Archive of ‘Self Development’ category

What Art Do You Make?

I’ve always equated art with painters and musicians. But according the Seth Godin in his book Leap First, art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

There’s a small village in China that reproduces paintings as fast as they can. Based on Godin’s definition of art, although these people are painters, they aren’t artists. An artist is someone who gives his all to create something of value from the heart. Therefore, anyone can be and should be an artist.

Art is not just about paint, marble or music. It can also be numbers, how you relate to people and strategic planning. Art is about giving value to the world through what you do. The most successful are those that have found their art and shared it selflessly. Pacquiao is an artist. Steve Jobs is an artist. Warren Buffet is an artist.

I used to paint and draw a lot when I was a kid. Here are two of the paintings I made when I was in college.

oil-painting-by-alex-zetaMedium: Oil
Year made: 2009

acrylic-painting-by-alexMedium: Acrylic
Year made: 2005

But although I enjoy painting, it’s not my passion. What I really love to do is connect with people. To build relationships and learn from them. That’s why I enjoy being a real estate broker, writing and public speaking. As a broker, I can reach out to people while providing valuable service to them. As a writer, I get to share my thoughts through my blog. As a speaker, I get to communicate my ideas to the audience.

The other day I met a client who works for the army. While we were touring around Xavier Estates, he shared to me how hard it was to be in the army because of the constant danger they had to face. Now that he was getting married, he wanted to invest in a lot so he could build his fiancée their dream house. Yes, one of my favorite topics with my clients is their love life. And they love talking about it :)  So I showed him a lot in Xavier Estates which he liked and we’re currently negotiating with the seller on the final price. Hopefully, all goes well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Whenever I get to help out clients in finding their dream home, when I connect with them through their stories, I remember why I love my job. Seriously, being a real estate broker is the best job in the world. I have so much fun doing it that most of the time, it doesn’t even feel like I’m working.

Reading about Seth Godin’s definition of art made me think, what is my art form? And I realized, this is it. This is my art form. Connecting with people is my art. And through that, I can do my job which is to help fill their real estate needs whether it is to buy or sell property. The essence of good communication is building a connection with your client. No matter how good you are in presenting your product, if you don’t have that connection, you’re just making noise.

Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

-Seth Godin

 We are all artists in our own way. When you do what you do the best way you can, when you create meaningful work and share it selflessly to the world, then you’re an artist. It doesn’t matter if you have never made a single painting in your life.

I believe that our art is meant to be shared to bless people and make the world a better place. And if there’s someone who doesn’t appreciate your art, don’t sweat it. It’s not for them. I’ve had clients who chose other brokers to serve them. And it’s ok. At this time, my art is not for them. But for those clients who chose me, then I’ll serve them to the best of my ability. Because I see connecting to people as a real estate broker as my art. And I want to make the best art I can.

What about you, what is your art?

You are an artist. And being a unique individual, you can produce art that no one else can. Whatever art you make, make it special, make it unique, make it you.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.



How to Deal with Difficult People

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In my job as a real estate broker I get to deal with different types of people everyday. Most of my clients are a pleasure to deal with. Some, however, are a bit difficult.

I remember a few years ago when I was working on this deal in Xavier Estates. My client wanted to purchase this 5-bedroom luxury house overlooking Cagayan de Oro. It had a huge lawn with a swimming pool. It was one of my favorite listings and ever since we got that listing, I’ve praying that I would be the one to sell it. Now my client was a 24-year-old businesswoman named Maria (not her real name) who was a bit on the tough side. She would shout at people (yes, even at me) and was generally difficult to deal with. At first, I felt a bit resentful towards her. I was raised in an environment where shouting was not a normal part of our routine.

Then one day, as we were waiting at for some documents, Maria told me her story. When she was eight years old, their village Healer told her parents that she was bad luck and that they had to give her up or else the entire family would suffer. So her parents took her to her grandparents house and left her there. Since her grandparents were already old and had little money, she had to work to take care of them and herself. She started to grow vegetables in their backyard and sell them at the night market. In the mornings she went to school. On weekends she would man their small sari-sari store. Sometimes Maria’s male cousins would storm inside her store and take away all her earnings for the day. Since they were bigger and stronger than her, she couldn’t fight back. So instead, to protect her earnings, she put her money in tin cans and buried it in her backyard. All throughout grade school and high school, Maria worked hard to fend for herself and her grandparents while at the same time, using her wits to outsmart her cousins who would drop by from time to time to bully her.

Maria’s first house

When Maria reached 13 years old, she happened to pass by one house for sale in Carmen which she liked very much. She liked the quiet environment and peaceful neighborhood. The house was being sold for 3.5 million. Maria thought for a moment. Where would she get that kind of money? After a few minutes, she went home and started digging. She dug up every single tin can she had buried over they years and started counting the money she had accumulated. The total amount was 3.5 million. And that was how Maria bought her first house.

Nothing beats hard work

Over the years, Maria engaged in a variety of businesses until she found one where she really hit the big bucks – the textile industry. She started buying RTW’s from a factory in Korea and selling it wholesale to boutiques and malls in different cities. She had clients from Pagadian, Ozamis, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Davao. Her business was so successful her clients actually had to get in line to purchase her products. The factory didn’t have any other buyers as it sold everything it made to her. Despite not being able to go to college, Maria’s dedication to her business and willingness to work hard enabled her to succeed where so many had failed.

Put yourself in the other persons shoes

Maria’s story not only inspired me to continue reaching for my dreams, it allowed me to understand her better. It was only when I put myself in her shoes that I was able to see where she was coming from. At a young age, she was rejected by her family. Over the years, many people tried to trick her and take advantage of her. It’s no wonder why she would so easily get defensive and angry and suspect that people were trying to deceive her. We are shaped by our environment and experiences. I could see that although Maria was, by worldly standards, successful she was still struggling with trust issues because of what she went through as a kid. And so, instead of feeling resentful I started to feel compassion towards her.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Are you dealing with a difficult person in your life now?

When dealing with difficult people, instead of reacting, try to understand where that person is coming from. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. My experience taught me that people are the way they are for a reason. Perhaps that person who’s mistreating may just be having a bad day. Or maybe he’s going through a huge family problem. Or maybe he’s up to his ears in debt.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
Dale Carnegie


Because I made the effort to understand Maria, we were able to keep our relationship. I was able to help her buy the house she wanted and now she’s living in her dream house. A beautiful 2-storey, ridge-view mansion in Xavier Estates that overlooks the city. The little girl who was supposedly “bad luck” became the good luck charm of her family. Last time I saw Maria, she was with her family. She had forgiven her parents and is now building a relationship with them again. 

beautiful-house-1Photo from (not the actual photo of her house but it looks similar to this)

Never burn bridges 

I believe in never burning bridges with people. You never know when you might run into them again. The world is becoming smaller everyday. If you have a person in your life now that’s difficult to deal with, try to understand that person. Decide to love them.

John 15:12

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life


Playing to Win: Lessons Learned from Ivanka Trump

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No one says “successful career woman” quite like Ivanka Trump. As the daughter of billionaire real estate tycoon, Donald Trump, you wouldn’t expect any less. In her book The Trump Card, Ivanka tells her story about growing up as a Trump and shares the lessons and insights she has learned along the way.

Most people are not as fortunate to be born a Trump. But Ivanka takes what she has to a whole new level by not resting on her father’s laurels or her famous family name. She fearlessly worked hard to forge a name for herself and make her own mark in the real estate industry.

Despite being born in the lap of luxury, Ivanka shared that their parents taught them the value of discipline and hard work. Yes, their parents provided for their needs. But if they wanted more, they had to negotiate for it. Thus, Ivanka learned early on how to hone her negotiating skills. At home, if they were asked to do the dishes after dinner or help fold the laundry, they were expected to do it right away with no complaints. Growing up, her father provided guidance yet never pushed them into doing things they didn’t want to do. He gave them free reign to make their own choices and commit their own mistakes.

 Never be afraid to try new things.

While at Choate, a college preparatory boarding school, a modeling agent invited her to try modeling. At 5’11” she certainly was tall enough to be one. Although she wasn’t really interested in modeling, Ivanka wanted to try her hand at something new. Something that was outside her fathers sphere of influence. She wanted to see if she could succeed in an industry where the Trump name didn’t carry much weight. As a model, Ivanka had moderate success. Still, real estate remained her first love. It wasn’t easy to juggle go-sees and college but she did it, graduating as summa cum laude with a BA in real estate from the Wharton School of Finance.

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Listen to advice.

Due to her exposure to real estate as a child, it has always been Ivanka’s dream to join the Trump Organization after college. But one of her college professors advised her to try working for a different company first before joining the Trump Group. Seeing the wisdom behind his advice, she joined Forest City Ratner, a diversified real estate development and management company. After two years, Ivanka resigned and joined the Trump Organization as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions.

Donald Trump may come across as brash, too outspoken and can rub some people off the wrong way. But based on how his 3 children turned out, it seems like he was a good father to them. He provided them with the guidance they needed. No matter how busy he was at the office, whenever anyone of his children called, he would pick up the phone. He also modeled the value of discipline and hard work. Now all three are doing well at the Trump Group as part of his team.

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Albert Schweitzer

Here are 3 things I learned from Ivanka Trump:

Follow your passion. Ivanka had discovered her passion for real estate as a young kid. She loved the times she would go with her mother, Ivana Trump, to check on their hotel operations or accompany her father on the construction site. Ivanka and her two brother got to work at the different aspects of their business when they were still in high school – mooring boats, landscaping and helping with operations. Donald Trump was a firm believer in hands on, from the ground up training. Business was their usual topic at the dinner. So although she could have been successful in other fields, Ivanka followed her passion to pursue a career in real estate and is currently doing well as Vice President for Real Estate Development and Acquisitions.

Make excellence a habit. Her parents taught her at a young age that whatever you do – be it school, modeling or business – do it to the best of your ability. Ivanka’s parents allowed her to pursue a modeling career while studying provided that her grades wouldn’t get affected. And their standard was no less than a 4.0 average. There is no room for being mediocre in this world. It’s easier to aim for the best when you love your job. Still, even if you don’t like what you’re doing at the moment, that’s no excuse to slack off. Successful people play to win no matter what they’re doing because excellence is not only a destination. It’s a way of life. It’s a habit.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Hard work will never go out of style. The world may know about Donald Trump’s story. About how he built his real estate empire from the ground up, about surviving a financial crisis, from being almost a billion dollars in debt to coming out even wealthier than before. But not many people know that Ivana Trump, his first wife and the mother of his 3 children, is also very much like him. Ambitious, relentless and hard working. As a Czech skier who competed in the Olympics, Ivana was no stranger to hard work. And she brought this work ethic into the Trump Organization, matching her then-husband in his zeal for hard work.

Having successful parents like Donald and Ivana Trump can either leave you feeling entitled or determined to get out of their shadow and succeed on your own. For Ivanka, it made her determined to succeed on her own. As the Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions, she has worked hard to provide value to the company. When working on a deal, she does her homework. She studies the competition, analyzes the deal and gets the insight of a lot people (including her father) before making her decision. A famous family name is one thing, but without hard work to back it up, you won’t go far. It’s like style and substance. They need to go together. Aside from her success with the Trump Group, Ivanka has also ventured out on her own by partnering with Dynamic Diamond Corp, a leading diamond supplier, to introduce a line of jewelry called The Ivanka Trump Collection. This collection is targeted for the working woman who wants timelessly chic pieces that she can pass on to her children.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

-Colin Powell

As a career woman myself, I appreciated how hard Ivanka works and the effort she puts into doing what she loves. Success isn’t simply about money. It’s about significance – making your mark in the world through meaningful work and helping as many people as you can. As for me, I want to make my mark through 3 things: as a discipler, as a real broker and someday (hopefully next year) as an author.

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What about you?

How do you want to make your mark? In this day and age, we can succeed in almost anything. Do what you love, make success a habit and work hard at it. If you do, you will make your mark and success will be around the corner. It’s only a matter of time.

Go live Truly Wealthy life.



Rise Up: Face Trials Head On


Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

I remember a few years back, when my dad had a heart attack and could no longer manage our hardware business alone. So my mom called to ask me if I could help him out. Initially, I didn’t want to do it. I found managing a hardware too stressful because there was so much inventory, dozens of things to consider and you couldn’t leave the store because clients only wanted to negotiate with the owner. So at first I resisted. But in the end I couldn’t say no to family.

Managing our hardware took me way out of my comfort zone. A few weeks into managing it, I quickly realized it didn’t have a proper system for inventory and finance, and it was bleeding money. I felt like I had stepped into a boat that was sinking fast.

I’m a believer that a person should focus on his passion and do what he loves for a living. Because if you love what you do, you wont have to work a day in your life. But there are times that you need to go through stressful situations and do things you don’t like to do in order to grow. 

Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from that experience, it is this: Rise Up. Face life and the trials it brings head on. Just like gold, you’ll need to go through fire while being hammered and bent into shape to be the best that you can be. Although I didn’t really enjoy managing the family business then, I certainly learned a lot from it. And some of what I learned I am able to use in running my own business now.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

-Helen Keller

There will be times in your life when you’ll have to do something you don’t want to do. Things that you feel you are not prepared for or that’s beyond your comfort zone. You may be tempted to say no and just pass the baton to the next person. Don’t. Rise up. Say yes to the challenge. Do what you need to.

Things that are unfamiliar will feel uncomfortable at first. But as you rise up to the challenge, as you face it head on, that’s when you’ll grow.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

-Henry Davie Thoreau


Are you running away from something?

A responsibility? A job you feel you’re not equipped for? A decision you need to make but cant?

Rise up. Face the challenge. Grow.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


The Use of Inception to Influence Others

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Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starred by Leonardo DiCaprio. Nolan worked on the script for 10 years before it finally materialized into a movie that won 4 Academy Awards. Inception is based on the idea that a person could enter into another persons subconscious mind through his dreams. And through that dream, plant an idea. When that person wakes up, he will think that idea came from him when in fact it came from inception.

When I first watched Inception a few years back, I thought, how devious. Inception is a whole new way of manipulating people to bend to your will. I always thought inception was pure fiction. That it was just a movie. But after watching it for the second time, I realized, it is real. Every time we share our ideas and values to the people around us, we are performing inception.


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We live in a world that is highly connected. And I’m not only talking about technology. Almost none of the ideas that we have is purely an original. Every thought, each belief came from someone or something. It may have been from a book, a movie we watched, random thoughts of a friend or the intentional teachings of a parent. We may think an idea is our own, but actually, it’s not. With all the things around us that influence our thoughts, no idea is purely our own.

You are influenced by your environment and your environment is influenced by you.

In the movie, inception could happen only if you were able to successfully get inside the deepest recesses of your subjects subconscious. So your subject had to either open his mind to you or you could get in his safe place and plant the idea without his knowing it. In the same way, in life, you are influenced greatly by two things: the people that you care about most or the incidents that had strong emotional impact. Because we often don’t remember the facts but we remember how we felt in that moment. Emotion is a powerful memory enhancer.

Being able to perform inception, to influence a person to do something is powerful thing. And we each have that power. We each have a certain degree of influence and it is our choice how to use that influence. Through inception, we can either build people up or destroy them.

We can sometimes be careless with our words and actions. But we don’t know how much influence we wield. And how that can affect the life of another person in ways we cant imagine.

With great power comes great responsibility. You have the power to plant ideas into another persons mind. What kind of ideas will your plant? Will it be ideas about love, service and humility? Or will it be about selfishness, pride and greed?

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.


The next time you share your ideas to the world, think for a moment, will this make the world a better place?

Go live a Truly Wealthy Life.



Trick or Dream Big?

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You’d think that Starbucks would be near empty on the 1st of November. But no. It was bustling full. Apparently people still wanted their Starbucks fix even on a Holiday. Which brings me to my next question – what do people do on the 1st of November?

I asked my friends about it and most of them hung out with family and visited their deceased in the cemetery. For others the day was merely an excuse to eat a lot and not work out as almost all the gyms were closed. Others still, took advantage of the long weekend and went on a vacation.

For me, aside from remembering my deceased loved ones, it was a day to relax and not think about work. I love my job but every girl needs a day off. It was a day to write. Which brings me to this article.

They say that if there is one thing you want to do well in life, then you’ll need to do it regularly, consistently, as often as you can. One of my goals this year was to write a book. But I didn’t quite know what to write about or where to start. So I have decided to start blogging again. Who knows? Maybe by posting daily on my blog, I’ll eventually find out what I want to write about. My goal for my book is to educate and inspire people to go after what they want. To dream big. I’ve always been a fan of big dreams. After all, you only live one life. You might as well live the life you want.

“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

-Robert Greene, Mastery

Some people say, don’t dream big because you’ll just end up disappointed. And yes, that is a valid point. But what if you do get your dream? Think about the kind of life you can have living it everyday. Dreaming big is not a trick. It’s a treat. Because the more you think about your dreams and what you want, the more you’ll be able to find ways to make those dreams come true. As Brian Tracy said, one trait that successful people have is clarity. Successful people are clear about what they want.

Dig down deep inside you and unearth that long forgotten dream. Take out your treasure box and shake off the dust. Buried dreams will remain forever out of your reach if you don’t let them see the light of day.

What is it that you dream to do?

Other people are living their dreams. You have as much a right to live yours. You decide. Trick or dream big?

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Toastmasters District Conference 2016: Cebu (Day 2)

IMG_8370Day 2 of Discon 2016 was just as fun and exciting as Day 1. Despite the lack of sleep from last night’s Fellowship Night we had to go to the venue early for the judges briefing since my friend, Stef, was a judge in the International Prepared Speech contest. The morning started off with learning sessions about Leadership and Branding. Then came lunch. Afterwards, it was contest time!


discon 2016 cebuToastmasters of the Day

discon 2016 internation speech contestContest Chair DTM Dulce Ranosa

discon 2016 internation speech contest 2

The International Prepared Speech Contest started at 1pm and was hosted by incoming District 75 Director Dulce Ranosa. All the speakers were true story tellers and I had a great time listening to one story after another. I’m sure the judges had a hard time picking their top 3. From climbing Mt. Apo to killing to a giant python to growing up in jail – their stories had me captivated from start to finish.

discon 2016 internation speech contest 3 discon 2016 internation speech contest 4discon 2016toastmasters discon 2016discon 2016 internation speech contest 5International Prepared Speech Contestants

discon 2016 internation speech contest winnersInternational Prepared Speech Contest Winners
Champion: Amy Pagdanganan, Division A
1st Runner-up: Nedo Sasing, Division L
2nd Runner-up: Chris Dao-anis, Division G


After the contest, there was an election of the  next district officers and then we were given time to prepare for the District Directors Ball. The theme for the District Directors Ball was Casino Royale. The ball is usually held on the last night of the District Conference. This is where we honor our district officers, past district governors, give out awards and bond with our fellow toastmasters. I see it as a grand conclusion to every discon. And this years ball was grand indeed. We were all dressed in either black or white and the room was set up like a casino with giant cards as the centerpiece of every table. I felt like I was in a James Bond set.  We were entertained by different production numbers. There was singing, dancing, gravity defying acrobatics, singing again but this time on hoverboards and a whole lot more.  IMG_8419 IMG_8421 copy IMG_8423All in all, it was a great district conference. I commend Discon Chair Benzon Lim and his team for all their effort and sacrifice in making this conference possible.

The 2016 Midyear conference this October will be in Davao. See you then!


Photo credit to Ed Fabonan

Toastmasters District Conference 2016: Cebu (Day 1)

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toastmasters discon 2016 1

This years Toastmasters District Conference was held in the Grand Convention Center of Cebu. The event was opened in true cebu fashion with the marching of colors and various cultural presentations. For those who are not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s an international organization that helps develop your communication and leadership skills. There are different clubs all over the Philippines. A group of clubs form an area, a group of areas form a division. We have 11 Divisions in the Philippines and they form one District – District 75.

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We have 2 conferences a year. The District Conference in April and the Midyear Conference in October. The highlight of these conferences are the speech contests.

There are 4 Speech Contest Categories in Toastmasters:

  • International Prepared
  • Humorous
  • Evaluation
  • Table Topics (Impromptu Speaking)

For this Discon, the 2 contests were the International Prepared and Humorous Speech Contest. The Table Topics and Evaluation Contests are scheduled in the Midyear Conference.

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toastmasters discon 2016 3District Director Boy Archie giving his welcome speechtoastmasters discon 2016 4toastmasters discon 2016 7Toastmasters of the Day

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toastmasters discon 2016 2Past District Governor Noli Espina announcing the winners for the Humorous Contest

toastmasters discon 2016 12Humorous Competition contestants receiving their certificates

toastmasters discon 2016 9Humorous Speech Winners

  • Champion: Joanna Katrina S. Magalong (Division B)
  • 1st Runner Up: Jinnelyn O. Li (Division C)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Leonilo S. De los Santos (Division D)

Fellowship Night – Coachelladiscon 2015 coachella

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In the evening was the Coachella-themed fellowship night. I loved the decor and the relaxed feel of the venue. I especially enjoyed the Tawag ng Tanghalan – the Toastmasters version of a Karaoke showdown. We got to witness a representative from each Division showcase their singing prowess for all 3 rounds. That is, if you don’t get gonged during the first round.

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Congratulations to our Tawag ng Tanghalan winner – Joanna Katrina S. Magalong! We’ll be expecting to hear wedding bells soon.

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All in all, the first day was a blast! I met some old friends, made new ones and generally enjoyed myself. Learning can be fun. And it’s fun learning here in Toastmasters.


*Photo credit to Ed Fabonan


My Ike Pono Experience (Day 4-6)

ikepono davao batch 13Ike Pono Batch 13

The 2nd weekend of Ike Pono was different from the first. This time it was more upbeat as we focused more on goal setting and creating visions. There were more activities and games too. One of the best ways to teach is through games. Even the simplest games can carry heavy lessons when you look at it in a different perspective.

As we did the many activities and games, what struck me was that most people want the same things in life. We have similar goals – financial freedom, happy family, trips abroad, great relationships. Of course we had divergents. One made it a goal to have 50M followers on Instagram in 20 years. (Please help make her dream come true by following her on IG @Libnifortuna). 😛 But for the most part, we had similar dreams.

The question is, are your dreams what you truly want?

On the 2nd weekend of Ike Pono, we were taught to not only set goals, but to set the right goals – the ones that you really want. You may be wondering, “Why am I still not successful?” Maybe those aren’t really the goals that you want. Maybe the goals you have are the ones that others picked for you. You need to find what you really want. Your true choice. When you do, success will come. It’s just a matter of time. When you truly want something you will stop at nothing in order to achieve it.

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Another thing I learned about goal setting is the importance of focus. In order to achieve your goal, there are a lot of things we must do. A process we should follow. The danger of that is we tend to focus too much on what we are doing that we take our eyes off the prize. The moment we do this, we lose. In order to win, we must never lose focus of our real goal. The successful man is the average man, focused. Even the sun’s rays don’t burn unless brought to a focus.

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Even the bible stresses on the importance of focusing on your goal.

Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 3: 13-14

Aside from knowing your true goals and focusing on them, knowing how to communicate and relate well to others is also important. A high EQ is necessary for success.

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How do you come off to other people?

I learned from Toastmasters that “It’s not about what your say. It’s how you say it.” This has been affirmed during the Ike Pono Seminar. Your pitch, volume, tone will affect how you come across to others. Knowing how to relate to people is also important because success is a team effort. You can’t do it on your own.

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

The ability to communicate well is vital both in the work place and in relationships. According to Robert Waldinger in his TED talk “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons in the Longest Study on Happiness”, the main determining factor to success is not money or fame. It’s in the quality of your relationships. People who have good relationships are healthier, happier and more fulfilled. This conclusion was the result of a study on happiness that was conducted for 75 years. Ike Pono is mainly about maintaining good relationships with others – Love and Respect. Treat people as you want to be treated. Stop expecting people to be perfect and accept them for who they truly are. Once you do this, you will learn to truly love unconditionally.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.


Check out my My Ike Pono Experience (Day 1-3) post HERE

My Ike Pono Experience (Day 1-3)

ikepono batch 13

Ike Pono is a unique, self-empowerment seminar created by Bruce Conching, a personal success coach who has been in the industry for 30 years. Ike Pono empowers individuals to fulfil their goals and dreams through the context of Love and Respect. It originally started in Hawaii then spread all over the United States. Now, seminars are regularly conducted in Japan and the Philippines in Davao City and Manila.

ikepono batch 13 davao

Ike Pono is not just an ideal, it’s a way of life. It’s something you don’t just learn but also put into practice. Society can be too focused on responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you focus too much on responsibility alone, it becomes a “have to”. But if you decide to put love first, then it becomes a “want to”. Doing it becomes a bit easier because you now “want to” do it. Again, Love and Respect must come first.

The venue for the seminar was at Insular Waterfront Hotel. It was right beside the beach so it was really relaxing to lounge outside during break time.

ikepono batch 13 davao 2

ikepono batch 13 davao seminar

The seminar was mostly activity based and very interactive, which is a good thing as I tend to get bored pretty quickly. I learned that there are a lot of layers to a person and that everything is not always as it seems. And to get to the core of people, you need to trust and be open. You need to cultivate the relationships you have because when all else fades, relationships are what matter most. This includes your relationship with God, your family and friends – people that matter to you.

I learned that it’s not about the differences but the similarities. We all have a different journey, we have different stories, but the emotions we feel are the same. Anger, depression, hate, love, joy, excitement…We feel the same things. And it is our similarities that bind us.

You may think that you’re all alone in what you are experiencing now but you’re not. Around you are people who can relate to you. You just need to be courageous enough to open up.

Don’t go through life. Grow through life.

-Eric Butterworth

Another thing that can result from painful experiences is that we become callused and numb. And because it’s too painful, some of us choose not to feel anymore. I tend to be like that. When I’m going through something painful, I just want to fast-forward my life so I can rush through the pain and get to the good parts. But I learned that if you don’t feel the negative emotions like pain or sorrow or disappointment, you also prevent yourself from truly feeling the positive emotions. So it’s important to face the negatives and deal with it. Learn to take the lows and highs together. You can’t cheat real life.

Ike Pono was a great learning experience for me. I also got to meet a lot of awesome people who had their own stories to tell. I not only learned from my own journey but from theirs as well. Ike Pono is about sharing experiences and learnings. It’s also about family. Ohana. We were very supportive of each other during our limited time together. Even though we were together for just 3 days, we quickly bonded. I’m excited for the next half of the seminar.

Every experience makes you grow. Ike Pono taught me to treasure each moment and learn from it. To form strong bonds and value relationships.

The only journey is the journey within.

-Rainer Maria Rilk

Go live a Truly Wealth life.



For those who are interested to join the next seminar, Ike Pono is a 6-day seminar that’s cut into 3 days each.

Part 1: January 29-31, 2016
Part 2: March 4-6, 2016
Registration fee: 15,000php

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