The Not So Happy Path

You want people to experience the failure so they can reflect on it, and improve their performance the next time around.*

I once heard a wise man say that there are three ways to learn –
1. You learn from your mistakes
2. You learn from the mistakes of people that you know
3. You learn from the mistakes of other people. Which you get exposed to through books, podcasts, and in-person lectures

I often say in entrepreneurship seminars that the wisest way to learn are the last two. And 90% of the audience agree.

But the wisest way is not always the most effective – experiencing the failure ourselves could be the best thing that ever happened to us.

No wonder there are countless others saying they are graduates of The School of Hard Knocks.

The first time I heard this – I say to myself, “Now that is foolish” But as I could not sleep after hearing it, I am at my laptop typing this at one in the morning.

And as I reflect on the hats that I wear in my life, I realized that it is true.

My immature mindset and approach to marriage made my wife leave. She did came running back but that is another story 🙂

At 24 years young I forgot to apply the lesson I learned in school when I was 8 years old – That what every women wants is to have their way with men.

And I saw this sign at Tiendesitas 10 years too late.


Reflecting now, that failure made me better. The sting of going home in an empty house for three years made me say to myself that “next time, I would be a better man.”

As the late great Zig Ziglar said, “Many marriages would be better if the husband and wife understood that they are on the same side.

Now we understand.

Our marriage has not been a straight line of perfection after that. But we both came winners after that experience.

The next time you find yourself in the not so happy path, or maybe, you are now in the not so happy path 😦

If you are, I want you to sit back on your chair… Take a deep breath, and welcome failure as a good friend – He could be here to give you one very timely advice 🙂



paris email large

The most valuable land in the world

By Francis Kong

What is the most valuable land in the world?

Some might say New York. Others might say Hong Kong or Singapore or maybe a choice location right in the heart of London.

If you ask this question, you will most likely get different kinds of answer. The more analytical minded people will mention the oil fields of Middle East. It is the South African gold or diamond mine for others.

Todd Henry said, “The most valuable land in the world is the graveyard. In the graveyard are buried all of the unwritten novels, never-launched businesses, un-reconciled relationships, and all of the other things that people thought, ‘I’ll get around to that tomorrow.’ One day, however, their tomorrows ran out.”

I meet many kinds of people because of the nature of my work. I do training almost every day of my life and I have the privilege of learning lessons from my clients. I have met tycoons and in some cases, typhoons – these are people who are so full of air, they talk big but accomplish little.

Guess what these people often say, “You know what? Long before this Tycoon began the business that made him so rich, I have already thought of the idea.” I trace a tinge of sadness and envy in their tone.

And if being the first with the idea can make a person wealthy and successful, how come there are so many patents of original inventions lying idle in the Patents Office gathering dust, forgotten and going nowhere? Ideas are useful only when there is determination to execute it, deal with the challenges and bring them to fruition.

Let’s get closer to home.

There are many people with big dreams and goals but they are never interested to work for it because working is difficult and uncomfortable. And there are those who are working hard but at the slightest taste of failure, they give up.

Then there are some who picked up the fallen business after their partners have left. And through their efforts, they will experience its rewards. The quitter, however, will be left with no choice but to lament.

As I say in my seminars, “Life is never fair. If it was, then we would be building condominiums.” There is a difference between fairness and sameness.

Life is always fair when you think in terms of the Biblical Law of Sowing and Reaping. We always reap what we sow and the harvest is always more than the number of seeds planted.

Jim Rohn said, “Life does not give you what you want, life does not give you what you need, life always gives you what you deserve.”

Self-growth and self-development should be intentional.

Not all of us are meant to be tycoons, but God does not invent junk. People do it to themselves. They bury their untapped talents and potentials underground and bring them to their graves. They are afraid of doing work and being responsible for their actions.

Others work hard and achieve an enormous amount of success. But then, success creeps into their heads making them unable to be a blessing to others.

I laughed when I came across this anonymous quote, “A sure cure for arrogance is a visit to the cemetery, where eggheads and boneheads get equal billing.”

Yes, I do have to agree. The most valuable piece of land in the world is the graveyard where some people buried their God-given talents and potentials with them. This is also the same valuable property where the successful people have mismanaged their successes, have grown arrogant and insensitive to the needs of others. They failed to realize that they are not owners of the things given to them but stewards and managers.

“You can’t bring anything with you”? I think this is partially true. We can bring with us the “person” we became when we lived our lives. Be the best you can ever be. Be a blessing to others. This is our purpose in life.

PS: What bridges you from where you are right now to where you want to be?
To be successful in life, we all need a vehicle. A vehicle that will get us from point A to point B. From where we are right now, to where you want to be?

The question is, doing what you are doing right now – are you going to get there?

Missing McDonald’s

pain of discipline

Success and failure come hand in hand together like a flip of a coin. It is up to you to make that single decision to choose to either be a success or a failure. Success is not by chance, it is by choice. Make your decision today. Because TODAY matters.

The preceding paragraph was a hybrid of sorts from two people I greatly look up to. Thai entrepreneur John Iamranond, and of course everyone knows John Maxwell and one of his best sellers – Today Matters. Human beings have the most potential in the whole animal kingdom. If you are still not aware, you actually have the capacity to shape your destiny.

Having a daily prayer time, reading devotionals certainly helps. Keeps you grounded spiritually, and sometimes you get some golden nuggets along the way. This one’s a golden one worth sharing… And if you still do not have your daily devotional, I would recommend this one from Bo SanchezKerygma Daily Readings.

It’s worth cutting and pasting here to save some internet traffic. But you can find this story here.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.” – Matthew 21:30
Roger was a successful businessman. That’s probably why a neighbor approached him and asked if he wanted to be involved in a new hamburger chain he was starting. He offered Roger the fourth franchise. Roger’s dad, who was himself an astute businessman, said, “Take it!”

Roger thought about it but later on turned down the deal. He must have regretted that decision when that startup burger joint, named McDonalds, became the giant chain it is today. He was on the brink of so much wealth, but he missed it because of one decision: He ignored his father’s smart advice.

You may be on the edge of one monumental and life-changing blessing right now. You may be on the threshold of something big that God wants to give you. It may be an emotional treasure, a financial blessing, the answer to a longtime prayer, a special relationship, a new beginning, maybe a greater impact in your ministry, or a breakthrough in some impossible situation. But, like that man who missed his share of Ronald McDonald’s fortune, it may all come down to your making the right decision. Will you avoid sin and obey God, or ignore Him and have it your way? Jon Escoto 

Sometimes one single decision shapes our destiny. And it takes courage to act. Have you decided to decide not to act on something? As the saying in the Boston Celtics practice facility says – There are only two kinds of pain in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret.

3-2, advantage – Rejections


2-3, Advantage - Rejections

Learning how to blog made me forgot how to count 🙂

Here’s a rundown of what I have so far
1. Asked a couple of friends to partner up – Rejected
2. Worked at Social Security – Yes
3. Go on a Holy Week retreat – Rejected
4. Made new friends in a Lions Club event – Yes
5. Traffic violation not to issue – Rejected
That’s 3-2, advantage – Rejections

So the traffic officer asked me to stop, asked for my license. Uttered it’s a one-way street, yadah yadah yadah… Asked for my license again. “Come on, officer it’s a Sunday. And I am really sorry that I missed out on that sign. To be honest, I didn’t know this is a one-way street.” The officer was firm – “Your license sir.” So I handed it over. Thought of a scene from this Jay-Z video. But then again, my version’s got more #swag.

I should have my rejections on video, but then again I would leave the video thing to Jia. I might as well paint you a montage of my experience with my words.

I was able to talk myself out of getting tickets (that’s plural) before, so I guess I can handle this one. So I negotiate… Looks like the officer got out of the wrong side of the bed – the guy sure is grumpy. And as I speak and continue to plead my case it looks like this is a lost cause – I am staring at a P2,000 violation. “Sir, I could have let you go… But your first reaction is that you would be speeding off, if not that the other officer I am with is not blocking your path.” Of course I denied it. But I sure thought about it (hehe). It went really heavy because when I sensed that he is about to start to write that ticket – I was about to grab my license out of his hand. Now that’s #swag.

By the way did I mentioned that I went out of the car? I sure am feisty that day. He has asked me a several times to get back inside the vehicle – but I ain’t budging. Sensing that I need some reinforcement, my wife stepped out of the car. And worked a charm on the guy.

So, instead of counterflow (P2,000) my violation was decreased to disobedience of traffic sign (P500). That’s 75% off for those good in math. And here’s a couple of my take-aways on the experience.

  • If you got on the wrong side of the bed – you tend to do stupid things. I did not went through my morning success ritual that day. Got that idea (and basically journaling/blogging) from my virtual mentor Jonathan Milligan. And it caused me P500 plus the time I spent in getting back my license.
  • Apologize. Right away. Without appearing to run away.
  • If you decide to just go for it. Back your car up.
  • It helps if you have a partner. In this case it is my wife. Hats off to her, her smile has more swag than mine. Or is it a gender thing? That is, males tend to be more favorable towards females, and vice versa.

That happened Sunday, and I went to claim my license on Wednesday. Before claiming my license. I passed by Resorts World again, this time hunting for the officer who issued me the ticket. My intention is to get a picture with him. (Filipinos are indeed “pictural”) Kidding aside, I would just like to confirm that he already surrendered my license. Does not make sense for me to go to the office to claim it if he has not done so yet.

He is not anymore stationed in the spot where he apprehended me. I asked another security guard – “radio the guy and see where he’s at”. But he didn’t show his face, he just confirmed via radio that indeed he has surrendered my license. Could have been sweeter if I ended my post of a picture with him. So I just leave you with a picture of myself and my partner.

Drive safe and watch out for the road signs! 🙂

2-3, Advantage - Rejections

Rejection 2 – Haggling against getting a traffic violation ticket


Charles Darwin quote

“A sunny disposition is worth more than fortune. Young people should know that it can be cultivated; that the mind like the body can be moved from the shade into sunshine.” -Andrew Carnegie

My favorite mother-in-law (who I love so much!) instructed us to be at the airport by 7am for a 10am flight. My daughter is going with her 500 kms south of Manila for the summer. We were there by 7, my gorgeous wife ringed her – “Mom we are here”. My mother-in-law answered back – “We are still at home”. (insert appropriate movie theme music here) 🙂

Since I am a cheap skate and want to save on a few parking bucks, I waited on the McDonald’s branch across the airport to park. Dang! The place is packed… No parking, so we went to a nearby gasoline station. And jeez – the gasoline station itself also charges for parking. WTF, parking space is worth gold at that side of the metro across the airport! Even if you bought something in the station’s convenience store, if you spend more than 30 minutes there – you pay up for P45/hour. And since we would be waiting up on my mother and sister-in-law (who is going with them on the trip) for about 2 hours more. I ain’t spending a hundred bucks for parking early in the morning just yet.

So I went back to McDonald’s just to check if a space opened up – no luck. So I drive inside the Resort’s World compound to check up on some freebie parking 🙂

No freebie parking in here either. So as we were driving around scrounging for a free spot, I turned right on a certain street (right across the LBC office/Kenny Roger’s restaurant) – and boom! A traffic enforcer signaled – I would be apprehended 😦

The haggling incident, would I get a ticket or not? That would be the subject of my next post.