Monday, May 29, 2017


Last week, I attended an inspiring talk called #LiveBrighter by Sun Life Financial. That was my first time to attend a session among the many talks that Sun Life hosted. I was eager to attend this one because one of the speakers was Apprentice Asia winner, Jonathan Yabut. I've watched a few of the episodes of the Apprentice Asia where he was doing the tasks that was given to him — and I am inspired on his attitude. Imagine, I was just able to watch just a few episodes and I admire him already. Paano pa if I've watched the complete season. A smart and driven man as he was in the show, there, at the event, he was so confident standing and talking live —giving us some dose of boost on becoming successful. Na-star-struck ako, sobra! The man sure knows how to motivate a crowd.

As I have mentioned, Jonathan is the first winner of the hit reality show "Apprentice Asia." He served as a chief of Staff for AirAsia for a year after winning in the reality show hosted by Malaysian business mogul Tony Fernandex. To date, he is running his very own JY Consultancy & Ventures, which operates in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. 

Jonathan shared his story of how he rose from humble beginnings to become a successful businessman and in-demand motivational speaker. He talked about the work principles that has brought him to where he is now, and also emphasized the importance of serving a social purpose. According to Yabut, the latter is what will keep one inspired to keep improving his work.

Here are some of the quotable quotes that I was able to catch during his intro...
-The enemy of the ambitious is time.
-If you don't succeed in the next 5 years, it's already a consequence of the choices that you make in your life today, and there's no one else to partially blame but you.

Here's sharing you a quick rundown of his talk: 
1. Success is when preparation meets opportunity.
He won Apprentice Asia not because he is the brightest person among the contestants but because he is the most prepared among them. He did what millenials do best when they need to know something about someone —stalk. He stalked Tony. He researched, watched interviews, listened to the words Tony used over and over to know what kind of person is suitable for the job that he wanted for his company. He was in fact the youngest contestant but in the end, he stressed that what is important is —Always be prepared.

2.You don't need to say yes to every opportunity-Success also requires saying NO. 
Successful people practice Triage - they say no to things that are not really important. Triage is the procedure of assigning levels of priority to tasks or individuals to determine the most effective order in which to deal with them. Keep in mind that you can't be everything at once. Prioritize. Focus.

"Don't keep so much unnecessary lettuce in your life. "

This is how one airline company was able to save millions of funds just by simply removing some lettuce from the plate of food they serve on board. He shared this story behind the lettuce...

He said, in life, said lettuce can be toxic people, relationships, jobs or companies that don't add to your success. Remove them before they hinder your success.

3. In order to stand out, you also need to stand back.
Leadership is pullership, not pushership. 
No matter how great you are as an individual contributor, you will not get promoted if you don't have leadership skills. Because the real role of a leader is to make more leaders out of others  and once you become a leader, it's no longer about you, but the people that you serve.

Remember: Leadership is being able to influence someone to get that objective done even if that person doesn't like you or even if that person doesn't like his job.

4. It's not about working hard, but smart.
Jonathan said he had more faith in a person who works the typical 9-5 than those who come in to work extra early and leave super late. If the 1st person can accomplish the task in 14 hours, and the other person can accomplish in 4hours, the 1st person is working hard and the 2nd person is working smart. 

Before you even execute and jump into any task, always zoom out first before you zoom in. Ask yourself if it is the best strategy for attacking. Look at everything and come up with ways to do things better. 

Remember: Successful people are never content with one-time victories. 

5.The secret to success is out there. It's called Grit.
Grit is passion and perseverance combined for a very long-term goal.
Grit is everytime that you make that amount of failure, you have the ability to get up and learn how to handle and deal with failures. 

Everything that you need to succeed in life is within you. It is how you adapt in life circumstances.

Grit answers to that question, "para kanino ka bumabangon tuwing umaga" - he said if you cannot answer that question, you do not have the right to complain about life —because you are not inspired enough to know what you really want to do in life. Successful people are ready enough to believe that even if they have enough failures infront of them, they get it done.

He ended his talk with a great question for us to ask ourselves:

Have I become that person who I wanted to be 5 years ago and am I killing it?

Apart from Jonathan Yabut, Sun Life Financial advisor JP Cruz also shared his personal journey —  how he reached rock bottom in both his finances and his love life, and what he did to overcome the struggle. 

I have written down some notable things from his experiences (which I have shared via twitter during the event:

— Failure happens not because you're weak, but because your DREAMS are weak.
— Search for an emotional reason to make your life work more MEANINGFUL.

Now a successful Sun Life advisor, JP Cruz interestingly stressed a thought akin to what Yabut emphasized: that is to have a deeper reason for the work one pursues. In his case, Cruz finds it by helping people achieve lifetime financial security.

Here is something I've learned from both Yabut and Cruz: And that is the value of STARTING NOW. My age bracket is on the edge of millennials or should I say, ageing millennials — meaning sumasabit-sabit pa ako haha! But seriously speaking, aside from learning on having GRIT and SOCIAL PURPOSE, we need to free ourselves from the misconception that we are complacent and entitled, you know that thing called YOLO attitude? Yup ayun yun. 

There's nothing wrong with going YOLO or CARPE DIEM once in awhile, but why put off for tomorrow what you can do today? I'm not saying that you should join The Apprentice Asia right away, or resign in your current job and set up your own company just like that. But guys, I think now is the high time that we change that misconception. Let's start channeling this negative attitude into changing how we do our work and how we look and handle our finances. Who knows, before we know it, those little changes that we do can make a bigger impact to everyone. Life is good, so we might as well make it a better place. After-all, we only live once!

#LiveBrighter Sessions and talks are set to be held in Cebu and Davao. If you want more information about it, just visit SUN LIFE FINANCIAL on Facebook for more information.

Have a great week ahead everyone! 



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