Wisdom for the Journey
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Are You Reaching For a Dream?
A dream is a very important thing, it is like a seed one must plant and water and take care of so it can grow and bear fruit in time. When you find it, take care of it, protect it. Some people walk through life not even finding the seed they wanted to grow.
The Small Seed
Let a seed
be buried deep down into the ground
deep down where there is nothing
and the smallness of the seed,
let it wait
let it face its greatest fears
for only in being buried
can it sprout forth with new life
only in the truth of its smallness
can it realize its power
to bear fruit
and to reach the highest heavens
Give me freedom, give me liberty no matter how much it may cost me, and I will pay for it! Set me free like a bird who is learning to fly. Let me go so that I may spread my wings! I may fall once, I may fall twice, I may fall so many times but I will not fall always. I will learn to fly!
If you will not let me go, how can I be strong? How can I live? How can I learn to rise from my fall, from my mistakes?
You may think seclusion shall protect me, but what you do not know is that boredom can kill me a hundred times more. It is more than stupor, it is worse than death.
Let me feel the hurt and the pain so that I may enjoy comfort. Let me experience sorrow so that I may have glorious happiness! It is better than being idle: like a stone that never knew what’s on the other side of the mountain, like a shell that never knew what’s on the other side of the sea.
Let me live, set me free. Let me be responsible for my own soul. Let me think, for I do have a mind. Let me feel, for I too, have a heart. Let me go, for He who made me is free!
In order to reach your dreams, you must first be able to dream. You must be FREE to dream and to reach for that dream.
Determination Versus Hard work
I came to a very good realization one morning. I realized that there is one thing that’s missing in me, and that is the determination to reach my dreams. It’s true that I’ve been trying very hard in finding ways and means to realize my life goals, but trying hard isn’t the same as being sufficient, trying hard isn’t helping you keep your hopes alive when you meet one disappointment after another.
Sooner or later you’ll be exhausted, sooner or later you’ll give up. It’s as though you’re merely trying out your luck in the lottery, and when you don’t win, you say that at least you’ve tried, but it was just not meant for you, you weren’t lucky enough. But luck is truly not the question, for luck is not the same as destiny. And destiny can only be reached with a firm “resolve”.
When I studied hard to make it through college for instance, I didn’t just say I will try my best, and see where it gets me. I told myself that I will finish my studies whatever happens, whatever it takes! Whether I have enough money or not, whether the subjects are difficult or easy, I’m going to do it, and nobody’s stopping me. Destiny is like that. Its when you say to yourself that this is what you really want and you will never ever stop until you make your dreams come true!
Perseverance Is Your Key to Success!
“I hope that you will persevere
Until the very end,
Because it is only then
That you will find out
That the end is but the beginning
Of the realization
Of your dreams.”
Persevere in prayer. Persevere in your hope. Persevere in your faith. He who cannot persevere has not truly BELIEVED from the very beginning.
Countless endeavors were called FAILURES not because they were doomed to fail, but because there was not enough perseverance to discover the SUCCESS and the HAPPINESS that await on the other side of the road.
If only one man climbed a few more feet higher. If only another man dug a few more meters deeper. If only a businessman had enough capital to last a few more days. IF ONLY.
Let us not be victims of changing our minds too soon before we reap the success we have sown. Giving up too early only shows our lack of belief in what we are doing. It shows that we have not thought about our plans well. It shows how shallow our hope really is.
Do you know what you are actually building with your perseverance? You are building a very strong momentum that increases steadily and expands larger and larger until it becomes so huge no hindrance can ever stop it along the way! Without perseverance, all you may have is a stone. Nothing much can be moved by a stone. But when that stone becomes a big rock, a boulder, an entire hill, it can move anything as it rolls down the path you chose for it to tread.
Never underestimate the power of perseverance. Much of what people call as overnight success wasn’t really made overnight. The seed was sown a long time ago, although in secret. The growth seemed almost negligible at the start, but after years of preparation, the seed suddenly explodes and all that the world sees is the magnificence of that moment!
How long have you been trying? Are you losing faith already? Take heart! This may just be the moment you’ve long been waiting for.
How Do You Teach An Eagle How To Fly?
This is one of the chapters in my series “The Good For Nothing Boy”
“Good-for-nothing!” How many among us felt as though we were good-for-nothing and unwanted? How many among us ever felt without a purpose in life? Today, I will tell you one of the chapters of the story of a little boy who felt the same way. Together with his firefly friend, let us join him in his search for his purpose as he journeys over strange and distant lands and as he miraculously uncovers his worth, his mission, and his heart.”
It was raining hard that day and the little boy found himself running desperately for shelter. With the firefly cupped in his hands, he tried to make his way farther up the mountains. There used to be lots of trees there, but now, the land is almost barren. The path was slippery, and the boy often tripped as he ran.
“Are you all right in there?” he asked the firefly cupped in his hands.
“Still alive, boy; still alive,” replied the firefly.
“Just a little while more. I think I see something ahead.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I could hardly breathe in here. Where have all the trees gone anyway?” the firefly asked.
“They say they were used to make houses and many other things,” the boy replied.
“Well there are no houses here, that’s for sure. I wish they made some, too, for fireflies like me.”
“I don’t think they do that, you know.”
“Well if they can’t do that, they might as well leave some trees here,” cried the firefly.
“Yeah, I guess that’s fair enough.”
Suddenly, a mighty lightning struck and almost hit them had the boy not docked just in time! Crawling, firefly still in his hands, he tried to reach what seemed like a cave in the middle of the barren land.
“Whew, that was close!” the firefly sighed with relief.
“Indeed, too close. I’m glad we found this cave. We can stay here until the storm is over.”
Tired with the day’s ordeal, they slept deeply through the night, not knowing where or what they have gotten themselves into.
“Little boy, wake up! The cave is moving!”
“Wh – what? You might be dreaming, get some more sleep – “
“But the cave is really moving. Wake up!” the firefly insisted as he hovered near the boy’s ear.
Just then, the boy was awakened by the sudden gush of wind that chilled him to the bones.
“What’s that?!” He could not believe his eyes. For right there where he thought the cave had been, is the biggest eagle he’s ever seen!
“No, please don’t go,” a gentle voice suddenly spoke. “I have no intention of harming you or your friend.”
“How – how can we be sure?” asked the trembling firefly.
“Look here.” And they saw that the eagle was tied to the ground.
“I have not gone anywhere since I was tied here. All that I ever asked of strangers was to get me some food from the nearby forest. As you can see, I can’t provide for my own needs. If you would be willing, I shall be very thankful for you both.”
“I am willing,” said the boy.
“I – I – well I – if you say so!” said the firefly.
And so everyday, the little boy gathered food from the forest to offer to the giant eagle. Everyday, they ate together and became really good friends.
“Was it really long ago since you were tied here?” asked the boy.
“Yes, I was just a little eagle. Some hunter caught me, for some reason though, he did not return.”
“And have you?”
“Oh yes, I did try to break away, but I’ve found my efforts futile that one day I resigned to accept my fate.”
“But – but as you said, you were just a little eagle then. Now you’re so big I believe you can already break away. I would really like to help you, but I’m just too little to be able to cut these chains. I know you can do it yourself.”
“I don’t know, little boy. I have failed so many times. And even if I could break loose, I don’t even know if I could still fly. Wouldn’t it be more shameful to see a free eagle who can’t fly?”
“But wouldn’t you want to see your family again? Wouldn’t you want to meet new friends and see new things? I know there are lots of things on the other side of the mountain, not to mention the other side of the sea. For an eagle as big as you, I’m sure there are lots of things in store if you would only try. If only I were an eagle, I wouldn’t give up no matter how many times I fail.”
“You made it sound so easy that I’m tempted to do it,” the eagle said.
“Don’t just be tempted, giant eagle. Do it! I want to see you free and soaring high!”
“It – it may be possible…”
“Yes, it’s possible!”chorused the boy and the firefly.
“Could you help me then?”
“Of course we will! I can’t teach you how to fly, you must discover it yourself. But we will support you. We will.”
“Thanks, I hope I make it this time.”
“You will! I guess you should start by practicing to flap your wings everyday. And when your wings are strong enough, maybe we can begin the real test.”
After weeks of preparation, the moment has come for the eagle and his friends.
“I’m quite nervous,” the eagle said.
“Don’t be! We’re right behind you.”
And so with one final breath, the eagle flapped his wings and tried to break loose. “Whoooosshh!” Everything seemed to be going so well, the eagle was rising when all of a sudden, fear struck him, he lost his balance and fell!
“I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew I couldn’t.”
“Giant eagle, you must believe you can do it. There is no other way. Each failure brings us closer to the dreams we have. I have an idea! I will give you something to say to yourself while you’re practicing. All this time, we’ve been practicing your wings, but we forgot to practice your mind. If we are to accomplish anything, we must first be able to visualize it like it’s almost real, in our minds.”
And so the boy gave the eagle the secret words to be uttered to himself; words he must believe and trust until the time comes when both wings and mind become ready to try again.
That time came. The eagle flapped his wings once more. And this time, with such strength and conviction he never thought he had. He kept on reciting the words the boy taught him as he tried to break loose and fly.
Why should I be afraid to fly?
And why should I be afraid to try?
When I was born to meet the sky –
I was born to meet the sky and fly!
I may fall once,
I may fall twice,
I may fall so many times
But I will not fall always!
I will try again and again and fly!
Spread your wings now
Let go of your fears
As you leave the ground –
Be prepared now, steady
You’re getting better,
You’re flying stronger
You’re soaring higher up the sky!
Suddenly, the eagle was able to break loose and soar high up in the sky; so high that the boy knew the eagle can now fend for himself. It is now time for him to move on and seek his own sky.
How Do You Deal With Life’s Setbacks?
Have you ever had that feeling that everything is going well and you’re well on your way to achieving all your heart’s desires? You have pondered upon the Universal Laws and learned them all by heart. You have followed them religiously, built your grandest visions and seen them start to happen one by one. You were so certain you’re on the right track and nothing can ever move you.
Then one moment, a single remark gets at you and all your dreams are torn into pieces. At that moment, you went so far back just when you thought you were making progress. You’ve climbed so hard just to slip away and see all your efforts turn to waste.
Yet was that really what had happened?Were your efforts wasted at all?
I believe that for a person who has made so much progress and growth, authentic growth, there is no such thing as wasted efforts. It may be true that you may see a lot of work that has to be redone, but doing that work is indeed not a waste at all. In fact, if you really did your homework well, you’d find yourself much stronger and wiser now, and you’ll be able to accomplish the same task in less than half the time you’ve spent doing it before.
What you’ve experienced is merely a TEMPORARY setback, and even setbacks can be opportunities for more growth.
During such times, you will realize how stronger you have indeed become. You will also be able to assess how much room there still is for improvement in many areas in your life. Speed is not the main thing after all, but the right direction in which we are headed to.
To Dream Again
Tell me what is the most difficult part of dreaming. Finding your dream? Persisting in reaching for them? At times my friend, these are not the most difficult part. At times my friend, it is that part when you let go of the dream you’ve worked so hard for, so you can dare to dream another dream.
It was not an easy thing for me to achieve my dream. We were but a poor family, I had no educational plan, and our sole breadwinner was my father who worked as a company driver then. The only reason I got to study in an exclusive Catholic school in high school was through a scholarship granted by the Alumni Association of the school. It was also by a scholarship that I was able to finish my Accounting Degree in college, a scholarship that fortunately continued during my review for the CPA Board Examinations. I had to study hard year after year. I had to prove again and again that I deserved my scholarship because falling just one point short of the required grades would mean the end of everything I strived so hard for. I had to give it my utmost concentration, and forget everything else that may get in the way. I even had to forego the usual things that teenagers were supposed to enjoy: parties, night outs, romantic relationships.
I was in my last year in college when my father died; he wasn’t even there to see me graduate with honors. And he wasn’t there as well when I passed the CPA Board. The year he died until I passed the Board, our only source of income was my father’s small social security insurance, an amount that proved insufficient, and we incurred a lot of debt just so to make both ends meet.
When I finally worked as an auditor, I assumed the role of family breadwinner. It was the start of fulfilling my dreams for me and my family.
Years passed, and though I didn’t become rich, I became financially stable. I was able to see my younger siblings graduate. I was able to treat my family to places I couldn’t afford before. I was able to work in prestigious companies that enabled me to practice what I learned, to travel for free in various parts of the country, and to hope for a secured future and a stable career.
I was actually living the life I dreamt of. And I was on my way to reaching a predictable advancement in my career, probably until my retirement. Here was everything I’ve ever hoped for, the dreams I’ve worked so hard for all my life.
And yet, after achieving all these, I didn’t feel as contented as I thought I would be. I felt like something’s missing, something that would give more meaning to my life.
It is true that I was able to use what I’ve learned, but as days went on, I felt unable to share more and more of what I know. The audit reports I write may be quite useful for the company I work with, but the words they contain prove only useful for a time, and for a limited number of people. Most people can’t even understand what it says or what it’s worth. I wanted to start writing eternal and useful things for many people. I wanted to write words that heal, words that inspire, words that touch lives and bring light wherever there is darkness.
To sum it up, I had another dream, a dream so different from the one I’ve worked so hard for all these years.
Many people would call it foolishness, a risk so high that no professional in her sound mind would dare take. For why should I begin again? Why should I throw away all the skills and experiences, all the qualifications that would help me advance in my corporate career? Shouldn’t I be taking up a Master’s degree or something?
But then I asked myself, what satisfaction would I ever get in continuing what I’m doing today? No matter if I achieve a higher position this year, I would only be aiming for a higher one next year and so on. There is really no career ladder to aspire to, but a deadend for exploring the best I could yet become.
I wish I can tell you now that I’ve already made a complete transition to my desired job. But like many of you, I’m still in the process of accomplishing that change. I struggle each day to perform my office chores while trying to find time writing this article, and writing the chapters of the book I dream of leaving behind as a legacy to all that may profit from it.
It isn’t easy to dream again, and to leave behind everything you’ve accomplished. But life goes on, and it cannot go on by holding on to the things you know will not lead you farther in your journey. Each of us was borne to accomplish the task which only we can perform. The world awaits us to perform it. The world awaits us to find out what it is and dream again.
A Song To Dream Again
You’ve come so far from where you wanna go
and you reached the dreams you’ve made some time ago
as you walk along the shore
seems you couldn’t ask for more
yet the restless sea is calling you
to go and dream once more
What lies ahead
what lies across that restless sea
is there something that my heart should find
or someone waiting just for me
oh how would I know
I’ll never know unless I try
I’ll never know unless I dream again
with you Lord by my side
You’ve wished upon a star sometime ago
yet there are millions more just waiting for your call
as you walk beneath the moon
someone waits to see you soon
and you know that you can even dance
as you build your dreams once more
Risk And Moving Mountains
One thing I’ve learned in being an auditor is the ability to quickly assess the risks that exists and the possible means by which to eradicate or mitigate them. Give me a situation and in less than five seconds, I can start enumerating the risks involved. Give me 30 seconds and I may even be able to classify those risks according to likelihood of happening or the materiality of the consequences possible. Very handy skill, isn’t it? Could save you millions right? Right. Could make you lose millions, right? Right as well!You ask how that could happen? Here’s a simple illustration. If you are to go into a business with only a one percent chance of clicking and you plan on investing your hard earned money all in that basket, you can definitely thank me when I tell you that slim, almost nil percentage of success, and save you from losing all of your money. On the other hand, if you could’ve actually made it among that one percent who succeed, then you can also blame me for scaring you so much and making you lose such a great opportunity.
But of course, you would never have known that unless you risked it. And had you risked it and profited among that one percent, you’d have been so happy you won’t blame anyone anymore. You’d just thank yourself for following your instincts instead of following statistics.
What I’m saying is this: there are very real risks that we should be aware of, but then there are some things which we can make real despite of all the risks involved!
Stated in another way, follow statistics if you want to play it safe, if you just want to take a chance, if you don’t have the tenacity and the willpower to push yourself beyond what you’ve always done and accomplished. If you don’t think miracles can’t happen anymore, if you find it difficult to follow a different drummer, by all means see the risks before you and get out of their way.
But if you feel deep down in your heart that this is what you really wanted to do, and if you believe you will do everything within your power to reach it, with a burning desire to accomplish all that you have set out to do, if you really believe you can move mountains, then I salute you and give you my utmost respect.
You are one of the few who can make things happen. You belong to that one percent of people the other 99 percent should be wary of. Because if you ever get in their way, the tables of possibilities would’ve already been turned. Chances are that it is the 99 who would give way for you, for the one who knows definitely, and believes whole heartedly where he is going.
Faith works like that. Faith sees the way despite the many obstacles that others see. Faith is certain. Its voice is calm and sure, confident that the things it perceives will happen and become a reality.
Risks may tell you how difficult a path to be taken will be, but it is only faith that will get you across to where your heart desires to go. No mountain can ever stop you, for by faith even the waters of the sea can be parted, and even the mountains that stand in the way can be moved!
The Secret of Flying
This is the secret of flying:
When there is tremendous pressure all about you that you can do nothing but to rise above it all less be crushed underneath!
I want to share with you a speech I made when I was in college. It has often reminded me of how we are able to pursue our dreams, and about what really matters in the end.
Today, we celebrate our success after all these years of hardship, struggle and perseverance. We reminisce the challenges that stood before us, and we savor the victories that came upon our hands.
It was not so long ago when we dared to dream, and not so long ago, when we dared to take the first essential steps towards its fulfillment.
Along the way, we met a lot of trials, but our burning desire to reach our goals has kept us from straying or giving up. Along the way were many uncertainties, but certain beacons of light showed us the right path to take.
Let us thank God therefore for His unceasing grace and guidance; our professors, for their immeasurable dedication; our parents for their unconditional support althroughout these years; and our friends who walked along with us, side by side.
Because of them, we were able to reach our dreams. Because of them, we can truly say, “We made it!”.
Yet is this really the end of all our dreams? Friends, we should not just stop here and dwell with memories. Rather, we must look onwards and dream once more. But this time, let us dream not only for ourselves. Let us dream for the nation, and let us dream for the world.
The medals and diplomas we received today must not be mere symbols of high grades or prestigious positions, but emblems of the true light, which God has given us, and which we are now called to give others in return.
It is not sufficient anymore to be the mere hope of the nation. We must be the fulfillment of that hope!
So do your best not only to improve yourselves, but to improve the socio-economic conditions of your country. You have a great role in making this nation great again.
And when you work, don’t just work to earn a living, but work so that you may live in the real sense of the word. Don’t just earn money, earn it honestly and with dignity. Put meaning to everything you do so that when you reach your destination, you have not only reached it, but you reached it with honor in your soul and strength in your heart.
Never look for success in money, for success is never measured by one’s bank account. Don’t look for success in power, for absolute power corrupts absolutely. Don’t look for success in fame, for it is the prayer in silence which is most dear to God.
As a matter of fact, don’t look for success first, for it may be hard to find. But put God first in everything that you do, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
Friends, a bright tomorrow awaits us. Let us get there by making the most of what we have today. Never be afraid to try. Never be afraid to dream. For you are like a bird that is just learning to fly. You may fall once, you may fall twice, but you will not always fall. You will learn to fly!
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