Share a Blessing, Fuel a Dream

Our ultimate purpose in sharing blessings to our less-fortunate brothers is to empower them. We do not want them to forever depend on other people. We want them to see the brighter side of life, the truth that many other people have been able to better their life, and that, they can and shall strive for better life, too.

That is why I coined the line, “Share a blessing, fuel a dream.”

It dawned on me when my cousins and friends in Kibungan (Norman Butil and company) shared their planned project – the Project SINELAS, that is to give slippers to our economically-challenged brothers and sisters in the far barangays of Kibungan who need but cannot afford to buy their own flip-flops. “Sinelas” is our (Kankana-ey) term for slippers. But more than the terminology, the organizers (Norman and friends) declare SINELAS to mean Sharing Innate Niceness Evoking Love and Success.

Yes, love is the power behind it. Love is the one that propels the project. And success is the goal. Success of the beneficiaries is the purpose.

We share our blessings and we want to fuel dreams.

Last December 11, it was the final act they had for the year. They went to the barrios of Lubo and Bokes. The first one was held last summer on the mountaintop of Batangan. The second was in Badeo, a barangay that can be reached after traversing rocky mountain ranges – a general fact for the town. (No wonder they tagged it – The Rocky Wall of Beauties.)

I wasn’t directly involved in the December 11 event but it is my joy that the core team kept the fire burning in their hearts, donors and sponsors continued to share their treasure, and several others helped out through their time and effort, in large and little ways.

I believe the team has a lot more plans this coming year and if you want to help out, just drop us a message. If you know Norman, please get in touch with him directly.

It is my goal to spread the word about this simple act of kindness where we can share our blessings to fuel dreams.

My reflection is this, in giving, the Lord’s example should be emulated.

He fed his people in the desert by giving them manna from heaven. They survived! And then He led them to the promised land – where there is abundance of harvest. But before the harvest, the people should work – pull the weeds, till the soil, plant seeds. That’s when the harvest comes. (I credit the analogy to Bo Sanchez, from the desert to the promised land experience.)

Yes, we want to give instant manna because our brothers and sisters maybe are in the desert. But we also want them to grow and be empowered – for them to work to better themselves.

That is one essence of sharing. Sharing can be viewed in different ways, but here’s one for now:

Share a blessing, fuel a dream!

Live life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

If you want to know more about the Project SINELAS, you can check this site or like the Facebook page here

May God bless you abundantly!

Move to Greater Things

Being great at a certain level can sometimes limit you to move onto greatness even more. This happens when you get comfortable and addicted that you do not want to stretch any longer. You shouldn’t because you are called to greater things by your Great Creator.

I like the analogy used by Bo Sanchez in his opening talk of this year’s Kerygma Conference. He related a dialog when his wife was teaching their son, Francis, on how to count.

Mom Marowe: Francis, count 1 to 100.
Baby Francis: But I can only count 1 to 10.

Mom Marowe explained, “If you can count 1 to 10, you can count 1 to 100. Why? Because after 10, you just have to go back to 1 but now, on a higher level.”

Then Baby Francis moved to 11…. then 12… then 13… then on and on and on… up to 100.”

Does that make sense to you? It made a lot of sense to me.

If you want to progress up to 100, you must learn to surrender your being 10 and be at 1 – but now on a higher level. In this way, you move yourself to the top. You take yourself to greatness.

When I was in high school, I often represented my school at the Division Level. It may be a math quiz, science quiz, or campus journalism contest. In one or two cases, I won. But 99% of the time, I lost.

At the school level, I was one of the best. At the division level, I wasn’t. I felt sad because I hadn’t been winning trophies for the school even if I had been out to represent her in various occasions.

But now I realize that everytime I left my comfort zone where I was a “10” and expose myself to my courage zone where I was a “1”, I was moving myself to greater things.

This pushed me to become better. All the while I had been thinking that I already reached my full potential but not really. I may have reached the peak, but that is just on a certain level. On another view, I was at the bottom of the second level.

There is always a higher level. There is always something greater. And we are to strive for this because we called to greater things.

St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” And everytime man moves to greater things, he moves to living his life to the full – ultimately glorifying God, the Great Creator of great creations.

So again, remember this:

You are a grandeur of God’s creation and you called to greater things.

Don’t get stuck!

Move to greater things.

Live your life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

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Where to put your Christmas Bonus?

“My idea of a perfect Christmas is to spend it with you… in a party or dinner for two… anywhere would do…”

Yes. I get sentimental sometimes and I sing these kinds. Thanks to Jose Mari Chan for this song.

But I think I’m not going to spend my Christmas with “the one” – whoever she is. Not yet. 🙂 Hehe. I’ll be home and spend it with my family. Perhaps, “she” will do the same – spend it with her family.

Enough with those thoughts! Haha!! 🙂

Let’s jump onto the main course now:

I bet most of you have received your Christmas Bonus? Has it flown away already? Is it resting in your bank account? Is it growing somewhere?

To those who are are about to receive it – Where are you going to put it? What are you going to do about it?

I have three suggestions that you may want to consider depending on the stage that you are in.

First, SPEND.

It’s OK to spend a percentage of it. Pay yourself. Do you need a new pair of shoes, shirt, or jacket? Do you have to buy one?

Perhaps, you will allot some for a simple dinner or for a noche buena with your family on Christmas eve. Maybe, a part for a tiny sweet gift to your special someone. Or as the song says, dinner for the two of you will do.

Yes. Spend some of it. And when you do, spend it wisely.

Don’t spend it all because you may have to consider this second suggestion —

SAVE.

If you have no emergency fund, I suggest you save a big chunk of it. They say that your emergency fund approximates your three to six months regular expenses.

By the name itself, this is to be reserved for emergency.

And if you already have this emergency fund, you have to stop putting more in your savings account – that may be earning 2-3% of interest per annum. With the high rate of inflation compared to this rate of interest, you are not growing your money – it’s value may be fading away without you knowing it. (Let us have a heavy discussion for this separately.)

So once you have saved enough, consider the third suggestion —

INVEST.

You can start your stock investments. With COLFinancial’s Easy Investment Program, wherein you will be guided to go for long-term investing, you can begin with only PhP5,000.00.

But be a learned investor. You cannot afford to be left alone venturing in the stock market. You need guidance.

You can join my mentor Bo Sanchez’s fantastic Truly Rich Club. You will receive powerful financial talks, wealth strategies, investment strategies, stocks update, and many more bonuses. Get to know of his amazingly simple and proven Strategic Averaging Method (SAM). You can download his free ebook My Maid Invest in the Stock Market (or better buy the physical book) and devour it so you will get a good appreciation of this technique and apply it. With the monthly updates and strategies to be sent to you, you will be guided accordingly.

Watch out for my upcoming ebook, too, Strike Not Spin – The Simple Way Young Minds Can Succeed in the Stock Market.

Books, seminars, and conferences are good investments to your education, too. At times, my friend Sha Nacino features worthwhile-to-be-attended seminars in her blog SeminarPhilippines.com.

So there you have it. With these three simple suggestions on where to put your Christmas Bonus, I hope you will get the most out of it.

And yes, echoing my mentor’s preaching – don’t forget to give back to the Lord — and He will open the floodgates of heaven to bless you even more – more than you can imagine.

Spend.
Save.
Invest.
Give back to the Lord.

Work your way to wealth. And never forget (as Bo Sanchez shares) that the ultimate purpose of wealth is to love others.

Live your life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

Join the Truly Rich Club now. Here’s my affiliate link: Towards Financial Freedom!

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Receive the Best (TheFeastEcho)

Don’t stop dreaming because God does not cease to give you the best.

Don’t stop dreaming because the poorest man in this world is not the man without money but the man without a dream.

I am echoing this powerful words from the one I consider my life mentor, Bo Sanchez.

Today, I would like to share what he preached at the Feast today in the second talk of this month’s series I am a Miracle Worker — Receive.

We are not just called to give the best to God; we are also called to receive the best from Him.

We are called to dream!

But it is not just dreaming. We should dream properly.

Why? Because some, if not most, dreams fail. And there are three reasons why dreams fail:

First, wrong time. There are times when dreamers seem to fail because they do not reach their big dreams. However, note that at times, it’s not the size of the dream that’s not achievable – at times, it’s the schedule.

Don’t rush. God is not in a hurry. His priority is not the dream but the dreamer.

But here’s a word of caution: while you are advised not to rush, do not be late. Just be on time.

The second reason, wrong talent.

Don’t try to accomplish things that are not aligned with your competence, potential, or core gift.

Build your dream on your strength.

Use your unique talent to your unique dream.

Third reason, wrong trust.

You should trust in the Lord.

Psalm 3 declares: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

There are two levels of trusting God:

The first level of trusting God is believing that He will answer your prayer.

The second level of trust God is believing that He will answer your prayer the best way.

We are called to trust God that He will answer our prayers in His way, in His time.

Yes, when we dream, let us be clear, let us be specific, let us put details in our dreams. But at the end of the day, we have to surrender to Him these dreams.

Not all of your prayers will be answered. Otherwise, it will result to a huge disaster.

Think of the the time when you prayed of this gorgeous girl that you thought the one and asked God, even begged Him, to give you this girl but then He didn’t. And you were painfully devastated and asked why. You mourned.

But months later, you were rejoicing that you did not end up with that girl. Because what you first thought was the best, was actually the worst.

Think of other more instances in your life that you questioned why, then later on found the answer why.

Those justifies all those unanswered prayers.

Because God gives the best and He wants us to receive only the best.

Receive it.

Live your life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

PS: Visit a Feast near you or log on to www.lightfam.com to get to know more about this fantastic Feast.

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God bless! Receive God’s blessing!!!

Stop Begging

I took the usual route going home today.I walked about 7 minutes to the main avenue to take a jeep. From there, I took the one to our place.

Three minutes just after I got a seat in a jeepney, there’s this boy who came with some envelopes in his hand and started begging from all passengers.

I pity this boy. I would like to give but I didn’t and I have decided not to. I don’t want to support his venture – begging!

Sadly, most of us are sometimes like that begging boy who, instead of working his butt off to earn, he ends up begging here and there.

Sometimes we are like beggars. We shouldn’t!

We want to graduate from college but we do not take the effort to read those thick, fat books.

We want to get a job but we do not want to write our resume.

We want to make a wonderful first impression but we do not prepare for the interview.

We want to earn this much but we do not work that much.

We envy people of eloquence but we do not make the effort to speak.

We mimic the harvests of wealthy people but we do not emulate their hard work.

We want to gather the grains but we do not sow seeds.

That boy has the ability to work, he has the mind to learn, and the potential to prosper.

Unfortunately, he chose to beg. He chose the easy but crooked way.

Maybe, he can blame the society. Maybe, it wasn’t his choice at all. Maybe, it was what he thought was right due to his upbringing.

Perhaps, it wasn’t his fault. But I hope that he will soon learn and make the right choice.

At times that I encounter these kids, I whisper a short prayer – “God, bless them.”

But I think God already blessed them – it’s just that they do not receive it.

For us who are informed of these things, may we choose not to go for the easy-crooked way. May we choose to do the right thing – though it may be tough and hard.

It is my personal prayer that I may be able to do the right thing – even though how hard it may seem. I might fail but I try it anyway.

I hope you join me in this way.
I hope we stop begging.

Start sowing.
Start tilling the soil.
Start speaking.
Start learning.
Start listening.
Start investing.
Start working.
And start receiving an avalanche of blessings.

Live life,

Chris Dao-anis

PS: I do personally write to myself. If this message resonates with you, feel free to share it and/or drop a comment below.

God bless!

Commence Your Conquest

Yesterday morning, my mind was seemingly saturated by all the stuff we had been discussing in the office concerning all issues in our system deployment project.

I told myself, “I have to refresh before going to the office.” And I asked, “How?”

I could not go jogging. I could not grab my guitar and sing. Then I was led to take the Book and read a part of a page.

But I was perturbed when I read the story of Noah and His Sons (Genesis 9:18-28).

What disturbed my mind was when Noah cursed his youngest son Ham.
Why would Noah curse his son?
I was confused.

So I had to re-read it. Good for me, the passage is just brief –

The sons of Noah, who went out of the boat were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three sons of Noah were the ancestors of all the people on earth.

Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard. After he drank some of the wine, he became drunk, took off his clothes, and lay naked in his tent. When Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked, he went out and told his two brothers.

Then Shem and Japheth took a robe and held it behind them on their shoulders. They walked backward into the tent and covered their father, keeping their faces turned away so as not to see him naked.

When Noah sobered up and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said,
“A curse on Canaan!
He will be a slave to his brothers.
Give praise to the Lord, the God of Shem!
Canaan will be the slave of Shem.
May God cause Japheth to increase!
May his descendants live with the people of Shem!
Canaan will be the slave of Japheth”

After the flood, Noah lived 350 years and died at the age of 950.

Of course, the whole story does not end here. And I’m not to tell its theological interpretation.
But here’s my analogy of the story –

Action made the difference.

Ham, the one who first saw it, did not take action. Instead, he went out and told his brothers.

At the end of the story, Noah blessed Shem and Japheth who took action, but cursed Ham who saw and did not take action.

Hence,
Action blesses.
Inaction curses.

Yes, words are powerful but words are not enough.
They should be complemented by action.
Written goals should be implemented.
Thought dreams should be executed.
We put our thoughts into words and into action.
It does not end in words.
It ends in action.

It’s that simple but it’s not that easy. It’s difficult, indeed.

What’s makes it difficult? Let me share two reasons –

One: thinking small.

There is this huge beast in our mind that keeps on saying, “You cannot do it. You are just a tiny, little kid.”

Shake it off!

Be reminded that you are what you think you are. You are what you think of yourself.

Can you do yourself a favour please?

Think big and believe in yourself, your abilities, your talents, your gifts.

You have a gigantic potential.

Two: waiting for the right time.

There will never be a perfect time to execute your plans. You just have to start.

You won’t climb up the summit if you want to see the entire mountain before start taking steps. You just have to start moving your foot, then another foot.

I’m not talking about impulsive execution. There will be some waiting time – learning time – preparation time.

But you don’t need to learn everything. You just need to learn enough to start.

This morning, I just reread Chapter 1 of Bo Sanchez’s My Conspiracy Theory and one of the things I got from it is this –

He wasn’t a great speaker when he started preaching at the age 13.
But look at him now. He preaches to thousands of live audience every Sunday, broadcasted globally live via the internet. And I won’t need to mention all other speaking engagements he has locally and internationally.

He had some addictions when he started serving but he served anyway. As he shares, God continues to heal him to this day.
Now, he is free from these addictions that used to bind him in chains. He now conquered territories!

Would you want to conquer your territories, too?

Start it with the right thoughts then put them to words.

Words are powerful but words are not enough.

Execute them.

This completes the process.

Yes, there are roadblocks but you can topple them.

Start your conquest by conquering yourself.

Finally, prepare your gear, set your foot, and start climbing those mountains!

Now, what is it that you’ve been dreaming of? Go ahead. Take the first step!

Live your life, Young Mind!

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

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God bless!

A Speaker’s Partner

I don’t usually tell people that I am a Toastmaster.

I don’t.

I feared that I may dent the prestigious image of Toastmasters International.

I was afraid that when I start stating that I am a member of this leading authority in public speaking, I would pin myself into a dartboard of mocking and pity.

I was terrified that I would be toasted to critics and judgments.

“What?! That guy claims to be a Toastmaster. He does not even know how to say a toast or introduce himself. Perhaps, what he mastered is to put a bread in an oven toaster!”

I wouldn’t blame the person if ever. I blame the thought that Toastmasters is only for the elite. This was my thinking before I thought of joining.

I was made to believe that only the most eloquent speakers of the land are qualified.

And I concluded without sufficient conclusive evidence that a young and innocent ‘wanna-be’ speaker like me is not welcome to join the club.

I was wrong!

While it may be true that there are a lot of Toastmasters who are remarkable in the speaking arena, that people would pay an arm and a leg just to listen to them, or that people would sit for days and hours to listen and pick their every marvelous word of wisdom delivered with wit and eloquence, there are also Toastmasters who are just starting to learn to speak in public.

There are professional speakers and perhaps almost professional (if there’s such a thing).
There are advanced speakers and not so advanced.
There are beginners and some hesitate to begin speaking.
And yes, some are forced to join.

Luckily, I am not a member by coercion. Although, I can be a Table Topics (impromptu) speaker by coercion.

I joined Toastmasters not because I am a good communicator. I joined because I wanted to learn.

There are other numerous reasons. There are also a lot of skill-set that a member wants to work on. And I have guess – a lot wanted to improve their skills in the use of the spoken word.

So why improve your communication skills? Why improve your skills on the use of the spoken word?

Let me share three big reasons:

First, because the spoken word is inevitable.

Can you manage to wake up from your bed in the morning and lay back to your slumber in the evening without having spoken any word throughout the day?

True enough that communication isn’t optional and so is the spoken word.

You are engaged everyday in several public speaking encounters.

You may not be a seminar leader, preacher, teacher, or a keynote speaker that speaks in front of an audience but everytime you open your mouth and begin uttering words, you are speaking publicly.

You may be in front of your friend, your boss, your co-worker, your prospective employer, your prospective girl friend, your client, your prospective mother-in-law, or your pet cat or dog!

You speak every single day. You cannot choose not to.

Second, because the spoken word is irreversible.

The skill of public speaking is not only about the eloquence of your speech, but also the tactfulness of your speech.

You may be capable of literally taking your tongue back but you can never take back any word that is spoken from your mouth.

One of the things I like much in Toastmasters is the guiding principle everytime an evaluation is given to a speaker. That is, the evaluator shall evaluate to motivate.

In our club, we won’t refer to an evaluation a “constructive criticism” because of the word’s negative connotation. Rather, we are encouraged to call it “constructive feedback”.

My mentor would unceasingly remind that when you evaluate, never ever say any hurting word.

That blows my mind! Such a huge challenge, huh?

But wow!

If every person would learn that skill of giving feedback by highlighting the strengths instead of weakness, by giving suggestions for improvement instead of enumerating the “wrong” things done, and by encouraging not demeaning, what a wonderful turn-around in the world’s atmosphere it would be.

Improving one’s communication skills does not only strive on what to say but also what not to say.

Third, because the spoken word intoxicates.

In intoxicate, I mean, it can change a person.
It can inspire.
It can empower.
It can influence.
It can push people to pursue their passion.
It can pump out the potential of a person.
It can change lives.

And by working on your speaking skills, you can turn a scattered manuscript into a solid and splendid message.

So if the use of the spoken word is not an option, being a speaker is not an option. Whether you like it or not, you are a speaker.

You may be speaking to a big crowd or to roomful of people, to a neighbor or to your partner, to a balut vendor or to a business tycoon, to your co-workers or Facebook friends, to your future wife or your ex-girlfriend, to your fans or to your Twitter followers, to an acquaintance or to your best friend –

You are inevitably giving out something that is irreversible and intoxicating.

And when you give this out, you want to do it in ways that appreciate, build, and connect people.

There are a lot of ways to make this possible. One of which is with Toastmasters.

Visit a club now!


Speak and live your life, young mind!

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

Know more about Toastmasters at www.toastmasters.org.

You can also drop me a note on Facebook or Twitter, or email me at livelife@chrisdaoanis.com.

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God bless!

Blueprints of Success

Do you believe that in the air, wisdom lingers? Do you believe that life’s lessons can be found anytime and anywhere? Do you believe that great life’s lessons can be gained from small encounters?

In a small encounter nineteen years ago, I realized this sublimely great life’s lesson:

Blueprints of success are available to us and they come in different forms in different ways. All we have to do is to recognize them then actualize these blueprints to produce results and propel our way to success.

When I was a little five year-old boy, I was unaware that an awesome success blueprint was being handed to me one late night before I went to bed.

That evening, I was wondering why my father and mother aren’t going to bed yet and it was already late.

I asked my mom, “Mama, why are you staying late?”
She answered, “Tito, (That’s how she calls me.) We are going to write a letter to your sister so we can post it early tomorrow.”

We were in the province of Benguet while my sister was staying in Metro Manila for her college education. Cellular phones and telephones were not with us then so to maintain the communication, my parents had to write letters.

So they were there writing while I was just seated watching the ceiling. TV was not yet introduced to us back then and the only technology found at home was the yellowish incandescent bulb.

Suddenly, while I was watching them religiously sliding their pens, the light bulb seemed to spark a thought in my young mind. I told my mom, “I want to write a letter to my sister too.”

I, a little boy who did not know yet about words, sentences and paragraphs, was boldly telling my mom, “I want to write a letter too.”

My father, seated on the right, stood up. He looked at me in the eye and asked, “So you want to write your letter?” I responded, “Yes, I do want to write a letter.”

He smiled and said, “OK.” Then he went back to his seat.

I didn’t know why he just said OK and then sat back.

I stayed put and waited. Thirty minutes passed and I was staring at that yellowish incandescent bulb. Then forty five minutes gone by, I looked at them and then stared back at the incandescent bulb.

I was waiting for almost an hour but nothing seems to happen so I told myself, “Perhaps, I’ll get to write my letter too when I grow up.”

So at the very tick of the clock after an hour passed, I decided to go to bed.

But when I stood up, my father also stood up. “Tito, here’s the draft of your letter.”

“My letter?” I didn’t know that he was writing the draft of ‘my’ letter.

And my mother handed to me a pen and paper and said, “Here you go. Rewrite that draft. That is going to be your letter to your sister.”
I couldn’t believe it. Before I went to bed that night, I was able to write my first letter, my first composition. Even without that technical knowledge of words, sentences, and paragraphs, I was able to write my first masterpiece.

That was the first one and that was the start of series of writings that continued through my elementary days, high school, college, and up to these days. I have written letters, articles, blogs, speeches, and an ebook.

As I pursued my passion in writing, the blueprint of a successful copy – in the form of a draft – has always been available to me till today. At times, it does not come so easily but when I start writing, the draft seems to present itself through the books that I’ve read, through the speeches I listened to, through the movies I saw, through the songs I sang, through the people around and through the simple day-to-day encounters that tickled my young mind.

Indeed, blueprints of success are available to us.

I urge you to recognize them so you can actualize them and produce results – from little to gigantic ones. Great and effective blueprints abound.

One example would be the programs of Toastmasters International. They are so effective that great leaders and speakers have emerged from these.

In the field of spiritual and financial abundance, I highly recommend Bo Sanchez’s Truly Rich Club.

There are other forms of success blueprint. They surround us. It could be in business, investments, career, and in relationships.
In my story, a blueprint of success was manifested in a simple draft handed to me when I was a child. Now, I continue to receive numerous drafts through my daily living and I am so thrilled to believe, uphold, and declare that blueprints of success are available to everyone.

But note that having them revealed right in front of your face is not the end. Remember that the draft would be useless if you don’t grab your pen to write your own final copy.

So if a success blueprint is revealed to you, and you see that it applies to you, act on it.

Friend, the draft that comes in different forms in different ways is available to everybody everyday.

The draft is in front of your – ready to be rewritten by you.
It’s time to get your pen and make your own copy. Use it to your success!

Empower yourself,

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

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Story To Tell

“Hey! I’ve got a story to tell.”

Usually, if someone tells me this, I would listen. And if they ask me if I’ve got a story to tell in return, I again listen – why – because I’ve got no story to tell. I just keep my mouth shut because I think I am just a boy who has not achieved much to share.

One Friday, in the office, three girls arrived and said, “Hey! I’ve got a story to tell. ‘Lumusong kami sa baha!’(We walked into the flood waters.)”

The bouncy one said: “Oh, my God! You know what – because I could not find any cab, I rode a pedicab; and you know what – the flood waters splashed my butt.”

The short one said: “Oh, my God! You know what – I had to tiptoe walking myself through the flood otherwise – you know what – I would have drowned.”

The slim one said: “Oh, my God! You know what – I had to pay two men to walk me through the flood across the other side – and you know what – I was swaying side by side while the flood waters were splashing my thigh side to side.”

Then our manager asked me, “Chris, how did you get home last night? ‘Lumusong ka din ba?’ Did you walk in floodwaters, too?”

I proudly answered, “Normally, my travel time is just 15 to 30 minutes; but that night, it took me 3 hours. But you know what – ‘NEVER AKO LUMUSONG SA BAHA’. I’d never walked into the flood waters.”

“While people and cars were stuck in street intersections and no cab around to ride on, I had to strategize. Thinking that Vito Cruz side is higher than Buendia side, I walked along Osmena Highway from the corner of Buendia to Vito Cruz point.”

“From there, I found a jeepney to ride on, then a tricycle to sit my butt on, and then another jeepney, and finally a tricycle going home.”

“Despite the long walk I had, I managed to go home amidst the flood waters without getting my feet wet into them.”

Surprisingly, in that instance, I had opened my mouth. I never thought I had a story to tell. The best part is that I stood out over the crowd. While everyone had their “LUMUSONG AKO SA BAHA” story, I had my “NEVER AKO LUMUSONG SA BAHA” story.

I was amazed by myself that while everyone had walked into the depths of flood waters, I came home keeping my feet dry and protected. Just like the song of Barry Manilow that goes, “I made it through the rain, I kept my world protected,” I have my own version that goes, “I made it through the flood, I kept my feet protected.”

I don’t normally tell stories even to my family and friends. People say that I am so silent and reserved. Normally, when I am asked about myself, I just answer a few lines and shut my mouth up. This was because when I was a little boy, I have told myself, “I am just a poor boy with nothing to say and nothing to share.”

I have told myself, “I am not yet open to share because I have no big achievements to talk about. Maybe I will after I achieve something in the future. Until then, I won’t have a story to tell.”

Years passed, I have come to achieve several accomplishments but still I was not that open to share my stories. I’d always thought that I am just a small one. I told myself, “Let me achieve more in the future. Until then, I won’t have a story to tell.”

More years passed and even up to now, I am not yet open to share my stories. I may have shared some but it was always a struggle to start opening my mouth and talk about my life. I have been telling myself, “Let me achieve more in the future. Until then I won’t have a story to tell.”

In my first speech in Toastmasters called the Ice Breaker, while my evaluator appreciated my content, delivery, organization, and choice of words, he asked me to tell more of my story. Apparently, when I delivered my Ice Breaker speech, I still have the difficulty of sharing my stories. I have limited my way of sharing myself to others because I have I told myself, “I just don’t have a great story to tell.”

When I encountered the flood waters that Thursday night, I was in the brink of contemplating what to say in this speech project; and when I shared my flood story in the office, I realized that I have stories to tell. Be it great or small, these stories are meant to be shared; and when shared, it makes us think on what and how to perform more.

Allow me then, to share you a bit of me. Aside from my first floodwaters encounter, I have some other little stories to tell.
I was born in a poor family in the far flung municipality of Kibungan surrounded by the boondocks of Benguet in the Cordillera mountain ranges.

My parents were farmers. Yes. We had farms but not hectares of farms. We till small farms to have just enough rice on our tables each and every single day.

In school, my elementary days have been filled with twists and challenges. I would walk to school with my slippers that are already used up having holes that kept my sole land directly on the ground, and sometimes, on rocks. It was really bad. However, what’s good in it was that when the rain comes and makes our paths muddy and slippery, my sole would grab the soil and stick to it. If my slippers were new, I would have slipped.

My high schools days were not that filled either with ease. In contrast to the others whose favourite subject is recess, it was never my favourite. Unlike anybody else, I had no penny to buy a snack. I would just embrace my growling stomach as I watch my classmates grab their knick-knacks.

Dismissal was not a time I look forward to unlike everyone else. After classes, I won’t be on the playground as I have to go home straight to pound rice and cook this for dinner that night.

Saturday was not a day I look forward to either. On Saturdays, we have to set out to the fields to till the soil, plant rice, or harvest rice and carry them on our back from the foot of the river where the rice fields are and climb through risky trails up home to the mountain top.

People commented that we are so hardworking and industrious but as for me, we just did it for ourselves. It was a choice we took with no other options. They didn’t know that there were several times that I have gone lazy and I tried to escape from pounding rice or from going to the fields. Expectedly, the consequence was a scolding or admonishment by my mother and father that lasted for thirty minutes to one hour.

During those times, I have often told myself “How I wish we are rich. How I wish we have enough. How I wish we live in abundance and prosperity.” But as I grew up, I had realized that these have happened for a reason. What if I had all that I wanted when I was a child, I do not know what I might have turned to be. I might be here or somewhere else.

There are just some things that I am thankful:

Because I had experienced scarcity, I learned how to value the things around me. Because of our economic level, I had worked hard and pursued well my studies. I have graduated with honors and have passed the tough examinations of the board. Because of difficult experiences, I had dreamed of a life that is better and pursued this as I live through my days and years.

At present, I may not have much and have not attained all my big dreams yet. But for one who lived a childhood like mine, graduating in school – elementary, high school and college – with honors is something great. Passing one of the country’s difficult exams is something good. Worked with one of the respected accountancy firms is something nice. And many more to mention… Small yet relatively great!

Now, what would be my story tomorrow? Well, I have a lot of dreams for myself and for the society. I have small and gigantic dreams yet to be achieved but I won’t worry what could be its actuality. I won’t wait for the future to share my story. For today, every story that I have, every experience that I have, and every achievement that I have – be it great or small – is worth sharing and remembering.

That morning, when I answered my manager’s question how did I get home in that Thursday afternoon, I have realized that simple stories can be something and can lead to a huge realization. Things like when ‘you have kept your feet protected amidst the troubled flood waters’ remind you how you keep yourself protected amidst difficulties, discouragements and distractions.

It is in sharing that we get to know ourselves more, and motivate ourselves more. I now tell myself that every day, I have a story to tell – be it great or small.

Whatever achievements we have, those are worthy of sharing and worthy of thanksgiving. Somehow, as you share you story to others, you inspire yourself to do more.

Each day, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and give thanks to the Father.

Friend, tell your story more and perform more.

Have that story to tell!

Empower yourself,

Chris Dao-anis

PS:

This is my launching post for www.chrisdaoanis.com. Expect more to come, with the aim of empowering every young mind through inspirational posts, plus personal development and financial literacy articles!

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You Are Equipped

I said to myself, “OMG! I don’t have one.”

Yes. Bro. Pong announced that we are to wear Khaki pants for the Sunday service. I was bothered a bit because I don’t have one.

Hence, I have to look for one the next day. That’s what I thought. It’s pretty good that I already have blue shirts (as required to match the pants).

So I resolved. Since I don’t have one, I have to look for one.

But then it dawned on me not until I came home…

…and change clothes that I realized that I was actually wearing the pants I was looking for.

Funny when we come to know that what we were looking for all this time and all these years is actually in us.

We are at times bombarded with what the other side of society feeds us. Sadly, there are times when the world tells us that…

“You are not good enough.”
“You are not cool.”
“You are not sexy.”
“You are not beautiful.”
“You are not… You are not… You are not…”

Hey! SHAKE IT OFF!

Before looking outside and try to fit in the crowd, look within yourself. Look within because…

“You are gifted.”
“You are awesome.”
“You are fantastic.”
“You are amazing.”
“You are a grandeur of God’s creation.”

So don’t think you don’t have it.

Yes, there are a lot of things that you cannot do. But you are not called to accomplish what you are not anointed with.

Don’t start with the crowd. Start within yourself.

Look within:

What it is that you have? What it is that you are capable of? What is your game?

You have your unique potential to achieve your unique purpose.

You have all what it takes.

You are equipped!

Chris Dao-anis
theYoungMind, www.youngmindgroup.com
…helping young minds live life!