There are things that come because you deserve it.
But there are things that even you deserve it, it does not come down to your feet.
Often times, you need to intentionally aspire for it.
Now I understand what our then commandant a.k.a CAT Facilitator William Alodos asked us to do one morning.
We were lined up like the Army with the morning sun shining from the east shed its rays gently striking our tiger-looking faces. Chin up. Stomach in. No sun glasses for our eyes or hats to cover our heads.
Yes, we were then in the COLT or Cadet Officer Leadership Training. We were then in third year high school training to become officers. Those who will survive the training will be the leaders of the CAT Class the subsequent year. CAT (Citizen Army Training or Citizenship Advancement Training) is the high-school version of ROTC or Military Training Service in college.
After several minutes of marching and arm drills, Mr. Alodos came in. We stopped momentarily. And as the officer commanded, we raised our right hand to make a snappy hand salute to the commandant.
He looked at each of us and said, “Today, you are to submit to me a piece of paper. In that piece of paper, write the position that you are aspiring for.”
The highest post in our troop then is called the Corps Commander, then his XO or deputy commander and his four lieutenants. Down the line are the Captain, then the Platoon Leader, and the Color Officer. (I hope I got the ranks right otherwise I’ll be charged with demerits.)
Guess what I first attempted to write on my paper? It was among the lowest – the Platoon Leader.
But after some moments, I ended up writing – Captain. At least, a middle rank somehow.
It would have been OK, whatever rank it was.
But deep in my heart – I wanted to write – Corps Commander. Deep in my heart I wanted to aspire for the highest rank. Not only that – I also thought that I can become that. However, the problem was not of my capability.
The problem was the second thought I had of myself. I was afraid I might not be given the post. I was afraid I might appear proud or a show-off.
That time, I thought I was being humble – or was I? Or was I rather thinking small?
Was I downgrading myself instead of living up to what I can do?
Thanks be to God. He works in mysterious ways.
Weeks after that day, we were given another opportunity to write the post we are aspiring for.
Through some encouragement and affirmation, and a little bit of arguments in my heart and head, I wrote — the highest rank on my paper. That moment, I declared that I wanted to become the Corps Commander.
When I wrote it, I was challenged. When I wrote it, I was a bit afraid yet happy to go for it.
I’m glad that I did it.
After the tough training days that school year, I was awarded the post I aspired for – I became the Corps Commander of my class.
Of course, it wasn’t automatic.
I had to work hard for it.
But that moment when I wrote it down and declared, signifying my intention to aspire for it, the magic spell was invoked.
I was able to achieve it. It was given to me because I intentionally aspired for it.
What if I didn’t aspire for the highest rank?
You guessed it – I might have been given the middle rank. Not bad, but wouldn’t I be able to maximize what I could do if I’d be on a higher post?
There’s nothing wrong being in the lower ranks. Don’t get me wrong.
The message is this: When we want to aspire for something and we knew somehow that we can do it, go on and walk towards it. Have that intention to aspire for it.
Make the decision to aspire for that something you wanted and equip yourself to be able to achieve it.
Though it may be tough, I believe that we are called to live up to our potentials. The dreams and abilities we have are endowed to us for good reasons.
Today, declare your intention to aspire for that post you’ve been dreaming of. Tomorrow, after doing the needed marching and drills, you will be granted that post and be greeted a snappy hand salute from your troop.
There will be more satisfaction because you aspired with intention and moved with aspiration.
Make that decision. Aspire with intention.
Live your life, young mind!
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