An inspiration to become a SURVIVOR

While you’re sort of looking me over, let me guess what’s creeps your mind. Perhaps some of you here might seem to be excited hearing something inspirational, something that might get through your system from somebody you just came across the corridors of the school or some might think this is another blah, blah or whatever! Part of the program. With whole honesty, when I was invited to speak before this crowd of gorgeous young ladies and handsome gentlemen, I paused for a while and try to collect myself asking, what would exactly inspire OUR youthful mind. I said “OURs” (that includes me) because I felt very young when I am surrounded by teens like you. Exactly, because I believe, I am still part of what they call the generation X, the generation of Ipods and PSP’s, the era of powerful imagination.

When I was your age, many would ask us; do we ever get serious about anything? We’re sometimes mistaken as ‘emo’ because often get too caught up with our emotions. Most of us have hang-ups about getting “in” or simply being cool. We have a lot of insecurities. We want to look good. We want to feel great. We want to explore. We like to take risks for adventure. As for future plans, many may not have even thought of anything serious for college.

The trend never ceases to change. Kung ano ang uso noon, at uso sa inyo, pareho lang ‘yun, uso! But we can always make a difference for a better a change. I believe many of you here experience the same scenario like mine because this is NORMAL, this is the age of “growing up”. Though the difference matter in fashion evolution, your great mind’s eye will bring and make you somebody you want to become when you’re grown up.

I should say, my experiences being like you helped me to be what I am today, I am proud to say that because of the struggles I had during my years like yours, I was able to bring home not just the bacon but the whole luncheon. I finished two courses and landed in a stable career. I was able to stand with the pressures your age encounters. Survivor kung baga, I had open my eyes, and see the bigger picture of my playground, I see that beyond my colorful playhouses, sturdy little tikes, and sand boxes in wild jungle of predators waiting to attack their prey. Guys, If we keep ourselves ready for the attack, we would be able to fight them all and become winners in our own rights when we are grown up.

“Malaki na ako, kaya ko na to!” “Kakainis talaga ang mga mama at papa” “Hay, Naku puro bawal”. These are familiar lines we used to say. We even cannot understand our parents. We hate our teachers because they always reprimand us. We get rebellious and even proud become one kasi nakaksikat tawaging Wow pare Astig!” But if we let ourselves get hooked with it, it will eat us. We might wake up one morning and realize that the world is turning up side down and fate will bring us to nowhere. If we will not build a strong foundation in our growing up stage, we might not be able to make it one day when we need it. That is when I understand why my mom was adamant that I should not go beyond my background so that my wee kindergarten world remains whole and colorful. She was just trying to shield me from the lashing reality I have come to know is filled with different forms of chaos.  This is the time to prepare. A time to be ready. A time to pull our sleeves up, stand firm and face what is ahead of us. We can only enjoy the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if we start believing and working out the things we need to reach there – and that is making ourselves worthy for that precious price. But remember you will undergo struggles more rigid and tough as that of the stunts of the Pinoy Fear Factor or the challenges the contestants of the Survivor encounter because we will bump into failures not ones but twice… and more.

A story was told about Milton. He knew about failure. He eventually became very famous and very rich, but he understood that life was not a bed of roses. He knew very well how life carries with it the pains of failures, poverty and rejection.

As a boy, he went to work as a printer’s apprentice, but it did not work out. Then he became an apprentice confectioner where he performed better. Working inside a factory manufacturing candies was not easy, but Milton was determined to master the trade.

At age 19 he start his own confectionery business. He worked hard for six years, but the business did not do well, and he finally had to give up. He worked again for another candy company. He kept on trying where another venture failed.

After a string of failures like that, many would have given up. But Milton thought otherwise. He learned from his mistakes. He learned that failure is not fatal. He learned to treat obstacles as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. He learned that you never fail until you stop trying. And of course, he kept on learning about confectionery trade, picking up many tricks and inventing new ones by constantly experimenting with formulas and process.

Milton may be seen as a failure, with little book learning and many failed business attempts, yet he went on to become an inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and humanitarian. His name was known throughout the world. Thanks to the world famous product that carries his name MILTON SNAVELY HERSHEY was the man who created Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.

This is success story can be your story too. Your time is still to shine. You have the resources that you need and the imagination you can use to become great someday. Let no hindrance be in your way towards success.

We must not be too cozy in our own little boxes that don’t take the challenge in facing any reality that threatens to break our known paradigm. Instead, we must be ready for the big fight and the fight  BEGINS NOW! UNO…DOS…TRES…VAMOS.


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