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28 January 2011

Your Best Shot

What if there is no room for mistakes? What if we can't afford to lose a ballgame? Ask ourselves. Are we doing our best all the time? Do we fall into mediocre trap more often than not?

Observe people who we tag as perfectionists. Well, they still exist at this generation. They are not easily satisfied. They follow lines on the paper, cut it straight, shapes should be precise, no dirt, not too loud...the "almost perfect" is not acceptable. Having one of them around you will challenge you to sweat a lot and give your best shot.

We must thank them. If not for them, we'll stay complacent. Everything will be mediocre, less of value and less significant. Who's gonna like the 85% good anyway? We can't just buy a car that's 12% less of quality. I mean, here's a sales person selling you a mobile phone that is "almost perfect", "almost done" or "didn't pass the quality control but it's ok to use"?

So simple but we often neglect this virtue. Excellence is not just being perfect. It's giving your best, finding solutions to problems, increasing the value of work and doing extra mile. The quality must be commendable, if not the best. It may be too difficult but setting a higher standard on ourselves speaks how we manage our work, time, relationships and contribution to the society we belong.

25 January 2011

Beat the Red Light

I'm not referring to drivers out there. Unless, you might want to see the police officer or traffic enforcer sign up your name in that piece of paper for violation.

Something's gonna to stop you from reaching your goals. It could be frustration, disappointment or simply your neighbor. Just don't think by quitting you'll end up successful. When you see a red light, step on the accelerator. Even if you commit thousand failures, it doesn't matter. As you become successful, you'll forget the wounds caused by the struggles.

On the day of my graduation, I almost forgot being sleepless during examinations. I couldn't even remember the questions I answered, the grades I got, the meals I missed, the frictions I had with classmates, the time I spent in travel...I just know that day, I am done with schooling and I'm gonna work.

Think of the pregnant woman, the basketball MVP, the American Idol and Manny Pacquiao. In any battle, quitting is not an option. There should be no other way but to win. Keep that enthusiasm alive.

21 January 2011

Chasing Success

We can't achieve success overnight. Several factors are needed to climb greater heights. It took me 14 years to finish my academic studies and I think a lifetime to learn more in life in general. I graduated from college but not from living my life. If there is a process, what should we do while striving to achieve our dreams? Let me share with you my thoughts about this.

Redefine success.
Basketball pointguards set plays to the team. But I tell you, when somebody had an opening, that man should shoot. Sometimes, things happen far from the gameplan. When opportunity comes, grab it. So, why do we need to redefine success? It makes us flexible. We may be thinking little and losing the big opportunities in front of us. Set your standards but don't limit yourself. Think both short and long term goals. Celebrate upon achieving your short goal and strive more for the longer one. Let your determination push you to shoot.

Align all your efforts.
Make a concrete plan. Practice dribbling and shooting if you want to be a basketball star. Act in front of the mirror if you want to be an actor. Tell stories to kids if you want to be a teacher. Study the laws and policies if you want to be a lawyer. Don't try to spend 90% of your time in cooking when your dream is to be a pilot. Master your craft first then make the others your hobbies. Take small steps that will lead you to your future success.

Be inspired- ALWAYS.
This one is might be so ideal. Could be difficult. We'd be shaken. We'd face criticisms. Detractors will arise and we'll lose our focus. On those days, catch inspiration. Read Joel Osteen's books. Watch Facing the Giants. Find a mentor or a life coach who can help you overcome your struggles. Pray and have faith. Play with the kids. Read an interesting article. Search biographies and study the life principles. Remember, you are responsible for the dosage of inspiration you take each day. It's life's vitamins.

The reason your car has a first gear is to remind you that you don't need to drive too fast at first. Befriend momentum. Understand phases. It will never be too late for you to start again, nor to late to get up from your mess. When that trophy falls in your hands, be thankful for the process you've been through that prepared you to become successful.

20 January 2011

Good Noise

Compared to 2010's advent, 2011's New Year greetings were sent at Facebook rather than SMS. People shout on their walls what's on their mind. You'll find friends talking about the food they ate, the recent movie they saw, the gossip they got during the day...some even sell stuffs and brands solicit elusive "Likes". Everyday, we "hear" shouts from this phenomenal social networking site.

The noise we make is the silence within us. And the voice people hear from us has an impact to others. What we shout has a strong relation with what we think and feel. That's why the scripture says the mouth is the channel of the overflowing heart. In this modern times, our fingers do the work for our mouth.

We can't change what others heard from us but we can commit to be more careful on what to say. Are we going to inspire or tear down? It's good to examine each day what impact we brought to others, to family, friends, classmates, the people we meet.

14 January 2011

From Imagination to Vision

In my early 20's, I got involved with a missionary organization. Then, summer in 2001 when one of my imaginations came true. It was my first time to ride an airplane! Whew! And, for first timers like me, I was pushed to sit at the window seat. When the airplane lifted, I felt like my soul left me and stayed in the ground. Some advised me that it would just like riding in a bus but your view would be clouds and sky.

After that experience, I cut the Philippine map from a magazine, posted it in the wall and pinned this little town in Visayas region, Bacolod City. Since that day, I decided to pin all the places where I have been.

Then time came when I imagined myself to travel abroad. I grabbed small Post It pieces and wrote the countries where I wanted to go and pasted them in my passport. The first country I visited was Hong Kong and got to meet Mickey Mouse in Disney and the dolphins in The Ocean Park. (And, let me share you a photo of me, my wife and sister-friend Sophia at Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam.)

It all started in a dream; a desire to travel to enjoy life's beauty. I imagined myself inside the airplane and it happened. But, it took months and years. Patience taught me to understand that what I imagine will take place but it only requires constant believing. It didn't happen overnight because there was a purpose why it has to be at the right time. Today, my vision is to travel around the world to spread Good News. It just keeps me more excited.

Same as you, my dear friend. You have great things in mind. You have dreams. You have a vision for yourself. I have learned that what we imagine may come true. Sometimes, it may not. We can change what we imagine, more often than not. But when you say it's your vision. It's going to happen. After all, your desire to make it happen will push you whatever it takes to fulfill that vision. So, keep your vision alive!

10 January 2011

Iced or Hot?

I prefer hot coffee, specially cappuccino and macchiato. I just like the idea of sipping it slowly. It makes me more interested to put the cup's bottom at the top with a very relaxing experience. After all, coffee shops are meant to be cool rather hot. The more time you spend sipping that coffee, the more you enjoy the ambiance of the place, the buzz of the people and of course, you enjoy the coffee you are holding.

As an individual, we have different preferences. Some loved tea more than coffee. Some are addicted to wine or alcohol. Some eat rather drink. I mean, we have different taste bud, and ear drum and heartbeat and retina. We are equipped with our own choices. So, if you asked for hot or cold coffee and it was delivered to you, don't complain. Let me stress my point.

It's dangerous to make a decision while burning in anger, struggling in a relationship, brokenhearted and dumped in failure. At that state, our emotions will force us to throw unnecessary and inappropriate words. Lest, we don't think much of the consequence of the decision but rather open a door for a quick escape. Then, later on, when we have realized that we have made a wrong decision, we regret.

We can't complain on the results, after all we allowed it to happen. We can't just give back what we asked for. We enrolled in course that we don't like just because after graduation you'll earn dollars or so. We eat the food we don't like just because it's cheap and blow all the napkins around to make even with your regret. We buy the shoes we were fascinated at and give it away once got home. We choose to be a loner because we are afraid to be hurt. So many things like that. Almost all around the globe. And, we are all victims.

Know what we want. Be firm with your goals. Strive to make way for your dreams. Don't waste time doing the things that distract you from winning. Run the race with focus and perseverance. At the end of the line, we'll find joy and satisfaction. But, rules have exceptions. You might be facing a choice you need to do even if you don't like it. That will require a great purpose behind it for you to pursue.

On the other hand, why do people make life decisions they will regret? They let their emotions rule. They didn't think about it and lay all possibilities. Or shall I say, we are human and not God. We ought not to be perfect because in making wrong decisions, we build trust to ourselves and faith to the Creator.

03 January 2011

Thinking Beyond 2011

It is very easy to jot down our New Year Resolutions than fulfilling it. More and more people have figured out the importance of spending more time with their family than working and earning money. In fact, this toppled the others in the recent global survey of New Year Resolutions. Spending time with family was a bit neglected by some ever-busy people. I prefer calling it New Year Resolution because it's us who do it not the new year itself. New Year's mean its 2011's prerogative if it will make things happen or not. See the difference?

So, thinking beyond 2011, what is our goal for our family? Or have we thought about that question? Was losing weight or salary increase a priority? It will all fall to our values in life. In life, there are sacrifices but too much of it may bring suffering. Greed may consume us. Anger, jealousy and bitterness could replace the compassionate and loving heart of a father, husband or brother.

If we will sit down with multi-million man or woman for a talk, they will tell us so many things about their life. I must suppose to summarize their talk in 2 categories- one, is about how they have climbed up the ladder of success, the business strategies, the heights of their career and brilliant entrepreneurial insights and the other one if about their family. What's more interesting for us? I believe, I can't consider a man successful by mere prominence and wealth but by how he was able to raise up his children and has loved his wife and parents. In order to put the whole family in order, one must admit that there is a God who structured the family first and only He can build the house we call home.