of purpose. You just didn't exist to fail. You exist to do something others can't do! Definitely, every individual is unique.

Tell that mirror it has seen the very best person in the world. And, that's you!

05 November 2010

What Drummers Can Teach You

I am a drummer. Every practice my muscles flexes and I feel a bit of pain on arms and legs. Sitting there for how many hours makes me exhausted. My ears are numb already from the noise I'm making. When you come to the room while I'm drilling, you won't appreciate it. You can only hear nothing but noise. My favorite companion next to the snare drum is the bass drum. I love kicking that piece. And, both of them are noisy!

You need to understand that drummers don't just make noise. When he gives you that funk rock beat, you'll find yourself dancing with the groove.

Don't you think our failures are but a mess of life? That we won't be able to impact the world because of our faults? Are we thinking so little because somebody told us we can't do remarkable things? Hit that drum head!

Playing drums taught me discipline. I should have ignored being a drummer the first time I missed the paradiddle. I should have forgotten perfecting the strokes and rudiments the first time somebody laughed at my mistakes. Through the years, I have developed the discipline. It's the discipline of not giving up no matter what people say about me or against me. After all, people just remember the "noise" I have made not the pleasant sound I played.

Same with our life. Those around us may remind us how subtle and weak we are. There are very few who can lift us up after missing the beat. And, even without a helping hand, don't quit! You may need to memorize terminologies. You may need to master the formulas. You may need to rise early to be on time. You may need to extend working hours to finish a project. Endure it. Be more focused on your goal not on the difficulties.

The disciplines of time, effort, rhythm and hardwork, I owe it to my drums. It taught me to become more patient, to be an overcomer and an inspiration.

03 November 2010

Street of Happiness

"Happiness is a choice." This is already a cliche. Whether we like it or not, we are responsible for our own happiness. We create good memories. We craft our dreams. We plan for the future. But inevitably, we bump to tragedy wall, failure post and disappointment gates. All of a sudden, we step on the brakes and settle for damaged headlights. We pull off and check the broken bulbs and glasses and some scratches.

Life doesn't stop there. It's up to us to drive till we reach the road of happiness. If we'd know how difficult it would be to get there, we'll never go. Take a boxer for an example. While training, the boxer can't count how many punches he could take from the opponent. He'd never gonna win that fight! He has to count how many punches he could throw, what foot work to use and how many rounds he could endure to beat the other down. That champion belt is the reward of all his sweat and pain. His choice must be at the end of the fight, he must be happy with the victory and fame. Nothing less.

So are we. The ball is in our hands. Happiness is for those who can chase the sun, run after the cheetah and climb Mt. Everest. Get up from that couch. Be happy. Buy a toy. Play video games. Read interesting life stories. Chat with kids. Simple things can make you happy.

See you at the Happy Road. Bring laughs and cheers.

29 October 2010

I Am...

Test yourself. What will you add to make the sentence complete?

I am...

When we were born, our only identity was the name tag wrapped on our wrist. Then, as we grow, we began to mold our own identity. What the passport, school ID, driver's license, government IDs' can't tell about us is our real identity, the real us.

In applying for a job, we are mostly asked about how we can be an asset to the company. HR professionals keenly run through our CV in details and do background checks to see if what you wrote there are true. Why is it important for them to know us as a person and not just what letters tell them about us?

Our ID cards are so small to contain our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and goals and fears. Our transcript of records reflects the way we behave during school days but it's not necessarily the basis for our success. Behavior is subject to change. So as emotions, situations, dreams and priorities.

So the real us don't depend on the name of our university, certificate of achievements, not even from our parents' surname. We are responsible to our own actions. We are so unique that the purpose why we live is so different from others. Why bother if you didn't finish college? There's still time to drag that degree to your CV. There's still time to ignite the engine from rags to riches. There is still time to boost your potentials and help other people grow. Who says the clock ceased to tick? Just be confident. Your value in the society is not determined by where you've come from but what you do now and what you can do in the future!


27 October 2010

The Two Powerful Words

Just another day comes. Stir that hot coffee. Check those emails. Tap those feet. Aren't we expecting anything new today?

Oh, that precious smile is too rare. Well, it happens to anyone. When we are so down, feeling so weak and so vulnerable with the struggles we face, we tend to rest on the couch and hope everything will be over after few minutes. We're too lazy to face the new day because we don't know how tough this new game will be.

I have 2 words for you with 3 exclamation marks:


Few years ago, I faced a public humiliation from someone I have just met. I didn't even know who he was and why he had to pour his rage on me. My young and innocent mind was totally savaged that day. I could have been so weak and quit my work. I felt I lost my identity. After that incident, I made up my mind that I shouldn't believe his trashes. I stood up. After all, he's just one and I have many cheerers around me believing I can be better. And, writing this entry makes me realize how my life has been at its best since that experience.

No matter how big the opponents are, no matter how difficult the rules are, no matter how heavy the baggage are, we still need play a good game of life. I mean, we lose ourselves if we let the difficulties consume us. We shouldn't be called a victor if there was no battle at all and if we didn't beat the opponents- pains, problems, and sometimes ourselves.

So, just when you think of giving up, remember the two powerful words.

25 October 2010

The Marriage You've Always Wanted

Late Monday afternoon, I grabbed a book from my closet and flipped its leaves. Surprisingly, that encounter wasn't just in minutes but hours. Would you believe that sometimes books shout loud inside of us, specially when the topic is related to your present situation?

I'm married to my lovely wife for more than 10 months. I must admit, the 2 years of being in a relationship and a 2-month short to a year of married life is enough to say I know everything about being a husband, much more, a partner.

In the book, The Marriage You've Always Wanted, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman shared stories in the book that were like scenes in my self-produced movie. My degree in communications doesn't qualify me in the list of relationship veterans. I must discover and willfully admit my own faults and be honest about how I feel.

Let me share you common barriers to an open communication among couples and how to overcome it:

“They Won't Open Up”- Be honest and talk meaningfully.
“I Have Such a Temper”- Be transparent and control yourself.
“He's So Selfish”- Overcome selfishness with love.
“I Don't Want To Hurt Her”- Speak the truth with love and compliments.
“I Know That I Lack Self-Confidence”- Accept the past, face the future, embrace assurance of comfort and support from your partner.

These principles can also be used in family relations, friendship, even in school and work. Relationship doesn't just apply to married couples. It applies to all because where ever there is love, pain is inevitable. The good thing is, we can eliminate the pain and amplify love. So, the next time you have scratches with somebody you love, you already know the barriers and must do something to overcome them.

A piece of advice from the Love Veteran:
People do not “make us miserable.” We choose to be miserable.- Dr. Gary Chapman

This book is like a map to couples before they sign the contract. It is also a guide and reminder to married couples on how to make the relationship happier, stronger, and sweeter than ever. The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman is available at leading bookstores. For more details, ask CSM Publishing or visit their site

Happy reading!

22 October 2010

The Revolutionizers Club

Some of us have big dreams. Many have bigger dreams. There is a song that has a line that says "to dream the impossible dream." How could dreams come true?

It starts today. It starts when we do the first move. It starts when we act on the dream. I have observed some, dreaming their dreams until their dreams sink them down beneath. I mean, dreams may be big but it all starts in small beginnings.

If you want to be a doctor, then endure the discipline of memorizing body parts and medical terminologies. If you are into sports, practice everyday. If you are in arts, like painting or interior designs, create your portfolio, do your stuffs. Invest in small things. Buy paint brushes, electronic gadgets, math books and chef knives! Don't wait till you are good enough. You'll never get there unless you start here. Watch shows that will contribute to your knowledge. Don't be caught waiting when waiting is already over.

Just like driving, if you wanna be in a place, you can't just tell your car to bring you there. Wow! That's an amazing and so expensive car. You need to heat your engine. Key in and start revolutionizing. Then move!

I take time to browse in the net for articles, presentations, videos and blogs related to my profession. I talk to people who I admire and grasp principles I need to grow professionally. These little things inspire me more to be faithful with my homework.

I have learned that there is no one else in this world who will benefit with the seeds of success we've sown but US. That doesn't make me exempted. I am also an avid learner and an aspiring guru in my chosen field. So, join the club of REVOLUTIONIZERS.

It's Time to Share

Giving is totally different from sharing. Let me explain.

Giving is sacrificing the whole pie. It's like you bought a birthday cake and gave it to your friend and sang "Happy Birthday" song. What happens next? He keeps the cake! That's already his!

Sharing is slicing your cake to give a portion to your friend. You eat the half, he eats the other. That's sharing! You are there. You tasted the cake. You just shared it to someone special to you. Got it?

When we talk about sharing, it doesn't mean we have to share what we have in hand. Those that we can't keep in our pocket are so meaningful to share.

TIME. It's so precious that we only choose people we spend time with.
LOVE. So precious that we take time to evaluate if a person is worthy of this.
ENERGY. We only have limited strength so we can only give a portion of it.
LAUGH. Medicine can't buy this. It combines happiness, joy and exuberance altogether.
FORGIVENESS. So hard to give but so liberating to feel.
PATIENCE. Not everyone has maximized it so if you have some more, please share.
FRIENDSHIP. A product of trust, love and sincerity.

Why share and not give? Because, you can't lose them. Our bodies are filled with such that all we can do is just share. Also, when you give them, it's like slicing your own pie and sharing the quarter or the half.

Think of who we can share our life.

It's nice to see people on the top of their happiness. It's more fulfilling if we are the reason they are happy today. So, from the list above, choose what to share.

15 October 2010

Always Smell Good

Would you agree with me that your taste has something to do with what you smell? And it would be difficult to identify the taste if you pin your nose? Oh, before you try that, please read the rest of this blog.

Since I was in grade school, I have been dreaming to have this nice perfume- Davidoff Cool Water. I just didn't know why I don't buy expensive perfumes even if I like them. Haha! I'm good with some perfumes I bought for myself, specially the one I bought when I got married. Anyway, this Cool Water is great and perfect for me. And only this year, after so many many years, a friend gave me a bottle of Cool Water as a gift, without any occasion! Wow!

How is it important to smell good? In my study of personal branding, the way you look determines attitude and personality, and that includes your aroma! HR professionals would think thousand times before they hire you if you stink during the job interview. On the other hand, take note, it's not just our physical aroma that matters but also our lasting aroma, which is our character.

We could always remember the sweet smell of the rose, the pleasing aroma of coffee and the luscious smell of a mouth-watery dish. Dare you, you won't be happy to smell a dead rat. You wouldn't even think of it while having your meal. Same as with people. Whenever we act strangely, naughty and undisciplined, we stink. When we pitch strong words to others, we stink. Being dishonest, disobedient and uncooperative, we stink. Our life stinks. Our personality stinks.

Life wouldn't be easy for us if we stink. Everyone will leave us without thinking twice. Take a personal inventory. Are we stinking? Do people feel good if we are with them? My nicest advice- always smell good.

In one of the local radio stations, I heard the DJ aired this line:

Brush your teeth so other people could live.

Then, smile. :)

12 October 2010

Another Blank Page, Please

In my early 20's, I used to have a journal where I write important things to remember during the day. I pen about my lunch, my friends and my secrets. I also write about what I've learned from the people I met, could it be from the security guard, cashier, radio DJ, teller, a friend or my boss. Things are so important that I need to remember, sentimentally, who told me what.

I find it so interesting to learn from people, specially those I admire. If I can't afford to take a seminar about a certain field, I would find a person who can share experiences with me. So grateful I am that I encounter people with high calibers and share their guns on life, work, business and spiritual insights with me.

A lunch treat with my friend and boss has inspired me lately. My first question was, "what does it take to be the president, the country director, the expat, the excellent public-speaker and the friend to colleagues?" And, here he went with his stories. I was like a blank page and wrote his insights with my invisible pen in mind.

Another brilliant guy shared me his thoughts on how he has achieved his fame and credibility in the marketing industry, in just few one-on-one minutes. Very simple tip. He learned his crafts through observation. And, more importantly, he's excellent in telling stories.

My friend who owns a prestigious English school taught me on the value of networking, building relationships and helping people develop their potentials. He inspired me to become a public speaker and entrepreneur.

So, how about you? Think of who can help you build your craft. Think of what you can learn from a friend. You are fortunate if your company sends you to corporate seminars or you can afford to pay for the learning investment. If not, just be like a blank page. Find a person who you think has remarkable stories in life. Record it. Examine, evaluate and apply. And, don't forget to write your own stories too.

04 October 2010

The Hard Way Academy

Picture this. All of a sudden, you have thought about cooking. You searched for culinary schools and phoned one for inquiry. Then, to your surprise, the person you were talking to told you hundred reasons why cooking was too difficult for you. You are gonna waste a lot of ingredients just to learn a dish. You're gonna spend money and time to enroll in their prestigious school to become a world-renown chef. And the last thing he told you was to drop by at their place and observe how students fail in class. Would you still enroll?

Of course, there is none in the world who will tell you that. Not with that poor telemarketer. Everyone will boast on their achievements and how you would become like their previous students who are building their career around the world. Precisely. Nobody will orient you how difficult it could be for you.

There are things in life that our parents, teachers, older relatives and office superiors can teach us. But, I figured it out that most of the high impact learning experiences we had came from learning it in the hard way. That's the Hard Way Academy.

I had a talk with a respected mentor last week. To my astonishment, he unfolded a life's secret that inspired me. This well-respected didn't have a mentor! He grew up on his own and was able to build credibility in the industry for more than 20 years. I couldn't just imagine how difficult it was for him to build his confidence in the field because his creativity and intelligence is superb. He taught me to appreciate the advantages of being surrounded with successful people because their insights are like precious gems that can save me from shame.

If life will brief us on what we are gonna take, chances are, either we'll settle for less or we'll cease to live the life we wanted. If I was too scared to shift my career and beat red lights just to learn new things, I wouldn't be here writing this entry. My life has many colors- being a musician, book-lover, basketball and badminton fan, salesman, marketing professional, blogger, friend, aspiring entrepreneur, life coach, a son and a husband who loves coffee, spaghetti, pizza and doughnuts.

Everyone is entitled for a lifetime course at The Hard Way Academy. We all commit mistakes; no one is exempted. But through those failures, we learn and grow and live the life we wanted, surpassing the pain and hurt we have encountered along the way. At the end of day, we can be grateful for each Learning-from-Mistakes Semester. Without that, life could be too easy that we treat each day with no value to life.

The Hard Way Academy is open to new applicants. Who wants to enroll?

29 September 2010

Wear The Right Shoes

Musicians, like me, would agree that there are people who can play new songs effortlessly and instantly, even without a music piece. The art of listening is much practiced in the world of notes and rhythms. Those who "play by ear" are called OIDO players. (if I got it right. :))

I play by ear. I call it a gift because no matter how I share it with others, some can't just pick up the tones and arrangements instantly. We have to admit. There are individuals who are gifted in music, some in arts, some in math, some in sports. Well, I know people who could play music the way you listen to CD. A round of applause, please!

Have you ever found yourself struggling in doing things right but still remain on the average? Perhaps, your dribbling skills took years to improve while it only took you hours to perfectly cook a dish. Or, you are good with math and dreamed to be an engineer but you fell on the trap of being a nurse instead. Why is that?

It's a matter of choice. Second, it's a matter of priorities. There are reasons why such thing happens- peer pressure, family relations, financial capability and some more. I am a marketing professional, a musician, a coffee-lover, a book-lover and a husband. I can't just figure it out how seamlessly these things fit in my closet. To add on the list, I write blogs too. That's my life and I love the way I am. The real connection that links them together? It's me.

What are you good at? What are the things you do that you enjoy? Are there things you want to try for fun or for experience? Think of the benefits and consequences of the decisions you will make. John Maxwell once advised, "Focus on your strength and forget about your weaknesses." Build your strengths and don't lose precious moments in perfecting where you are weak at. It really matters.

There is a good purpose why the Creator gave us unique gifts. No need to be somebody else. So, just wear the right shoes for you. You should be comfortable wearing it otherwise you might regret for the amount you paid, either in monetary or your most precious time.

22 September 2010

7 Reasons Why I Wanna Be Crazy

Who says you're crazy? Be thankful!

Yes! Be thankful to them because I have discovered that crazy people are those who take risks in life in order to succeed. Those who are out of their heads are the ones usually charge their mistakes and failures to experience. The term "out of the box" is very common in brainstorming or mindstroming sessions. Thinking out of the box is something like making a way in the desert, going out of limitations, breaking rules and regulations, out of the norms, out of the tradition. That's crazy!

Well, I'm not referring to the psychologically and medically diagnosed crazy people. My point is, sometimes, we need to be out of our thinking hats to appreciate what we have in life. Let me stress my points.

1. They laugh at their mistakes.
Do you know somebody like this? They are patient with themselves. They know that along the way, they will fail, slip on the floor, scratch heads, hit below zero and more. So, instead of taking it seriously and playing the blame game, they just laugh. Just like a 3-year old kid who dumped himself with dirt. It's so much fun!

2. They chase after the wind.
Fearless. Their life goals might be impossible to happen, so as chasing after the wind, but through persistence, they get what they want. The things in life might take them too long, too painful and too exhausting and yet they are still kicking. Think like a young bird learning to fly.

3. They thank positive criticisms and learn from negative ones.

Crazy little fellows are grateful for constructive criticisms and take negative ones as lessons for improvements. In this world, there's no perfect. As our expectation to perfection rises, our meter of disappointment starts to count. Positive criticisms builds our confidence. Negative ones polish our character.

4. They dare to learn many things.
Only satisfied and complacent people are good with little knowledge. Those who are out of their minds unlocks their knowledge storage, cleans it a little bit to prepare a space for new things. Just like a sponge, it constantly releases and absorbs liquids.

5. They don't settle for less.
Crazy people have big dreams! Yes, so huge that it might take them too long to accomplish it. Small dreams are achieved fast, in a year or so. Big dreams will sweat us a lot. Why dream for a small house for your family if you can dream a mansion where there are so many rooms that you can accommodate the homeless?

6. They don't stay at one place.
On a rocking chair, you feel the thrill but you stay where you are. Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer in 1520's, was too crazy to think the world is round. His country rejected his idea but Spain believed in him. He sailed, proved the world is round and found the Philippines.

7. They don't think of themselves.
The last crazy attitude is giving. The scripture says, it's better to give than to receive. True enough? They are too crazy to feed others, share what they know, help those in need, just to see them happy. They give value to others. They may not see the results in few minutes nor hours. The truth is, they have invested a lasting impact to the life of those they helped.

Imagine the world is filled with serious people. Fun is banned. Lips are sealed. Everybody does the same thing everyday because nobody wants change. Who's going to live?

Too serious?! Fly to Mars!
Crazy people, live on earth!

16 September 2010

Pick Good Fruits

My friend lives in Norway. On her Facebook page, she just posted pictures of a green apple tree where apples fell at the ground. Some are still attached to its tree. She said that you can't just pick up those on the ground, even if it just fell. Worms are very diligent to work double time just to pen the apple with their signatures. They are very territorial. Once an apple breaks out from the tree and hit the ground, it will be the worm's territory.

The world has too much to offer:
A big career break.
A joyful celebration of Christmas.
An illicit love affair.
A rebellious mind.
A vacation for the whole family in Disneyland.
A temporary solution to problems.
A bottle of red wine.
A certificate of recognition.

Suppose a table filled with lots of food is set for us. Those who love sweets will grab the bar of chocolates. Vegetarians will prefer salad and fruits. Body builders choose grilled lean meat and chicken. Filipinos will feast on rice and delicacies.

I mean, you will know the person by observing what they eat. Similar to what we put inside our souls. Are we dumping contaminated principles and attitudes inside? Do we pick the negatives along the expressway? Are we storing unhealthy habits in our pockets? A healthy evaluation of what we did for the past 90 days would help us identify what comprises our character.

The scripture says that the world offers temporary things but we should desire the eternal ones. Not everything we enjoy today will last till tomorrow. Our desires are also temporary. If we will pick the good fruits of living, surely we will experience true and lasting happiness eternally. On the other hand, the unacceptable, defiled and impure thoughts, words and deeds are temporary because they will consume us till we are destroyed. If that will last, we'll gonna leave the earth earlier.

Pick the good fruits of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, understanding, respect, honor, diligence, righteousness and holy fear. You may not have the joy today but it's guaranteed for tomorrow.

15 September 2010

Full Glass, Empty Glass

Was there a time you needed an empty glass to pour pineapple juice from the can and you couldn't find one? You saw all the glasses were filled with water and softdrinks and other juices. How'd you feel?

Our life is like a glass. Many things fill our life container. We dump in happiness, pain, success, failure, joy and sorrow, and mix them inside. We could be filled with love while others are so desperate and deprived. We could be filled with knowledge while some have limited education. Ever wonder why people who know a lot of things live independently and are so difficult to teach? Most of them don't even ask questions. It's because their glass is full of many things. Could be education, experiences or emotions.

In order for a person to learn new things, he has to empty himself again. When I resigned from my supervisory position in a Christian publishing company, I thought I was so equipped to face the corporate world. I told myself, "Hey Dude, you're grown up. Show them what you got." While I was sailing towards the sea, I realized there were so much of "ME" that I need to unload. And, there are tons of new things I need to pack in my journey bag. I brought weapons that are useless because I was a decade behind. The road map I have was obsolete. My knowledge and experience and decision-making strategies are not appropriate for the battle. I heard my heart speak, "This might be the real world."

I took another year for me to grow. Like an empty glass, I absorbed the creative and healthy juices from the people I encountered, from the books I read and from the mistakes I made. Many times I wanted to quit because I am ashamed of myself. I have so many regrets that pulled me from learning. Thus, I am grateful for those who are gifted with patience to train me to become more professional. I must admit that learning is a process. No one can just stop learning 'cause new things come consistently.

When we stop to learn, we stop to live. When we close doors to new friends, our growth as a person halts. When we refuse to listen, we cut the path of successful conversation. Little do we know, we are already misunderstood. The advantage of being unoccupied is we can accommodate as many as we can. When there's no vacancy, chances are, we can't easily accept opportunities and remain complacent with what you have. There, our growth timer stops ticking.

How about emptying ourselves again? How far could we go in embracing new things in life. Are we willing to sacrifice being somebody to be just a nobody? We earn the respect of many if what they see is who we really are. As the saying goes, "you can't teach old dogs new tricks." So, are you a full glass or an empty container?

14 September 2010

Please, Pass the Ice Cream

What are ice creams for? Pleasure! Satisfy your cravings! Yummy!!! Picture your favorite ice cream in a sugar cone topped with chocolate syrup and its melting! What would you do? EAT IT! Hahaha..

Now I got your attention. In life, what could be something to compare with ice creams? Is there anything that is so precious to us but time is too limited to enjoy it? That we need to consume it before it melts? Before it expires?

One example I know is OPPORTUNITY.
- a shot to win the ball game.
- a picture with Angel Locsin.
- a time with an OFW relative
- a chance to help a beggar
- a project from Hollywood

Think of the numerous opportunities we missed in life. Could be a time to forgive an enemy? Could be a chance to tell your parents how proud you are for having them? Could be a big sale in a mall? or simply, missed greeting your love one on his/her birthday?

The moment we missed the opportunity, it's gonna be a REGRET. Now, to deal with regrets is totally difficult and painful as well. Sometimes, time can't just delete the scars of regrets. We should have done that! Oh...really tough.

I had an opportunity to win a ball game back in 1998. It's a 2 point ball game advantage over the other team with only few seconds left. I was dribbling the ball half court when my guard match intentionally snatched the ball from my deadly cross over. So, he ran too fast and took the shot. I whipped him in the air so desperately. To our surprise, it counted! And he even made the free throw to swipe us from the elimination round! How'd you feel if you were me that time? Yes! I wanna hide from everybody!

Just like ice cream. When you buy it, consume it. It's good when its cold and firm. When it's not, it's good as trash. Opportunities come in different packages. When it comes, I believe there is a sense rising from us to go for it. The danger of undetected opportunity is disappointment that will eventually grow to regrets. However, not all opportunities in life needs immediate response. Or else, somebody else will suffer. Let's see what we have in the list.

Guides questions in grabbing opportunities:
1. Is it urgent and too important?
2. Who will benefit from the decision?
3. What are the other things to consider?
4. Are you prepared for the consequences?
5. Is it long term or short term benefit?
6. Should there be another chance like this?
7. What if this is an ice cream? (I love this question.)

By this time, somebody might offer you a new cellphone at a very low price. Is it an opportunity or a temptation? Apply the questions. But, if you were given a chance to help others and build their confidence, go for it. That's more than the ice cream you have in hand.

03 September 2010

The Making of an Entrepreneur

I heard once from a speaker that there are 4 stages in life. The first is the EDUCATION stage wherein we prepare for life with formal education. It takes 20 years to finish school for a typical student. It said so because many finished their college degree more than 6 years. Next stage is the EMPLOYMENT stage. Here, we fight for the elusive corporate crown. We jump from company to company to enhance our skills and at the same time, earn a living. Normally, it takes 20 years to master a certain field.

The third stage is ENTREPRENEURIAL stage. At the age of 40, I observed most people are venturing to business to make more money to sustain their families and enjoy the rest of life. While, the last stage is ENDOWMENT stage. At 60, a fulfilled man desires to pass on the success and life principles he learned throughout the years to his children and grandchildren.

It is takes skills, courage and connections to put up a business. While I'm still in the employment stage, I'm gearing towards becoming an entrepreneur, just few years from now. Of course, I don't want to be caught unarmed in the business battle so I'm packing the guns I need.

Let me share you some of it.

1. Build Connections.
Connections may mean family, friends, customers, potential business partners, even building guards, cab drivers and fishball vendors. I'm grateful that I'm surrounded with friends who are corporate leaders. They contributed a lot to my professional growth. But, as an aspiring entrepreneur, I have learned that when we build connections to anyone, not just to those who can do favor for us, we build our worth in the society. After all, what money can do to us if we don't have a family? a friend? a coffee buddy? Who will rejoice with us in our success? When we build connections, we build life- ours and someone else'.

2. Love books.
Through books, we learn the history, great stories of success, how a man rose up from rags to riches and many more. As I am writing this blog, I have a book about negotiations beside me. We can't pretend we know everything. A famous author's advice to the aspiring business leaders is to constantly unlearn to be able to embrace new things. What could life be without books? As starter, books are great tools to orient us in the know-how of business world.

3. Invest in business tools.
I find time to search the net for free business tools and articles. I have found a complete presentation about having an entrepreneurial mindset. I invested for it's printing and bound it so it will be easy for me to study and flip its pages whenever I need it. We don't have to throw huge cash right away. We can start in small things then progress. Study your target market. Be familiar with the tools you need. If you need to enroll in a school to learn softwares, product making or how to set up an event company, do so. It's not shameful to admit we're beginners. All big players took starter's kit. The MVP in NBA started from constant ball practice.

4. Build an expertise.
Choose what field you want to get into. Ask people who are good at it. Attend seminars. Learn the techniques. If you have a product to sell, learn how to effectively market it. Study advertising principles. Pile articles that can help you become the resource person in a certain field. Study cases about your product or service. Again, almost everything is in the internet, even thumbtacks suppliers. I even downloaded selling techniques from YouTube. If you are able, take master's degree. Remember, your expertise is the solution to problems.

5. Give.
We increase our influence when we give. It's not the amount, as a famous saying says, but it's the thought that counts. Encourage others. Give tokens to your partners or friends. Offer free service or trial. We make people valuable when we give. The art of giving sometimes is a lost art in business. As an entrepreneur, we tend to think what we can gain. The truth is, it's what we can offer to build others' lives. People remember the giver. Much more, they acknowledge those who extended their help in time of need. That is worth more than millions.

While driving on the road to entrepreneurship, we might pass through intersections, pedestrian lanes, sharp curves and dead ends that could cease us momentarily or permanently. Essentially, we need to realize how important our products or services are to our society. We won't quit till we understand the significance of what we do for others.

So, keep exploring. Keep praying. See you on the magazine cover.

24 August 2010

Profitable Investments

I used to read inspirational writings because I have worked for a leading Christian publishing. I have a habit of buying books that I know will help me in my personal life journey. Sometimes, friends give me books because they know I'm an avid reader. Presently, I read something that will prepare me to be a top executive or successful entrepreneur. I am interested to titles about negotiations, leadership, sales and marketing, presentations, advertising and entrepreneurial opportunities. I even buy back issues of business magazines so I can pile them as references.

Take a visit in my closet. There you will find a lot of resources from a heart-break problem to leadership principles . Because I think that they are too many and I'm too lazy to count, I would say I have more than 60 books. They are properly piled so I can notice if a book was taken out. To date, I haven't finished reading them all yet and I don't have any plan to read them all! So, what are those books for if I won't read them? I just want it there! One reason is I might need it someday. Another reason is somebody needs that too. Whether I read it, lend it or give it, it still serves a purpose- to enlighten a person and to make him/her happy. I simply don't plan to read a book because I know there's a season for each title to be read.

I have found a common thing among the authors and that is for the benefit of the readers. They share their precious insights so that we can do a lot better, in life and in business. That's what I call “profitable investments.” The moment they publish their works, they started to earn not just monetary but people. The day after the book launch, their people-meter rises from zero. Authors like John Maxwell, Stephen Covey,Jay Levinson and Ken Blanchard are too much well-loved and became sought-after conference speakers around the globe. There's one man I know here in Manila who speaks like them, has a radio program and authored best-selling books. I believe he isn't too rich in bank but in people, much more, friends.

Investing in people is important. If notable authors have the ability to invest their live in their readers, how much more a superior to his subordinate, a coach to his player, an army officer to his private and a father to his son? Sometimes, we pour our time with things that are not important, or can live without. We spend money in tangible things that can be rotten. Why not choose more profitable investment?

Money is not the only thing we can earn while living. I have a lot of friends who are like a family to me. I invest time and money because I know, it grows as time goes by. We can't forget that “time-deposit” exists. In due time, we'll reap what we sow to people, directly or indirectly. We save in banks and earn interests; we save on people and earn trust. Let's deposit lasting wealth to those around us and merrily traipse on the road of “profitable investments”.

I had a lunch with the president of our company. I kindly asked him if I could cover the book he lent so it could be preserved. The book seemed handled with 100% care and it still looks new to me. The price tag wasn't totally stripped off. I just have a thought that he could pass it on to his children. Gladly, he replied with a smile, “That's all yours.” “Really? I thought you could pass it on to your son someday.” He said, “Don't bother about it. I will take care of what he needs.”

Successful people invest on others. They don't need somebody to push them to do that. They are so filled with insights and passion that they need somebody to pour it in. I admire those kind of people.

10 August 2010

Two Cakes Made History

Last Friday was a very special day for me. I closed the 27th page of my life and flipped the blank 28th page. While I was cleaning our little apartment and removing dusts from our furniture and appliances, I felt afraid to face the new challenges this year will bring.

In this life, every circumstance tests the strong inner being of a person. No one is exempted. Ask both the beggar on the street and the wealthiest man on earth. No one is ever exempted. We face different trials in life but we also enjoy the good things life brings. Even during joyous days, pain is inevitable. Realizing this, I started to look back to what my life was.

I started my career selling inspirational books; having a heart to encourage others while I needed it much myself. Then, I climbed up the ladder of corporate leadership as division head. It was a very promising role and everybody respected me. I felt good in helping other people in their lives so I spent another year in building my team, making sales and training people. Till, I found that I needed to grow in my field and my environment was too small for my personal goals. I resigned with nowhere to go. In 9 months, I found myself in 3 different companies.

I have learned a lot with all those job search. I just didn't make any additional horn to blow in my resume.I learned that opportunities come in different forms. Sometimes, it entails pains, regrets and disappointment. Those people I met during my employment with companies became part of my growth as a person and as a professional. During each time I wonder why it happened to me, I just smile when I get to remember the people I laughed with, cry with, chat with, hang out with, eat with and work with.

I have absolutely no idea where I will go this year. But, what I am excited about is who are the people I am going to meet and work with. And throughout my journey, I know there are people who will stay with me- my lovely wife and my family.

This year is remarkable. I received a round mouth-watery chocolate cake from my affiliate company and a heart-shaped blueberry cheesecake from my wife. Well, it only taught me that when things go wild and unpredictable, I can double my joy.

I have a long list of wishes in the birthday. I already mailed it to the heavens. The scripture says that we should ask of Him what we want so our joy will be complete.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. To become a person of influence for His fame is top of my wish list.

28 July 2010

Garbage Truck

Allow me to share you a very interesting article I got from my email. I was inspired by this story and let this take you also on a reflection. Here's the story.


One day, I hopped into a taxi and took off for the airport . We were driving in the right lane when suddenly, a black car, jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed the brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. I mean, was really friendly. So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck'

He explained, "Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. NEVER take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on with the routine life." Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...... 'Love the people who treat you right.. Pray for the ones who don't.'

A very rightly said quote: Life is 10% what you make and 90% how you take !!!
(article author- anonymous)

I plead guilty on this. I was a garbage truck and I also flared up a garbage truck crossing my way. Perhaps, I have taken too many trashes. And now I understand why drivers explode amidst heavy traffic. What are we taking in the past few days? How do we respond to people who blow up our day, messing us and throwing their entire toxic junks on us? We can smile like what the driver in the story did. It might be difficult. Our sense will spice up rage to fight back but it is a choice.

We can be the garbage truck dumping wastes on others or an incinerator that burns trashes to ashes.

27 July 2010

Want That Guitar

Young people in our church come to me and ask if I can teach them how to play guitar. Well, with all due respect, even adults chase precious times with me. I am not a guitar hero. Not even a quarter as good as Perf De Castro or Eric Johnson. I miss notes, cheat on guitar licks and strikes D.I.Y. scales.Why these hungry guitar beginners coerce me to teach them? Every guitar player has unique distinction and personality. But there is something common to notable musicians: they play with passion. That's what I can't just teach.

Our passion in life drives us to do a special thing effortlessly. No one in our family encouraged me to learn the guitar. In fact, 99% of them distracted me. The 1% affirmation? I got it from myself. In the mid-90's, when the legendary Eraserheads topped every FM radio countdown, I used to bond with my uncle's guitar from 1pm up to late night. I play Bon Jovi, Gun's N' Roses and Metallica back then. It's amazing that I got an innate talent of mastering the songs supernaturally and extra-ordinarily. The first day I was taught how to play the guitar, the next day, I was telling my guitar teacher of his numerous mistakes!

When you love to do something, you don't need anybody to push you do it. If you love cakes, you buy and eat. If you like wearing pink, no one can dare ask you why. If you're fun with pictures, you don't need to remind yourself to bring camera. The thing we love to do comes out naturally. If you've found the things you like, I rejoice with you. If you're lost scratching your head thinking what do you love to do, better list down what you do often an pick the top most. We need to find out what makes us happy. I noticed that people who have found their passion inspires others in many ways, intentional or unintentional. Why? It's just because they have found something that makes them unique and it's evident to other people.

What do we want people to remember about us? Have we thought about our passion? How do we bring impact to others? If you are good in cooking, cook at your best. If you love to sing, inspire others with your songs. We don't have to be someone else to cheer up the world, we just have to pursue our passion. 'Cause when we are burning, those who see us will keep their fire flaming also.

That guitar I used was no-extraordinary. It wasn't special. It's not expensive. The owner was not a professional musician. The brand is very common. I tell you, it's still plucking till this day. With some scratches, it still sounds good. It is the one who's using it makes it special. When I plot the G-chord, it prepares itself to produce a pleasing music. Not hard rock and heavy metal music anymore, but lifters of one's soul. I want that guitar because it helps me express my personality.

22 July 2010

Music Hero

While sipping 7-up a while ago, holding the famous Fido Dido-endorsed softdrink brand, I remembered something about the bottle. During my high school days, me and my friends used to pick up empty bottles around the school during breaks. We returned them to the canteen and redeemed one peso for each bottle. The logic is this: when you buy bottled softdrink, you price you pay includes the deposit fee for the bottle you bring anywhere in the school. So, if I get the bottle after you consume its content and returned it to the store, the store staff will return your deposit to me. That's how we basically earn some bucks during that time. And, because of that, too many students from other classes did the same and we almost ran out of bottle to pick. Whew!

A lot of times, when we do something, either good or bad, people imitate. We just love to borrow jokes, imitate celebrities, follow footsteps, or even an attempt to clone humans! I mean, life goes around with people and what we learn is from what we see and hear. As an aspiring musician back years ago, I love to watch our neighbor play his guitar because his fingers are fast. When I got home, I want to do exactly how he played that song in lead solo. Too bad, my guitar was classical and his was electric guitar with multiple distortion and effects. He was almost my guitar hero because he shared me his secret licks and guitar tablatures of popular hits in the 90's.

I've found that one of the keys to be successful in life is to be mentored by a successful person. Babies imitate what adults do. They don't have to learn it, they simply copy the actions and even words. They came to earth having nothing. So we have to feed them in all aspects- food, clothing, behavior, belief, manners, attitude and many more. So do us. After all, we have gone through the baby-talk stage. We need somebody to train us to become the person we want to be. Those person might be a friend, a parent, a boss, a colleague, an entrepreneur or a stranger. One way or another, people contribute to what we are now. I admire people I know who spends time with their successors and diligently train them to become like them. While others don't have any mentor at all thus they learn things in the most difficult way.

Do you see yourself as a mentor? Can you count your successors on your fingers? If nobody wants to be like us, maybe we haven't been at our best. Let's find out how can we bring impact to other people. What we are good at is what others will dream to have. The process continues when we pass on this virtue.

21 July 2010

Striking Chords in One's Life

There's this famous author and inspirational speaker who naturally, effortlessly and untiringly gives smile to everybody. He goes to groceries, he smiles at the cashier. He calls Pizza Hut, he smiles over the phone. He delivers numerous talks armed with thousand smiles. If you got to see all his books, he even smiles at you. I listen to his podcasts everyday few years ago when I still have my mp3 player. It's ironic but true that he receives a lot of negative critics for his smile rather than his prosperity mindset. Hey people, this guy is just keeping this earth hopeful and happy! I don't understand this. Well, bring this man to the Philippines and he'll enjoy a bunch of smiling faces all over the country. That guy is Joel Osteen.

When we bring impact to others, it's inevitable that people will look for something to pull you down. Something that is so little yet critics are equipped with the ability to feed the flour with yeast and blow it up. I was in a training company then when I had mistakenly identified a name to a wrong person. Everyone got sick in laughing. I was totally embarrassingly ridiculed. Then, I came back after 3 months and those people who laughed at me before, when they saw me, brought back the day I was humiliated by recalling that name. You know what I did? I finished my business and never came back to that office again.

We choose we want to remember to a person. His sincerity, honesty and integrity. Her thoughtfulness, compassion and care. Or, the loud music that plays on our ears are the dumbest thing he or she did to anyone. How about helping friends on their weaknesses? How about build each others' confidence? The science of striking chords in one's life is a helping hand, a smile and and comforting word from us. The reason Joel Osteen smiles a lot is because he communicates relationship to everyone. Of course, he can't expect everyone to like him but he inspires many to become like him. The very reason I smile on people. That's free anyway. I smile at security guards, bank tellers, jeepney drivers, bus conductor, taxi driver, teacher, colleagues and churchmates...and to everyone. It's one of the free things on earth that encourages.

What chord do we want to strike in one's life? Isn't a word enough to cheer up a soul? like...
Job well done!
You're the best!
That's nice!
You look good!
Let's celebrate for that!
Keep up the good work!

We don't have to be a successful entrepreneur or a celebrity or a high ranking government official to bring impact to the world. They have their own circle of individuals to cheer up. Us, living a simple life, can lift up one's soul by our smile.

20 July 2010

Tuning Each Day

I feel irritated and a bit crazy whenever I hear people sing so loud but out of tune. They perfectly entertain and distract me at the same time. Music lovers can identify with me on this. Do you like the sound of scratching a nail against a glass? Kinda like that. It blows the hammer and stirrup of my ears. But before anybody gets angry with me, let me share you the rest of this blog.

I love to sing and play music and I am grateful I can please ears. Some love to sing but the melody doesn't like them and still they chase notes a little faster, sometimes slower. Sometimes, life is just like that. Was there a time in your life that you were not properly tuned? You are complacent, discouraged, pessimist and it's like you live each day without hope. The strings of your life are either too tight or too loosed. Even if you strike the right chord, it won't gonna give you the perfect melodic sound. It happened to me. I woke up one day with a thousand reasons why I don't wanna go to work. I stroked the chord, hit the right note and remained faithful with the tempo, still I didn't produce a pleasant sound. I'm on my way to become a business consultant to help companies build their products and increase their sales. A respected and award-winning social marketing guru trains me. What can I ask for? Other people would want to wear my shoes and so envious of me but here the poor me complaining 24/7 about this and that. I could have been so grateful. I was out of tune.

When a guitar needs to be tuned, somebody who knows guitar very well can pull the strings and loose it a bit just to keep them back in tune. As I sip the Krispy Kreme coffee today, I acknowledge that I need the Master Tuner to help me sound perfect C. The aroma of coffee pauses me to think of good things I should be thankful for.

How can we tune each day? When we are lost, trying to figure out what went wrong and what we could have done better, I would say, charge it to the bank of evaluated experiences. Learn from it then move on. I've found that not everyone is out of tune at the same time so there's someone who can tap our shoulders and whisper, “Hey, you need to be tuned up again”. It could be easy to inspire others but not ourselves. At that time, come and see the Grand Maestro.

Remember, the sound we produce is either a music or a noise to each listener.

19 July 2010

Play music everywhere.

When I was still a kid, I used to dream of having a band. In that day dream, to be articulate with it, I taught my colleagues every instrument- drums, piano and guitars. I play the vocals. Years passed by, in our little church, I was able to build a band with aggressive teenagers.

I never stepped on a formal music school nor sat down with a paid music instructor. My knowledge was a product of sweat, hungry-stomach, keen eyes, persistence and joy. I grabbed the guitar at 11, tried drums at 12, play the keys at 13 then roll them all up till now. It wasn't too easy for an aspiring musician to learn without owning any instrument. They are all borrowed!

So, when I turned 16 I told my mom I want a college degree in music. I was hoping that she would agree 'cause she knows that I play music very well. ( That was what she told me. Haha!) But I don't know where in the world did she get her motivational and very inspiring NO to this great idea! Oh c'mon?!!! For a young boy like me, I could have been one of the greatest musician of my time. I ended up holding microphones and presentations in my present career.

My passion for music didn't die there. Besides, I have come across many events where I played different instruments in different places with excellent musicians. I taught piano to a 9 year old kid; shared music theories with friends and developed a module for guitar, piano and drum beginners. Why is that so? I can't stop music from flowing through my blood. I stump my feet, tap tables with my fingers and whistles. Everywhere I go, I play music.

That's what I didn't see that my mother saw. I have an innate gift in music that I can nourish through the years. Though formal training is important, my advantage is I can do different things at the same time. I can learn many things without neglecting my passion.

Perhaps, you are thinking of your passion as the source of income. That's good. Or things go the other way, like mine. I have a professional career in communications but I play drums every weekend.

It's great to discover where you are good at. You might have 3 or more things you excel with. Show it. Share it. And, let it inspire others.

Now, with this blog, I am refreshing my writing skills.