When my friend invited me to attend a talk called The E-Factor, I excitedly said YES!
Why not? The talk will feature three highly successful high profile individuals who will share their wisdom on how they themselves succeeded and became excellent in their respective fields. And the best part was that the seminar fee is only Php250! It’s a real treat, indeed!
After the seminar, I felt so inspired to pursue what I love to do and strive for excellence. But that’s getting ahead of the story.
I chose three key lessons from each speaker which I will be sharing with you.
JOSE MARI CHAN is a singer, composer, and a businessman. I bet you know him through his famous hits Beautiful Girl, Let’s Stop and Talk Awhile, Christmas in our Hearts, among others.
He came in a suit armed with a well-written speech which he read before us. His speech and get-up already spoke volumes about how he values excellence.
1. Have Determination.
Jose Mari Chan said that one of the persons he admires is his father Tony Chan. Tony Chan migrated to the Philippines from China when he was only 14 y.o. With little money but with enough determination, Tony Chan worked his way to gain economic freedom and gain respect from the society. From a nobody, Tony Chan was able to build a business empire that still stands today.
2. Be different. Find your niche.
Jose Mari Chan said that his voice is ordinary (Whew! Can you believe that? I still think his voice is awesome and legendary!)
To succeed in singing, he did some things that differentiated him from other singers like:
– He started composing his own songs at the age of 13.
– He only sang songs that he understood.
– He sings songs from the heart. (You could feel his happiness and emotions when he sings)
– He gives glory to God every morning and He invokes the Holy Spirit before every concert. (Wow!)
– He believes that excellence is a matter of quality, not quantity.
– Everyday, he makes the effort to excel.
– He said, “Life is a never-ending process. Put your heart into your task and take it to completion.”
3. Give back to the society.
Jose Mari Chan took this after his father. His father taught him to give back to the society that accepted him and gave him home.
Jose Mari Chan’s youngest daughter is currently taking up Marine Biology in the states but she will come back to the Philippines to apply what she learned.
Speaking of giving back, he serenaded us with two of his hit songs. He also brought 24 CDs which he raffled off for us attendees. I was so lucky my name was picked! 🙂
Christine is known to many as an actress and TV host. Unknown to many, behind this pretty (Tisay) face is a very disciplined athlete (swimmer), a loving and submissive wife to Paco Sandejas, and a mother of five children!
1. Put in the effort and time.
Christine shared that she started swimming at the age of 6 upon the prodding of her Dad. At first, she didn’t like it but eventually, she grew a fondness for it.
She would usually wake up at 4am to swim, then go to school, then sleep early so she could wake up again early the next day. And this she did everyday. She jokingly shared that while the rest of her classmates were all beautiful and made up, she smelled like chlorine.
She narrated that at first, she was kulelat (incompetent) but she trained anyway until her big break came when she won in the 1984 Olympics.
2. Know what you want.
Christine, while very successful in swimming and showbiz, wanted something others may consider simple: to be married and have kids. Indeed, she got married to a very good man Paco Sandejas.
You could see how much Christine honors and loves her husband with the way she talked about him. They now have five children. Bubbly as she is, Christine jokingly shared that she has yet to find a swimmer among her five kids and she and her husband might go for their sixth child who would be a swimmer.
3. Use your weakness to your advantage.
Christine didn’t know much Tagalog and she couldn’t carry a tune when she was invited to enter Showbiz and become a host of Eat Bulaga. She used these weaknesses to her advantage, building rapport with the audience, and giving the a doze of belly laughter.
Nina Solomon is a successful Financial Planner at Philam Life who has been a consistent awardee ever since she joined the company in 1995. She was born to a poor family that values education.
1. Dream Big.
When she saw a house with a swimming pool, she told herself that someday, she’ll buy a house with a swimming pool. The dream came from a little girl who was then living in Tondo, her mother was a small-time vendor in Divisoria and her father was a driver.
Another dream she had was to have a job but not tied to the 8-5 routine with no boss and unlimited income. Talk about dreaming big!
Yet, her dreams came true. She echoed St. Josemaria Escriva when he said, “Dream and your dreams will fall short.”
To help us with our dreams, she suggested making a dream board. It’s a simple board where you paste the photos of the things, places, and other dreams that you want to achieve.
She emphasized the importance of prayer in her life. She said that she prayed for her vocation and her husband.
Praying was second nature to her, keeping the presence of God and converting her work to prayer.
3. Find a mentor.
She shared that one important key to succeed is to have mentors. Find a good mentor and be a docile student.
Just a friendly note. I’m sharing with you those that I picked up from their talks. The actual talk was more beautiful and complete. Nevertheless, I hope that somehow, my notes were useful to you.
Now, let’s go to the Question and Answer portion:
Q1: How do you know if you’re taking the right path?
Christine: It feels right. (very short answer yet very profound)
Q2. What keeps you grounded?
Nina: The thought that these (riches, recognition, etc.) are not mine but God’s.
Christine: Appreciate and love what you have at the moment. Realize that it all came from God. Be humble.
Joe Mari: Be humble. Don’t compare yourself with others. (refer to Desiderata)
Q3: How do you handle criticism, example, someone tells you you’re not good enough?
Nina: Believe that you are the best. Psyche yourself up. Tell yourself,
“I’m the best! I’m the best! I’m the best for God!”
Christine: Take it in a positive way. It’s an attitude, it’s how you look at things.
Joe Mari: It challenges me to be better. I have an ordinary voice but I write songs. I don’t get discouraged. I challenge myself to be the best and to always strive for excellence.
Q4: Let’s say you’re deciding whether to pursue what you love to do but with little pay or to continue with a job that you are not passionate about but is your bread and better, which should you choose? What is the excellent strategy?
Christine: You do something you don’t love equals misery. Do something you love and you’ll be so empowered.
Joe Mari: The secret to success is doing what you love and what you enjoy doing.
Q5: Any parting words?
Nina: Do your best and God will take care of the rest.
Christine: I believe in joyful sacrifice. Do your tasks happily.
Joe Mari: There’s a joy in being a mother. You can be a mother and still make a big difference. I encourage you to fall in love and find a good husband. (Note: The audience were all female, mostly single female young professionals)
*Special thanks to all the organizers of this talk. You did a great job! 🙂
Among the tips that the three speakers gave, which struck you the most? Care to share your own tips for excellence? Would love to here your comments. Please leave your comments below or HERE.
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