The Best Teachers Teach From The Heart

“You need to make sure that when your twenty apples from one basket are transferred to another basket, these are still twenty apples. Not ten oranges and ten apples when these reach the destination.”

One night, I was fast-tracking my lessons. I needed to make sure that I cover all in my syllabus before the departmental quiz of a theory-based, technical subject. So I was trying to squeeze what I could given the time allotted for me to teach the subject. The problem was I needed to finish the subject within two weeks because it was “modular”. Thus, I was torn between making the technical topics palatable to my non-technical students and hastening the discussion to cover all.

I noticed, however, one person who probably was having difficulty coping with the discussion while most of the group seemed to follow reasonably. I was talking about “system interfaces” and the controls that needed to be considered to ensure its effectiveness. I wanted really to ignore her and continue moving to another topic. But then it dawned on me that, above all, I was her teacher.

I suddenly recalled the time when my grandmother, who was a teacher, patiently explained to me lessons that I had difficulty understanding. She would use different strategies just for me to get what she was teaching. She would not give up on me until I get what she was explaining.

And I took a cue from that memory way back when I was really young…

I smiled at my student, and delivered that line.

It took me different strategies to drive my point but I did not leave her without getting the point that I was discussing. I started with the technical stuffs, then I related this to real-world examples that I encountered in my practice. When the technical explanations did not suffice, I moved to what I usually call as the “fruits” lessons. I even played around with different scenarios:

… Some apples getting lost by mistake while in transit

… Some apples intentionally taken by malicious individuals

… Some apples erroneously/intentionally changed to oranges while in transit

When she finally smiled to me, and I was confident that she got my point, that was when I moved to another topic.

I spent several minutes in that discussion which I thought I could use to cover more important topics. I actually ended my class a bit late — by fifteen minutes. However, as a teacher, I cannot leave a single student behind. It was a promise I made when I decided to take this path. I was not about to break that promise just because I was rushing to cover all in my syllabus.

At the end of the lessons, I saw her trailing behind her classmates. Then she suddenly gave me a smile filled with gratitude. I thought then that teaching was a really fulfilling career.

I guess, from the end of a student, her showing to me that she had difficulty coping was a good strategy to get my attention. It made me focused on her. She could have pretended like, I suspect, some were doing — nodding excitedly as if they were able to get what I was saying. But her style paid off. She did well in the class. She got a “Very Good” in her final grade, which was way better than what many of my students in that class got as final grades.


Friends, there are two things I need you to take from this entry.

First, as a student, staff or anyone (regardless of position or age), do not deny admitting having difficulty on something. People around you won’t be able to extend help unless you sound-off. Ignore what other people would say. Let them feast on your issues. What is important is that you would able to resolve and put your issues behind.

Finally, as a teacher or anyone who holds more knowledge and experience than the people around us, it is incumbent that we make sure to reasonably share what we know. It could be really challenging, and honestly impossible, to make everyone understand what you are saying. However, as a famous saying implies just “teach from your heart”, and take as many with you in your journey as a “teacher”.

Remember that the fulfillment that we all get from sharing what we know is never about the money that comes with it. It is always at the idea that we have added value to another person’s life thru the knowledge that we share.

PS1: “Share What You Know” is a recommended read to all.

PS2: Featured image was taken from “https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/10/30/05/43/aec-1782427_960_720.jpg”.


I Thought I Don’t Need Rest and Sleep

“You are not a superhuman! You need to limit your activities with what your body can take! Even if you will use the most powerful vitamins on earth, it won’t sustain your body without rest and sleep. You need to reduce your activities.”

I got a chiding from my office colleague. He saw me coming in really tired, and he heard me whining how my body has weakened from lack of rest and sleep. I shared to him that I couldn’t even punch properly during my boxing training sessions. Also, my brain seemed to buffer while paddling during dragon boat trainings that the signals usually find me out-of-synch. And a nerve in my head throbs a lot…

He knew that I busy myself with so many activities in a week.

Not to mention that in the past month I accepted a teaching load at De La Salle University (DLSU)-Taft — everyday except Sunday.


He asked if I still get reasonable number of hours of sleep. I said “yes”.  Then I mentioned, between “two-and-a-half to three hours a day”. And in response, he delivered that line to me.

I reflected on his advice. Yes, I drown myself in so many activities thinking that it can hasten the realization of my plans.

… dragon boat training two to three times a week,

… boxing three times a week,

… running for thirty minutes every day,

… teaching daily at DLSU-Taft (three hours every night and five hours on Saturdays),

… attending toastmasters meetings on Saturday afternoons,

… going to voice lesson on Sundays, and

… publishing two to three blog entries a week.

Also, during my free time, I use this as opportunity to attend or conduct seminars.

All these that I do is on top of me overseeing two sections in the company that I work for. And the most important among all is I find time to bond with my daughter — who loves to share about her crush and her daily activities.


With all of these, I usually just manage to get between two-and-a-half to three hours of sleep a day. Even on holidays and weekends, I don’t get to rest as I usually use that to do chores.

That line from my colleague struck me. It made me realized one thing. I can only stretch myself up to certain extent. He then strongly suggested to me to prioritize my activities, and just limit these within what is healthy for my body. I believe that he was right.

So I made a decision to temporarily stop doing boxing, going to the gym and pause my voice lessons while I am teaching at DLSU. Also, I have decided not to accept daily teaching load anymore, and grabbed the opportunity to teach again at the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) by January 2017. At least at UPD I just need to teach once a week, which I think is more manageable.

Now, I feel way better after reducing my activities. I plan to return to boxing and voice lessons after the end of my contract with DLSU. However, I am now more conscious of the effect of my activities to my body.


Friends, this is what I need you to take from this entry.

There is a huge gap between where we are now and where we want to be. And, in the process of reducing that gap, we most of the time fail to see that our bodies and minds have limits. We flood ourselves with so many activities we thought to be productive and necessary. However, most of the time we ignore the need to rest and sleep, and dismiss these as not important.

We need to realize though that we should not sacrifice our health in the guise of hastening the process of reducing our dream gap.

If at times, you feel that the things you do are overpowering you, learn to prioritize and let go some of your activities. Realizing your dreams is really good. However, you need to reach your destination while you are still in-one-piece. Don’t be afraid to rest and sleep, and enjoy the beautiful things around you. To rest and sleep will not delay your journey. It will, however, make you healthier and more prepared to seize opportunities in pursuing your journey.

One final thought…

Learn to listen to the people around you. Sometimes the words we need to hear are just from a person who is a few steps from us. You just have to listen.

PS1: Visit also the “ABOUT” section of this blog to know more about me.

PS2: “Featured Image” is taken from https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/06/16/23/40/hero-811875_960_720.jpg


I Was Afraid of Reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”

“Jake I am inviting you to take a look at this opportunity because this will make us really rich.”

More than 10 years ago, I first encountered the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” from a schoolmate. It was when he was sharing to me a network marketing opportunity. I was really looking up to this guy (even until now). So when he invited me to check something with a promise that it will improve my plight, I eagerly accepted his invitation.

To be more honest…

I said yes to his invite because my daughter was barely a year then. I was a young father who was yet to finish his studies. And, I was earning nothing.

Let’s just say that where I was made me an open-minded person.

From what I can recall in one of our conversations while he was making his presentation, he left his regular day-job in Makati. This was after reading the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” of Robert Kiyosaki. That, however, was not something that I would like to hear at that time. Thus, I made a decision then to veer away from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (not from him).

In the years that have passed, I’ve encountered so many people who also left their regular 8-to-5 jobs. And guess what, it was because they got also touched by the words written by Kiyosaki. Also, I noticed that a lot of them ventured into businesses where a lot of them failed. So it reinforced my resolve to veer away from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.

This was really ironic because I am a book person. I read almost anything during my spare time. But my decision was really firm. No Kiyosaki books for me since then.

I suddenly got inflicted with a sort-of Kiyosaki “allergy”.

Thus, every time someone would mention his name, I would automatically close my mind. And even at home, Wanna attempted several times before to let me read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It was a good read according to her. It will change my mindset, she said.

I tried flicking through the book. However, my bias against it was so strong that I always find excuses for me not to read it. I am fond of reading self-help books but I told myself that Kiyosaki books is not for me.

Reflecting on it now, I would say that it was never about Kiyosaki or his words that I was afraid of. But it was actually the realizations that I would get and my potential actions from reading his words that I was really wary about. I was not sure how I would react. And that was what scared me.

I told myself that I was doing fine where I was.

Why?

I was earning relatively higher compared to my peers. Regularly, I conduct seminars. Appointed and elected to reputable positions in several organizations. I teach part-time at leading universities. I was even a globe-trotter. Also, I couldn’t help comparing myself to those I know who have been doing network marketing for several years. I would tell myself that what some of them are getting from what they do is relatively lower from what I earn. Thus, my resolve to not read Kiyosaki.

But let me put it bluntly:

I was just really afraid to shake my comfort zone.

One thing though that I find weird is that every Christmas party, his books would find its way to my hands. I guess it was a message from the universe. So, against my bias, I finally read one of his books late this year — “Rich Dad’s Guide To Investing”.

I realized one thing. He teaches people on hard-wiring your brain about money and how this can positively enable your life. And many of the things he is teaching is somehow familiar to me — especially that I was raised by an entrepreneur who also loves to read self-help books. But what really excites me was the new knowledge I got from reading his book on investing.

I then became warm in finally reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. I told myself to look for a copy.  And what a twist of fate, early this month, the President and CEO gave me that very book. I’ve been running away from it for more than 10 years and here it is beckoning me again to open up to what’s written inside.

The book I got from the CEO during our company Christmas Party

Seems like I could never run away from it.

Friends, a lot of us has our bias against certain ideas. And most of the time, we just simply shot the message (even the messenger) down just for us not to be bothered by it. We need to consider though that these are simply ideas and can only provide us with recommendations. At the end of the day, we are the ones who will control what happens in our lives.

Not the book!

Not your friends!

Not your partners (ex or not)!

You just have to open up to all possibilities and decide things for your self.

So now, I am opening myself to the possibilities and realizations that I could get from reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.

I am positive that this will do me good.

=)

PS: Here are some of Kiyosaki’s books. Click the images and get one for yourself.


Hannah Turns 13 — She Is Now A Teenager

“Find and treasure opportunities to spend quality time with your daughter. Right now she hangs a lot with you but when she becomes a teenager, you will find difficulty tagging her along.”

I heard those lines from several parents who already have grownup kids. And a lot of them would give that advice repeatedly.

Last December 11, my daughter officially became a teenager. And that advice came to mind.

I’ll be honest with all of you. One of the considerations why I left my previous employer (more than two years ago) was because I had business trips several times a year. A lot of these would stretch to several weeks per engagement. So when a job opportunity was offered to me where I don’t need to jet-set, I immediately accepted. Well it was not the sole reason but included as a major consideration.

I did it because of one particular conversation with my daughter.


Several years back, while watching television with her, she just looked at me and asked if I was bound out of the country again in the next couple of days. I said, “Yes”. She probably overheard me talking with her mom about my business trip to Ecuador. Then, she just blurted, with teary eyes, that she would like to go with me whether I was bound for Poland or China – wherever it was she would like to tag with me.

Hearing her broken voice while saying those words seared my heart.

I immediately recalled one advice from her pre-elementary school teacher — Teacher Beth of JILL Station. She told us to take really good care of our daughter as she is our only princess and a treasure that no amount can be levied on. And hearing those from her triggered me to actively look for a job that was based in Manila.

Now I am based in Manila minus the jet-setting, which I don’t regret. Because I am now part of a really good organization that stretches me a lot, and providing me with learning that I think I would never get if I have decided to remain where I was. And the best part is that I get to spend more quality time with my daughter.


Going back to my daughter…

She just turned 13 this year.

Seeing her grow into how she is now makes me really happy with how things are turning out. She is athletic – actively plays soccer, climbs mountains with me and hangs out with her mom (Wanna) as she plays basketball. (Maybe when she turns 18 I’ll bring her to dragon boat, and let her paddle with me.) I see her also every night working really hard on her school work without the need for me to push her. And she is active in her school’s theater arts club.

And on her birthday, she was part of the main cast in all the transitory acts in-between presentations during the Don Bosco School of Manila’s gratitude day celebration. Seeing her performed well and enjoying in the process reminded me of how lucky we are as parents of this teenager. Also, I was so happy seeing her having fun with theater as I used to enjoy participating in so many school plays way back in high school. Especially that I had unforgettable memories (bloopers) with school plays in which my classmates would always find time to remind me during gatherings.

By the way, I am proud of her not just because of her achievements. More than her laurels, she is also a caring and a loving daughter that we all would hope to see in our kids. She would always go the extra mile just to make us – her parents – feel okay that a therapist mentioned that she actually sounds more mature than us.

 

Our Yuni is now a teenager!

I am actually excited with what life has stored for her. Now, as I took a cue from Wanna, I let Yuni be as she pursues what will make her happy. It does not mean, of course, absolute freedom. I would chide her (or give reminders) if needed. But for now, I am letting her take her own path as we, too, try to pursue what (probably) was set aside when she came early in our lives (as young parents).

I am also not afraid that she would prefer tagging with her friends instead of me, as long as she goes mountain climbing and hiking with me. =)

Now, I have not regretted making the decision to just work here in Manila, especially with how things are working out. I would say that I am excited for the things that would come to all of us. Each of us taking our paths separately and Yuni reaching a new milestone (a teenager). There are plenty of road bumps along the way. However, these are just really minuscule compared to what is waiting in our own destinations.

These thoughts excite me a lot.

Friends, I am sharing this to you not because I would like to brag about my teenager. It is because I would like to remind all of you that a lot is in store for us – and the people around us. Let the people you love grow on their own pace and in their own terms (with your REASONABLE GUIDANCE). Remember that at the end of the day that is their lives, not yours.

As a better alternative, you should just focus on your lives. Reflect on how you can reduce the gap with how far you are from where you want to be.

That is a more productive use of your time.

 

PS: I am strongly suggesting for you to read these blog entries:


Time To Re-connect (Reunion) – UP CBA Celebrates 100 Years of Business Excellence

“How do you see yourself 5/10 years from now?”

This is a typical question thrown to us during job interviews. And we usually indulge the interviewers with answers that approximate you becoming either the company CEO or running your own business. This is the usual mindset we take especially right after receiving our college diploma. But how really things are after those years?


Last December 4, the UP College of Business Administration (UP CBA) celebrated its 100 years. It was an event filled with laughter and opportunities to re-connect with old friends and meeting new ones. Also, seeing seasoned alumni reconnecting with their peers made me realized how lucky I was to attend this once in a lifetime celebration. Also, I had a blast exchanging updates-cum-rumors with my batch mates – not to mention the photos we took.

The sumptuous buffet and red wine gratified our palates more than what we could really manage. We were told that we can make unlimited visits to the buffet table. And, we were also advised that we could order as much red wine as we want – aside from the free bottle of red wine that we will be taking home with us. I just went to the buffet table though – believe it or not – once, but I almost emptied a whole bottle of red wine. I had to remind myself that I was driving home alone.

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With Jason and Hazel

The raffle prizes given tickled the interest of the attendees from what anyone could easily observe from the eager faces. This baffled me as I don’t see a lot of them who could easily handle big motor bikes (the major raffle prizes). A lot, however, waited until the end just to know who gets to go home with the three major prizes, if not hoping to get their names called.


What made the whole thing quite more exciting was that there were some who left the venue before the major prizes were drawn (mostly those belonging to senior batches). It actually made a lot of attendees raised their hopes high that they’ll be the ones to take home the major prize – including me. Unfortunately it was not my lucky night for raffles. I knew though two people whose names were called for the major prizes but got forfeited because they left early.

Tsk… Tsk…

As a whole, it was a night that I would always remember. Kudos to the organizers.

Let me also share what my mind went through before I attended the event.

Firstly, I was not really keen on attending the celebration. I was afraid at the outset for anyone to even get a glimpse of my shadow. I thought, a decade after graduation, I have not accomplished enough milestones that I could ruffle under my feathers. The intimidating question – “Where I am now years after graduating from a famous UP degree program?” – hounded me. I actually contemplated on booking a mountain hike on that day just for me to justify missing the event – even if I was the appointed batch representative.

However, it dawned on me that I would never get the chance to witness another centennial celebration of the UP CBA if was to miss this reunion. So I closed my eyes, suppressed my insecurities and decided to register for the event (and showed up). This I did even if a voice inside of me was shouting that I don’t have much to banter.

It was different from what I was expecting.

None asked me about my financial status and possessions – the number of cars I have bought, the mansions I have acquired or the size of my portfolio. We all just re-connected and had fun talking about simple things. It felt like being in college again where we were just talking about petty school issues, our school load and the “annoying” teachers. =)

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With Hazel and Former Senate President Manny Villar

It brought to mind what my mother would pepper us during meal times. Generally, normal people when they get together (unless you are not normal) would not be talking about your bank accounts, your mundane possessions or how brilliant they are. People would always aim to re-connect and talk about relationships because that in life really matters. And at the end of the day, when we are at our deathbed, same thing will happen.

This is my take-away for all of you.

We need to realize that there are a lot of things that are more important than money or what it can buy. Sometimes we focus too much on earning money or accumulating laurels instead. And tend to shy away from our friends because we felt we are not progressing as we hope we could. And in the process, it gradually breaks our relationship with the people around us – including that with our families.

Do not wait until all are too late. While you still can, find time to connect and re-connect – especially with those you care most. Where you want to be will be more gratifying if you are not alone when you reach it.

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Batch 2004 Represented


Paskuhan sa LRT1

The spirit of Christmas can definitely be felt at LRT1, as it rolls out its Filipino Christmas themed train to bring joy to commuters, which is expected to run until December 31, 2016. Decked out with traditional Filipino Christmas decorations that feature capiz parols, garlands, and a three-dimensional belen – or nativity scene, among other, the #PaskuhansaLRT1 train became an instant hit among LRT1 riders as it made their commute more enjoyable.

Alongside the roll out of its #PaskuhansaLRT1 train, LRT1 is also giving its commuters a chance to chance to win PhP 5,000.00 worth of Beep Cards every week, from November 29 to December 31, 2016. All you have to do is to snap a selfie on board LRT1’s special Christmas train and post it on Facebook, with the hashtag: #PaskuhansaLRT1.

Commuters with the best selfies on board the train will be selected every Sunday noontime, during the contest period. Winners will be announced on the PAGEONE Official Facebook Page, and will be notified via their social media account.

Here’s the full mechanics:

20161129-pageone-paskuhan-sa-lrt1-mechanics-jpg

Click the link below to watch the short video about #PaskuhansaLRT1.

https://www.facebook.com/pageoneph/videos/1459308957431001/


Lessons from Cris Gardner’s Greatest Influencer

I will admit. I am a mother’s boy.

My mom is my greatest influence in my life.

All that I am now and all that I have is largely due to her influence. From the time that I wake up down to my habit before going to bed, all of these are largely influenced by my mom. I remember when we were young, she would pepper us with lessons she got from reading “Lakbay-Diwa” or the Bible during meal times. And as if meal time lessons were not enough, she would enthralled us with her family’s stories — how my grandmother bounced back despite all that hounded her. To cap our days, she would always encourage us to pray.


Listening to Cris Gardner in the NACPH 2016 reminded me of my mom’s influence. It appeared that Gardner’s greatest influence as he shared during his talk was his mom. Several times in an hour, he spoke to us about what his mom said that he would never forget. And how these fueled his passion to go beyond his challenges.

Let me cite some of the lessons he mentioned (based on what I have captured on my notes). I’m sure that we can also learn from these.

  • You can be anything you wanted.
  • There is no limit to what you can do.
  • Even if you are in a dire situation that foresees a dark future for you, you can always choose to go the other way.

These are just some of the few lessons I got from what Gardner mentioned. And, I believe, these were part of the core lessons that made him to where he is now.

Gardner also spoke about the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”. This was based on his life journey. He said that the movie was never about money. It was according to him a love story — to give his boy a father he (himself) never had. He shared though that, yes, a big chunk of the movie was based on what happened in his life. However, his actual story is far more difficult than what was documented in the movie.

He cited several examples. Let me share one.

One that I can recall was that in the movie his son was 5 years old. In reality though his son was around 2 years old at the time. He said that it was harder because you leave a baby to be cared for by someone you didn’t know. He shared that he would almost daily walk away to his baby’s screams almost every day just to provide for their needs. And all you can assure to the screaming baby was you will be “back for him”. He, nonetheless, was screaming and crying inside. But he shared that kept on pursuing all. For him having to deny your child anything is much painful.


Gardner shared that he did what he could to provide to his child what he was not able to get in his lifetime. The problem was, some people may say, that he did not have any university degrees such as MBAs. But Gardner said that he has PSD. He was “Poor, Smart and who has a Desire to become wealthy”. That, according to him, was the reason why he acquired a different MBA — Many Bank Accounts.

He assured himself that he was going to be world-class in what he will do in his life. And, we all know how his actions fueled by his desire made him today.

As we usually say, the rest is history.

One of the key lesson that I would never forget from Gardner that according to him helped realize where he is now is this:

“Commit to PLAN A. You need to get it NOT PLAN B. PLAN B sucks!!!”

He said that when something happens, you do what you got to do. Never look for fallback but always aim to get what you plan to get. Again, Plan B sucks!

He capped his talk by saying that at his age he is still learning. Also, he likened himself to Michelangelo that at age 87, the world great claimed that he was still a student and learning. He said he feels that way all the time.

Before he ended his talk he went back again to honor his mother. He attributed his milestones to the foundation instilled by his mother. And, I think that is what we should all do.

Like Gardener, we should never forget the lessons we got from our good “influencer” or mentors. Let all the lessons fuel our actions.

This will help us in our journey.

 

Note: NATIONAL ACHIEVERS CONGRESS PHILIPPINES (NACPH) 2016, “The Pursuit of Wealth and Happyness” with Mr. Chris Gardner as Keynote Speaker was held at SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia. The event was brought to us by Laurus Enterprises (LAURUS) and Success Resources Pte. Ltd. (SRPL) with Light Network Channel 33 as the official media partner.

nacph

PS: I would highly encourage you to read his memoir “The Pursuit of Happyness