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12 December 2013

When An Unknown Enemy Strikes

In most movies, we can easily identify who's the enemy. The villain is, if not as strong as the main character, very clever and annoying. It can be true in the real world where we sometimes mark those who oppose us as enemies.

What if your enemy walks in silently, creeping through the night and settles inside of you? I'm gonna talk about an enemy that we usually ignore yet consumes us, more often than not- the enemy called insecurity. In this particular article, I'd like to use the definition of Merriam- Webster. Insecurity is being "not confident about yourself or your ability to do things well."

How many of us are guilty of this? Is there anyone who's exempted? Would you admit you have been insecure sometime of your life?

Now, what happens when insecurity attacks? feel alone. feel unloved. find faults on others. probably believe negative things. doubt. quit. And, never try again. settle for less. don't listen. won't care anymore. think everyone talks about you. retaliate. would believe nothing's gonna change. magnify little things.

The list can be endless. Most negative thoughts and feelings are prompted by our insecurities.

I was a victim and it consumed me, for many reasons, since childhood. I figured out, like in a real life combat, the way to win over your enemy is to identify it, face it and strike it in its weaknesses.

The way to deal with insecurities, as I have learned throughout my 31 years on earth, is to humbly accept that we have insecurities, identify the areas we are insecure at and do something to overcome it. But, I tell you, it's easier said than done. I have overcome my communication insecurity by taking up a course in English proficiency. I was also insecure because I only stand 5 feet and 4 inches which is too short to be a basketball varsity player. Being insecure about my height, I thought, "These tall guys are nothing but ball players and can do nothing else." I have overcome it by accepting myself as a unique person and I dress up appropriately to look neat. I believe, God created me with a purpose and it's very liberating to know I am wonderfully made in spite of being "short of height". Then, I started to appreciate why those guys are tall. Admitting my insecurities made me think differently towards other people. I started to see the unique things they have rather than look for something to laugh at.

Have you ever took an inventory of your insecurities? Those are facts. Know what hinders you in pusuing your life goals. The process could be painful but you wouldn't know what else you can do unless you overcome what keeps you from being 'the best'.

10 December 2013

Why leaders should watch Ender's Game

Inside of us resides a hidden potential. We need to discover where we are good at, hone it and excel.

Ender Wiggin in an exceptional child. In him was superb analytical thinking and tons of game strategies. I was deeply moved by how he was treated unfairly by colleagues and how he was highly favored by Colonel Hyrum Graff.

What if in just within 5 minutes, you would be a key to save the entire mankind? What if within that moment, you had a chance to make peace than engage in war?

Unknowingly, Ender played the best game he'd ever had in his entire life. In the course of his training, I was able to see insights that leaders-in-the-making should appreciate while in training:

Age won't matter

At times, those who are trained in life at a very early age endure pain and rejection well. We are all susceptible to lead, even in school. Yet, those who are more exposed in problem solving and difficult situations are able to identify the risks they are going to take. In the movie, Ender, at his early age, had to deal with rejections until he was able to face his mortal enemy- FEAR.

No room for fears

It's very easy to give up. Yes, I'd spoil this- Ender Wiggin quitted. We all had times to give up. Yet, when we think of the consequences of giving up, we realize that it's better for us to conquer our fears. More often than not, we are strengthened whenever someone taps our shoulders. We can be weak but we can choose to be strong and leave no room for fears.

Leading with a heart

We can choose to win. We can win a game. But, what matters most is 'how' we won it. The manner of winning is very important. It's like, everyone can be rich but the manner of getting millions is a different thing. It's essential for us to understand that leading with a heart makes a leader worth remembering. One line in the movie that hit me a lot is this: "In order for him (Ender) to become a great commander, he must learn how to face rejections."

Lastly, a leader can fail. Ender failed a particular test battle. After he won the greatest battle that saved mankind from alien invasion, he was shocked upon knowing the truth behind that game. In times when a leader has many questions left unanswered, a friend, even without saying a word, can uplift him. That's Petra.

The training Ender undergone was no joke. We too have difficulties in the course of being a leader. Let's always remember that we may have to face the challenges required for us to become a leader, let's not lose heart and compassion to others. When we are not treated well, let's not dish it out to others but rather be more merciful and gracious.

08 November 2013

Chase the Wind

There are times that we need to chase the wind so we can escape from reality.

What we have and where we are now is true. No lies. Yet, the truth sometimes burn your passion to excel and soar high. You might be in an intersection now, as a leader of a team or so, and you are expected to decide perfectly, then what you need is to chase the wind.

Who can tell where the wind blows? Who can tell where it comes from? No one. The gentle breeze can whisper an answer to your disturbed soul.

Watch a child how he chases the wind. Notice how happy he is? Then, why not take a moment to unleash the child in you? Play video games. Walk out on the street. Buy a balloon. Watch an animated film. Sing a song.

It's easy to be consumed by stress. It's your choice, anyway. Get older soon or be merry like a child?

08 August 2013

A Leader's Confession

Confess? Seriously? Yes.

Leaders must confess that, amidst numerous leadership quotes, books, blogs and thousand inspirational phrases, still what we 'live out in life' is the best baton to pass on.

More often than not, we know things by principles, knowledge that has been passed-on to us through education, but we fail to apply it. We can take all the available courses for credibility's sake yet the world will still measure us on the amount of value we delivered. Certificates and recognitions won't make a difference, our actions will.

I have realized that my 30-years of existence would mean nothing if I won't add value to my family, business, relationships and self.

A leader's journey can be painful. It can also be full of surprises. Can you imagine how you could have been if failures didn't hit you? You wouldn't be as strong as you are now. If not for joys and celebrations, you could have been living in misery and solitude. If not for the roller coaster ride, you wouldn't appreciate how beautiful life is.

So what are you afraid to confess? As a leader, would you hide your fears and cover it with pride? Would you take the backseat so others can shine? Do you value the limelight over relationship with your colleagues or subordinates? Are you prepared to accept your mistakes, swallow the blame and still walk in integrity? In the arena of leadership, the undignified and the weak win the crowd over the proud and the arrogant. The language of effective leadership is servanthood, being able to serve rather be served.

We demonstrate leadership through actions, not by mere words.