Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My goals to be successful, a summary of my latest talk with my godfathers

Last night I was intrigued with how my godfathers got so successful in their life, and I wanted to be like them. So, thinking I was already 30, I should get a head start and try to be at least like them by the time i was forty. Here was the question I wanted to ask them:

"To be successful in life, what should I be doing and should be accomplishing from thirty to forty years of age?"

I was surprised to find their answers very similar to each other, so I'll put a summary here, but it will be injected with my own personal thoughts and insights, so do not assume that these men are directly quoted:

Dr. Jun Javelosa, Architect Amerigo dela Paz and Businessman Antonio Melocoton said that my question is a hard one, since your goals in your thirties are very relative to your personal dreams, your personal goals, and definition of success. It is good to have a goal, but generally, men, when they fail to reach their goal, become depressed and would feel like a failure. So it is wise to set a specific goal, and head towards that line, then upon approaching, set something higher, and grow more, and learn more, be better, etc.

In reality, man will not be satisfied with their success, for there is an innate desire to become like God (because we are created in His image), and if misdirected and misunderstood, it becomes deadly, and it is sin. When you reach a certain level of accomplishment, you yourself become a benchmark FOR OTHERS. But personally, you know you're not there yet. There is a saying "the more you know, the more you realize you don't know anything yet". That is true, for me as a musician, the more I progress, the more I learn that there is more to know, to explore, to study, to achieve, etc. So, parallel to that, in success, it becomes relative to your point of view, therefore, you never become successful, and you end up frustrated and spent. So you have to define it in another way.

I also learned that there is no such thing as successful in terms of wealth. When successful people compare themselves to their colleagues, they might even become insecure! But when those colleagues of them would compare themselves to other business moguls, they would also shrink in size! There is no end to it! So what should be the solution?

I know I've mentioned this before, and I've adopted this quote as true to my own definition of success: Success is achieved if your life is pleasing to God. Simple isn't it? Simple but very difficult. Think of it this way, our lives will only be at a maximum of 60-80 years. Some people reach 90 or 100, but I doubt that I will. And whether you are a Christian or not, all of us believe our souls are eternal. Since I am a Christian, I don't believe in reincarnation, nor the ceasing of our existence. Real life begins when you enter into eternity, not just when you die, but when you accept the gift of adoption and eternal life, at the moment you believe in Jesus(this has a deeper meaning to it). NOW, let's head back to the topic... our lives here on earth are short, extremely negligible compared to forever. Forever is the topic most people believe in, but only a handful invest in and prepare for. This is the most least liked subject for most "Christians". Sad, but true. To you, who might be reading this, think about it, if you please yourself with what you've accomplished. or please others with what you can do for them, but forget about pleasing God, who determines your eternity, what would be the wise choice? What would be the more meaningful choice? The things said are not bad, you must love yourself and do things for yourself, and on the other hand, I also strongly believe in serving others and helping them. But, in view if eternity, if we fail to focus on the primary goal, we are wasting precious time. Eternity, is the top priority.

Success on earth is very important. But its importance pales in significance compared to eternal investments. Why? Because, you will bring ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with you when you die. You may leave something behind for your loved ones, but they wont bring those with them when they die too! That is why my godfathers strongly urged me to invest in eternal stuff.

But, practically, they did leave me with something for my success here on earth. It was simple. Save money. Live below your income. And if income increases, live at the same level as if your income didn't increase. GIVE. Be smart, and increase your skills. Be the best in an area where you don't have competition. If you do have competition, create an edge. Before you have kids, get an MBA, even if you don't finish it, at least you have some units! Invest in metals, not currency. Invest in appreciating value stuff: Land, property, etc. Try new stuff, and be prepared to fail. Start early. They also said that in your income, you have to separate your tithes, offerings, and SAVINGS and bills FIRST, then think about your living expenses like food, etc. Your other stuff like a new bag, a great tv, gadgets, snacks, etc., live off those for a while. If you do get extra income, that's the chance for you to save up for your personal treat... but if you can, hold it off. Something better might come along. Reality check... I'm almost none of those.

In everything that was said, I really remembered Give, and Save. Giving isn't a problem for me, but saving is. That's what I'm going to start off this month. Save! To those of you who are reading this, let's start together!

So, in conclusion to this great article... be wise and work hard. Be smart, be efficient. But in all these, eternity is to be considered with the highest regard. If you live Life In View of Eternity...then you really begin to LIVE.

1 comment:

Frances said...

Ako, as your big sister, I have unsolicited advice for you, too.

The word really is GIVE. Give to others and give to yourself. Give, save... semantics really. Spend on others, spend on yourself. Never forget yourself. It's not selfishness. Even the Bible said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. So you can't love others properly if you don't love yourself FIRST!

Look at the summary of their advice: be smart, increase your skills, be the best, create an edge, before you have kids, try new stuff, etc... It really starts with YOU first. How can you help others, inspire others, be a role model if your own pathetic life needs help? That's why I'm glad that you are constantly improving yourself, that you are an independent, strong young man with part of his life conquered and ready to face another chapter!

I also don't believe that you should deprive yourself. So if your income increases, splurge ka naman! Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness didn't have a lot of it!

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