What is GRIT? And why do you need this to suceed?

I went to motivational seminar last week that Sunlife hosted and it was a revelation.

The speaker was, John Yabut, the very first winner of Asia’s The Apprentice. With that win, he headed Asia’s largest airline AirAsia, under Toni Fernandez. After that he created his own consultancy company and wrote two books about his experience and how he was able to go from zero to hero!

I've been needing a lot of motivation and I got some great advise from his talk of his experience in The Apprentice. He spoke of his strategy, his principles that bagged him the title amongst all who are equally deserving as he. But what exactly did he do win it and win at everything that he did after? He said a lot of things but what resonated in me are simply two things.



If you think Grit is something you have to learn, you’re wrong. You probably have it. It’s a simple little act of doing it even if you fail and when you do fall. Grit is having overwhelming feeling of shame and embarrassment but knowing how to push it aside. It’s having so many fears and apprehension but still doing what you have to do. It’s never doubting yourself. But seriously, how do we conquer these emotions, these things that stop us from actualizing our dreams and our goals?

This is where I am now, I’m at the maximum height of fear of realizing my goals, of doing something new. And one of the things that John said sparked something inside me, that losing only mean near-winning. The fact that I lost only meant I had courage enough to try.

And what he said afterwards only stamped the motivation I needed. That if we are doing something, it should serve a greater purpose not only for myself but for other people. Because the truth is, we need each other.

And so we come to the second part of what makes you truly successful


To do something that you love, so passionate about that it also affects other people!

I am at a cross-roads. I’m battling with my love for beauty and thinking if I’m still serving a purpose to you. The feeling of being irrelevant looms over me. But since moving in a different - which is becoming more healthy - and sharing it with other people have given me a renewed lease in this endeavor. Becoming passionate with my health and seeing how my story has affected and motivated other people to start doing the same proved that it’s okay to go out of my comfort zone.

You don’t have to work for charity institutions to do this but do find something that will feed your soul and others, too.

The story of Sun Life Advisor proves that at your lowest and at point that you barely have anything to hold on to, you will find something that will be able to pull you out of that rut. He shared his story that to me would be considered so embarrassing for a man to share. Being left by his girlfriend because he can’t provide for her. And yet, he stood before us that evening, doing well in his career, training other advisors and regaling us with his stories of travel, being able to provide for his family and his wife. But all what fulfills him more is knowing that through his lucrative job, he is also able to secure the lives of his clients and his team. That simply by sharing his story, he is affecting other people.

Being successful is not about having the fattest check in the crowd, it’s having good people believe in what you do because they do not doubt your passion and skills. It’s believing in your advises because they can see in your eyes your sincerity in what you do. 

I truly felt rich coming out of the A Space that evening. My heart was full because I know that I’m on a right path. I still have fears but they don’t exist now for me. I could fail but at this point, even failing means I near-winning. I came out truly believing  It’s always better to fail than to do nothing at all.

So if you’re at a cross-road like I am, allow me to welcome you to the first day of the rest of your successful life. 

Some of the few key things I learned as well to help me keep motivated.

1. To appreciate the little wins. We are jsut so hard on ourselves that little victories do matter because it's a sign that we're on the right path and we are going to succeed.

2. To never stop challenging myself. We will fall for sure. For sure! But that doesn't mean we will stop, right? And when all is good, that's the time we need to step back and see how else can we grow from where we are. 

3. To learn how to delegate. A mom like me will always feel I have to do everything but now I feel good about recognizing other people's strength and let that help our project go.

4. To ask for help. Coming from learning how to delegate, asking for help doesn't seem like you're showing off as weak. Rather it enables you to do your job well.

5. Always have a contingency plan. Millenials are known to be entitled but we're not all that. Take that "entitlement" to create a contingency plan when all else fail. Instead of jumping from one job to another, learn to re-organize so you can try other things. Like buying and selling on side, learning a new skill, or trying a new things but still keeping your current job.

6. Learn the art of timing. There's always a time for everything and you don't always have to be gun's a-blazing in all that you do. I like that John and the rest of the Sun Life emphasized on being armed and ready but knowing when to use them. I guess that's one of the reasons he won The Apprentice. His ability to know when to hold back and when to go full-on and impress the judges. 

7. A true mark of success is also seeing others succeed around. More than anything. Choose to do something that will benefit others, too. That from learning from others, we get a chance to return the favor and teach others as well.

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