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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.