No. 1 – Burning Desire with Definite Plan

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I’m an avid golf fan and during Tiger Woods prime years 2002-2008, I was amazed by his discipline, training and mental toughness that enabled him to stay on top for a long time. He revolutionized golf by incorporating physical training as a big part of it. Before Tiger joined the PGA, it was not common to see chiseled men playing golf, in fact it was the opposite, big men with protruding bellies playing golf. Tiger had three major impacts on golf: 1) Integration of fitness as a daily regime, 2) Increase in prize money, and lastly 3) Increase in fan base, as more young people started to think that golf is cool.

When Tiger was young, he set a goal that he wanted to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors. He still has a long way to go, having won 14 by age 40, but he has won more tournaments than any active golfers out there. Back then, setting that goal and articulating it was a bold statement. Many people might have wondered who he was and if he could be out of his mind. Because he has a burning desire and a definite plan to succeed, coupled with the fact that he surrounded himself with people that were there to help him along the way, he was able to make progress and make an impact in the sport he loved.

On September 20th, 2015, Jason Day supplanted Rory McIlroy as World No. 1 golfer. Jason Day started golf at 13, which is too late for modern golf standards when kids are starting at 2, 4 or 6 years old. Tiger Woods was his idol. When he was 20 years old, he talked about his desire to overtake Tiger Woods. In 2007, Tiger was at his prime. Because of Jason’s statement, he suffered some backlash when people questioned his capability to achieve such lofty goal. He spoke to his coach and asked what he said that was wrong. Jason was really upset.

What people don’t know is that Jason’s burning desire is intense to be the world’s number-one golfer. He also had a definite plan. He surrounded himself with people like long-time coach and caddie Colin Swatton. His plan consisted of four categories: technical, tactical, physical and mental. Mental was the last stage. This year he had a couple of close calls at Saint Andrews. Over the last three months, he finally gained mastery of the mental aspect of his game and that started a series of wins, including the PGA and subsequently two Fedex cup tournaments by a large margin. The plan called for being number one at age 22, however he made it at 27. What’s the lesson to be learned?

  1. Do not deviate from your plan – if you’re making progress. It might take a long time to get there, but each step is part of the overall journey.
  2. Continue to believe in yourself – no one knows you better than you do, so if you believe you can do it, prove everyone wrong and make it happen.
  3. Don’t be afraid – declare your plan and challenge yourself to get it done. When people know your plan, you have nowhere else to go, but prove to them that you can get it done.
  4. The right people – choose the right people to be on your team who have your best interest at heart. Do not let other people use you. Make sure you trust your people to have your best interest at heart.
  5. Patience – we all want to achieve our dream yesterday. We can’t wait to make it happen, but it does not work that way. It will came when the time is right. You need to be persistent and make it happen.
  6. Winning mindset – you need to have a winning mindset. Yes, you cannot win them all, but you cannot go out there and play for the sake of playing. Just like my daughter’s golf Coach Jun Espiritu always said, “Practicing is not about hitting many balls. It’s about making the most of each shot. Imagine each ball is costing your dad 20 cents. Each time you hit the ball without going through your routine, it’s like throwing away 20 cents at a time. Are you willing to throw away your dad’s money?” Since then our driving range practice consists of 68 balls (medium bucket).

 

Everyone has dreams. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is the burning desire and having a definite plan coupled with the discipline to make it happen. I find Napoleon Hill’s quote appropriate, “Success requires no explanations; failure requires no alibis.” When we dream and don’t do the work, we have no one else to look to for the result. As long as you work on your plan and be persistent, you will eventually achieve your goal. Throughout your journey, you will be tested. It depends on your courage and determination to see your dream through. Decide what is important to you and dig deep to make it happen.

To close, I’ll leave you with this saying by Napoleon Hill, “If you don’t conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” If you have no discipline, you will never achieve your dream, because your current habit will rule your life.

A great day – a lesson is learned

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Drive Chip and PuttJuly 16, 2015 today was a great day, for a lesson has been learned that will be important for years to come. My daughter Faith has been playing golf for three years now. Each year I observed that she made progress and her love for the game continues.

Two years ago, I saw the Drive Chip and Putt at the Masters on TV.   It consists of the best young golfers representing different parts of the US.   I mentioned that to my daughter and she said she wanted to give it a try.   We did and the first two years yielded tough lessons and heartbreak for her.   She knew that she has a long way to go to achieve her goal.   Last year we decided to change coaches. The objective was to find someone who could spend more time with her and help her develop her skills.   We were introduced by Faith’s friend mom to Coach Jun Espiritu.   He coaches at the PGA tour in Paramus.   Faith started to improve because she is learning the logic of the game. The game is not about hitting the ball around the course, but rather understanding how to adjust and maneuver through the situation presented. Dealing with the situation and making it happen.

Faith has been preparing for the Drive, Chip and Putt for a couple of months now. This journey started when, right after last years’ event, we changed to a new coach and the transformation started this year. Early this year she made it a goal to make the next round.   Last night she had a lesson with her coach. When I arrived from work, I asked her if her stuff was ready.  She checked her stuff and realized that her glove was missing.   We looked everywhere but could not find it.   We look through her old stuff and found an old pair, thinking she could use it on Thursday.

When we arrived at Galloping hills, we bought a bucket of balls and proceeded to warm up. After hitting about a dozen of shots, she complained her hand hurt. She took the glove off and there was a blister on one of her fingers. She said it was painful. I accompanied her to the club house to ask for a Band Aid and I decided to buy a new glove. She said the blister hurt and was bothering her.   I thought to myself, all this work came down to a blister that could potentially ruin it for her. I told her to take a deep breath. I reminded her that she worked hard to get here that she needed to block it out and dig deep. To be successful, at times we must work through adversity to know ourselves and what we can be capable of. She said she would give it a try. One of her drives was over 200 yards. Three skill challenges later, she was moving on to the next round. She was so happy to place 3rd overall at the local qualifier. She was 2nd in Driving and 3rd in Putting.   She learned a valuable lesson in dealing with adversity and learned that she is capable of achieving great things.

When a lesson is learned, it is always a great day. We’re so proud of our daughter. ⛳️

An Example of Poor Leadership

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client-relationshipsAt the recently concluded Ryder Cup tournament, the U.S. was not able to stage the comeback needed to win the cup.   Win or lose, I’m still proud of our players.

I’m writing in reference to what transpired throughout the event, especially when the U.S. fell behind on Saturday. I certainly don’t question Tom Watson’s decisions, because as the leader of the group you have the prerogative to make the decision that you see fit.     The U.S. lacked energy and fell behind 10-6 going into the Sunday match play.     My memory is still fresh that the European team was able to stage a comeback from a similar deficit so I was confident that we could still make it happen.

After discussing and setting the stage for Sunday, the team presented Mr. Watson with a gift: a replica Ryder Cup trophy signed by all the players.   As noted by Yahoo news, Mr. Watson scoffed at the gift, suggesting that it meant nothing unless his team completed the comeback the next day.   Here is where his leadership fell short. While he is entitled to his frustration, he needed to continue to engage and inspire the team and promote an environment that helped the team uplift their spirits.

A leader is a tough position.   If it were easy then everyone could be a leader.   Often a leader is looked to as a source of inspiration and energy. When the chips are down, your constituents seek your guidance to keep them going.     When a leader says the right thing, no matter how bad the situation, the players listen and continue to do their best.   I’m by no means saying that the players lost focus because of what transpired, but it certainly did not help.

As I reflect on my experience, I vividly remember the 2012-2013 season when I was coaching St. Elizabeth’s 4th grade girls’ basketball team.   We had a great season heading into the playoff.   We faced some challenges in the semi-final, but we buckled down and pulled through.   Before we started the championship game, I told the girls to enjoy the moment and leave everything on the court. I mentioned that this was our moment and this was what we worked so hard for the last four months.   We started strong, leading by 4 by halftime; we played well, but had a hard time scoring in the second half.   Our opponent shut us down and our girls faced the adversity of trying to make things work. My assistant coach told me to let the girls know that it is okay to lose.   I told him that I refused to do that because there was still time on the clock and as long as there was time, we would never give up. With two minutes and 47 seconds left we were down by 4 points; I called a timeout.   I told my players that I believed in them, the question was did they believe in themselves. They yelled “Yes”. I told them to forget about what happened leading up to that point that the most important time was the next two minutes and 47 seconds.   One of my players named Maura went for a shot and was fouled. She calmly sunk the free throw. At last, we were down by one. I told them to play good defense to get the ball back.

We made a stop and executed a perfect fast break from my point guard Molly to our center Lauryn and the gym erupted with cheers from the parents of St. Elizabeth. We were now leading by one. I told my players not to foul, but continue to play good defense. We got the ball back and Selena threw the ball to the back court to Lauryn and the game ended.   I always look back to that last huddle and it brings a smile and joy to my heart. As the coach and leader of the team, I know it was tough to be in a situation where my team could lose the game, but I refused to quit, because I wanted the players to learn how to work through adversity.

Granting my experience is nothing like Mr. Watson’s, I still understand that a leader plays an important role in helping the team set up the tone and atmosphere.   As leaders, we are responsible for the team no matter what happens.   At the heart of leadership is sacrifice that is necessary if we want to lead others.   In the end, Mr. Watson wrote an open letter to everyone, but it was a bit too late.   The next time PGA picks a captain, I hope they consider the person’s leadership capabilities.   There is a saying that not all smart people can teach; sometimes they cannot make the subject simple enough for a layman to understand. The same is true in the workplace. The best technician does not make a good manager.   Therefore, the best player who has won many tournaments is not necessarily the best choice.   They need to take a page from Mr. John Wooden’s book on leadership that says, “People want to believe you are sincerely interested in them as person. Not just for what they can do for you.”

Writing is a labor of love; I’ve blog for 26 weeks in a row. I’m aware that people who read my post need to learn something therefore I do my best at all time. Feel free to share my post to your friends.

 

Seeking happiness

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With the ever-changing financial landscape and advancement in technology, we have less time for ourselves because we are constantly connected.   Our employers are faced with the challenge of doing more with less and that translates to either longer work hours for their employees or finding more effective and efficient ways of getting things done.

One thing is certain: the days in which we have abundance of funding are gone.   Fiscal responsibility is front and center focus and the need to do more with less is being used as a competitive advantage.   Unfortunately, at times the laser-like focus on the bottom line shifts the need to think longer term to short term, thus missing some critical points. Hence the outcome is not always pleasant.

Amidst all the above challenges, is happiness attainable? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Focus on your dream – Your dream serves as an inspiration to keep you going.   By keeping it front and center, you’ll be able to keep things in perspective. More importantly you’ll be able to prioritize things that come your way.   Remember the big rocks (see my prior post on it) in your life. During challenging times, it helps to keep our dream in mind, because it will enable us to buckle down and dig deep.
  • Make other people happy – When we add value to other people, it also helps lighten our mood. It does not take much to do this.   Showing appreciation, gratitude, and being there for others are simple ways that have lasting impact.   For people who are managers, seek to understand your people.   Understand what they seek to achieve in their work.   Work with them to accomplish their personal goals. Remember that a happy employee will ultimately benefit your customers.
  • Always strive to do your best – This is very important.   It does not matter how smart you are; if you don’t apply yourself, you will not reach your full potential.   The key to doing your best is not perfection.   It is the effort, commitment and dedication. Sometimes your best does not yield great results, but as long as you strive to be your best you can live with the outcome. More importantly, the progress you’ve made will keep you focused on moving forward until you achieve your goal.
  • Take care of yourself – Your body is your temple. No matter how much money you acquire, if you don’t have your health, nothing else matter. Because all the money you earned will be used to pay for healthcare costs. So take the time to take care of your body.   This is my biggest challenge. As I want to achieve many things in life, I often sacrifice sleep.   I’m fortunate that I’m still healthy, but I know that I need to correct this pattern. .   Akin to people taking medicine but continuing to eat greasy foods—if they slow down the intake of greasy foods, perhaps they would not need the medication altogether.
  • Don’t do the same thing over and over – As it relates to progress, at times we do something the same way, but expect that the results will change. There is a saying that it is insanity to expect different results from doing the same thing.   When you’re stuck, step back and evaluate your situation.   Maybe you need to rethink your position.   Evaluate and assess the situation and apply corrective actions; this way you can see the progress you’re expecting.
  • Be yourself – I’d like to remind that you’re not obligated to live up to everyone‘s expectation.   Being yourself will definitely lead you to being happy.   Sometimes we live to meet other’s expectations. That makes us feel like we are being watched and not measuring up to their expectations.
  • Life is not perfect – At times we want to make it better to the point that we obsess about it. By obsessing on it, we becomes rigid and lose our ability to adapt to change.   More important, we lose the ability to have fun with what we are doing because we focus on the score and nothing else. Just like in basketball, sometimes your best players are the ones that do not score. Your best defender can shut down your opponent and give you the chance to score and win.   I suggest, aspire to improve you each year, but don’t obsess and keep score to maintain your awareness and focus.
  • Change is constant – Expect that change will happen all the time. The best way to succeed is to understand what’s in it for you. If you believe in the change, help facilitate the change.   If you don’t buy in to the change, leave and walk away. Don’t stay if you don’t agree, because change will be done on your behalf and it is never good or pretty.   Your ability to adapt to change is key to your success.

Remember that happiness is a state of mind. When we focus on the positive aspect of the situation, we do see opportunities amidst chaos.   Negative emotion can consume and paralyze us to the point that we are oblivious to our surroundings.   To be happy, we must understand our priorities in life and act on the things that come our way based on our priorities.   There is no perfect situation and perfect time. What you have is the current situation to act and make decisions on based on what is important to you.

Everyone on this earth was given the same 24 hours.   What’s different between a happy and sad person is their awareness and the choices they make.   As Jim Rohn says, “The same wind blows on all of us. What matter is how we set our sail.”   The sail in our life is our attitude. To be happy, we need to understand our priorities and make decisions as it aligns to our dream.

Writing is a labor of love. If you like my post, share it with others. If you disagree, share your perspective as I look forward to learn and grow each day.

“For some people, they live through life seeking happiness.  Waiting for that day – the perfect moment.  What they don’t realize is that happiness comes from within, it is also a choice.  A choice to be happy with what you have and appreciate the things around you.    Don’t wait another day to be happy.  Count your blessing and be happy today.  For tomorrow is not guaranteed and you’ll miss the opportunity to share that beautiful SMILE 🙂  that can brighten someone’s day and have a lasting effect in their life.”

-Will Lukang

AIM program – Step 3- Making It Happen

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AIM

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen others make it happen.” Michael Jordan

 

This is the final segment of my three part series of my AIM program.   Before you read this post, I recommend that you to read the following posts:

  1. Step One – Awareness
  2. Step Two – Intentionality

Just like a book series, it is more interesting to know what happened in the first two volumes to provide you with context of the development of the final volume.   The third segment focuses on making it happen, which is the execution of the plan. I call this the triple A’s, representing Act, Assess and Adjust.   By applying the triple A’s, we are able to adapt to changes and revise our plan. This will enable us to continue our journey and monitor our progress.

 

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

The key to this step is making the decision.   According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the universe will conspires to make it happen once a decision is made.   The first step is always the hardest.  The challenge is: making the decision is only the initial step. What is really important is taking action. It is at that point that you are on your way to achieving your dream.

Once you’ve started your journey by taking the first step, it is important to be diligent and keep up with your progress. Celebrate good days in which you made progress and also acknowledge that there will be days that you’ll fall behind, but learn from your mistakes and get back in the saddle; move in the right direction.   As part of their program, the participants will receive 2 coaching sessions each month on a one-on-one basis.   The coaching session will allow me to help keep the participant on track and ask the tough questions.   In addition to that, peer circle call will be in place, whereby all participants of the training will jump in and call once a month to discuss their wins and challenges. The peer circle calls are crucial in establishing a sense of community.

According to Colin Powell, a dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.   You have to keep in mind that to succeed will require discipline and perseverance.     You need to be persistent, but as your coach, I will help you and guide you to achieve you dream. Remember that your success starts by you believing in yourself.   I believe in you. The question is, do you believe in yourself?   I certainly hope you value yourself to love yourself and want to succeed.

To close, I’m here for you.   I’ll use my knowledge and expertise to help you. However, you need to pull it together to make it happen.   Let me know what you think of my blog. If you like it, share it someone you know who will benefit from reading it.

Attitude is everything – Donkey in a hole

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Early this week a Facebook friend of mine shared a post of the donkey that fell into a well.   The farmer who owns the donkey thought that it was too old, so he decided to bury the donkey instead of finding a way to help it to get out of the hole.

As I read that post, I was reminded of the challenges that I went through growing up when people around me did not believe in me, that I could achieve anything in life.  When people close to me, constantly reminded me on a daily basis of my lack of intellectual capabilities, and because of that I thought I would not amount to anything.   When you hear that daily, it is like being brainwashed. You started believing that it is true and other people’s perception become your reality.   Perhaps it is true; I ponder that.   The reality is that I really was not smart compared to my siblings.   In addition, I did not achieve the same academic success year in and year out.  In fact, I never achieved anything academically until later in my high school education.

Back then, I almost gave up.   I felt that there was no point of trying when people put you in a box and no one gives you a chance.   But then, like the donkey when its owner started shoveling soil down that hole, I started to lose hope.   I still remember that feeling of emptiness and feeling sorry for myself.  Self pity kicked in and I rolled down this slippery hole of negative thoughts.

Not until someone showed interest in my ability and encouraged me to try did I have hope.  But the reality is, not until I changed my attitude did things change around me.    That day, I decided to prove to everyone who doubted me that I could get it done, that I had the courage to grind and push and dig deep to try my best.  Yes, the reality is I was not given the intellectual ability, but I’m blessed to be here on earth and there is a great reason and role for my existence.   Maybe I will succeed, maybe I won’t, but unless I try I will never know.

The first step of believing in myself was the hardest.   I had to convince myself that I would ignore the voice and what people said around me.   It is hard, but each day that I push and dig deep, it becomes easier and easier to move on.  I focus on small wins or success and build upon that.  Just like the donkey I shake the things that people around me are saying and I step up on the soil that was dumped on me.   Yes, it takes a long time, but is your current situation any better?  Don’t you think you deserve better?   Ponder on that. We all deserve better as long as we want to put in the work to get there.

We must develop the discipline to work on what we desire to achieve.   Focus on the end goal and persist.   Remember that defeat is only final when you give up and accept it.   Persistence is the key; we start by believing in ourselves.    Work on it and develop a bulldog persistence and work on it daily.   Develop a never-give-up attitude.

Looking back in my life, yes I came a long way.  Many times I would meet people from my past that say they are amazed at what I accomplished.   It all changed because I chose to do something about it.  I was diligent in working toward achieving goals one day at a time without ceasing.

I am a long way from achieving my goal and continue to work on it on a daily basis.   It helps to keep that in mind. As you achieve a certain level of success, give back to your community and mentor others, spread your knowledge and develop a community of folks that believe in empowering others.

Dealing with rejection

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

pinky promisedMy so-called baby in the house will turn 8 in August.  This little spark plug is the life of our house.  She makes all the sounds that filled our house and energize the house day in and day out.

Last year she tried out for the town travelling team and made it to the U8 soccer team.  She was excited about the opportunity.  By all accounts she enjoyed the first half of the season playing left forward and even scored the winning goal for their first win of the season.  The win was a come-from-behind win.  I was so proud of the team because they fell behind quickly, down 0-2, and came from behind to win 3-2.

During the second half of the season, the coach decided to shuffle things up.  She started playing defense, but did not know what to do.  There were numerous games she came home lamenting that she did not know what to do.   I do understand and support the coach’s decision to play her on defense, because I believe that will allow her to be well rounded.   But without the proper instructions, it will really frustrate the child as they cannot cope with the situation.

As the season was about to end, all the players needed to try out for the next season.   Due to her piano recital she was able to attend one of the two tryout sessions.   But she was confident that she made the B team as there won’t be an A team this coming season.  She told me that she would definitely be in one of the two B teams.  As a parent, we saw her play and believed that she would make the B team.

When the tryout results came out, she was assigned to the C team, which was the developmental team.  That night I could not sleep as I had to figure out the best way to break the news to her.   I’ve done performance review discussions many times delivering bad news, but for some reason this was tougher.  When I broke the news to her, she cried her heart out.  She asked why she was on the C team.  I told her that sometimes in life we don’t get what we want.   I made her promise not to quit and get back in the saddle and get the job done.  A pinky promise made between a daddy and Maddy to encourage her to continue this journey.  I told her that she needs prove to those who doubt her that she is capable of making the upper level team.

As I talked to her, I focused on the following:

1)   Success – described her goal that won the 1st game of the season.  I want her to know that she is capable of getting the job done.

2)   You don’t get what you want at times – it is important that she learn the lesson that sometimes we don’t get what we want.  We can say life is not fair, but it does not mean that we should give up.

3)   Continue to work hard – the approach to life is 100% or nothing.   Either you put everything on the line or you don’t do it.  There is no shortcut and slowdown. If you want something, you need to put in the time effort and commitment to get the job done.

4)   Being honest with her – telling her the true situation versus sugar coating it.  I told her that the C team is a developmental team.  It is best that she knows that now, because she would notice that when the season started.   There was no point hiding the truth from her.  However, it is important to encourage her to take this as an opportunity to demonstrate her capabilities.

5)   Give her the time to deal with it – provide a supportive environment and give her the time to deal with the situation, but talk to her and let her tell you what’s on her mind.  It might take days, months to get through it, but we’re committed to be there for her.

It will be a long summer before the soccer season starts.   She has a year to prove her capability.  We talked about making a commitment and making the most of the opportunity.  I’m sure this lesson will make her stronger and will serve her well.   The future will be bright.   Torpedoes Black team, here comes Maddy!