Esteemed guest speakers, Brother Bernard Oca, ladies, and gentlemen.

Thank you to De la Salle University for inviting me to this well-organized and timely event for the ASEAN youth. Congratulations for being able to invite top companies, embassies, and global affairs organizations in Southeast Asia and our vice president Leni Robredo. Doing this in a time of pandemic is a big achievement.  

Congratulations too to the attendees and it is fortunate of you to listen to the many speakers in this conference.

Are you afraid of what will happen to you when you start looking for a job? 

Some of you may be thinking: “How do I start my life in a pandemic? I can’t even have a real graduation ceremony where people will see me up on stage after a grueling four to five years in college. Or maybe some of you will think of how to party after graduation? 

Yes, it is really sad. But you don’t have to see it that way. If you think about it, we are somehow lucky to be where we are now. 
This is not the first time that we will be in a problematic situation. We will in the course of our lives have a lot of negatives along with the positives in the ups and downs of life. 

But if you give up easily, well, I can say that you will really suffer and not be able to move to survive. It is a mindset. 

So today I am going to share with you words that will help you coach yourself. Yes, coach yourself. I am only here for 15 mins so it’s best to understand how to coach yourself all your life so you can be successful in whatever journey you will take. I believe that you have what it takes to coach yourself, at this point you know everything and when you don’t know a thing, there is always the internet. I am sharing these with you based on my experience as an entrepreneur and educator for more than 30 years.

You already know that you need to compete to be a winner but you see, you must be intentional in doing this.

So, if you are ready, I will start.

I will not explain all the details because you already know this, this is actually just a  reminder.
First, the most important thing you need to have is a short-term goal – maybe this is just to graduate or even just to survive this pandemic. Then you must have a medium-term goal. Let us say to prepare well for a job or business or anything you want to do. And the long-term goal is what you really want to do in life – your final destination, or what you want people to think of when they think of you. 

Examples of goals can be: visit all major cities in the world, establish a learning institution for disadvantaged youth, eradicate poverty, or just grow your family’s business. Good goals must include others and help improve the world.

Whenever you feel discouraged and frustrated, remember your goal to give you energy. Begin with the end in mind.

Then plan how to get there.

Don’t forget to include all parts of your life when making plans, like your health – now we know how very important it is. Also include your relationships, even if you are healthy and well-off. You need good relationships to make life sweet.

It would be helpful to find a mentor to guide you. I have a dozen mentors. Take the time to find your own mentors. Listen to the experience of those who have succeeded, as not everything is written down in books.

If you can’t find a mentor yet, imagine your favorite and most admired person talking to you and advising you. 

But you know, even if you have the best mentors, the best person to help yourself is you! Because you care about yourself, you know yourself best and you have time for yourself 24/7. In the end, no one knows you as well as you do, no one can help you as much as you can help yourself. Your best coach is yourself. 

Okay, now we go to the tips on how to journey to do your goals. I like to use my favorite letter, A,  to remind me to always do this too. 

The first A is ALERT. Be alert about what is happening around you and always check how it relates to your life and goals. For example, if you did not know that there was a seminar like this, then you would have missed out on the lessons that the experts here could have given you. As for me, we did our best to prepare for the pandemic. So we were able to review students as usual for the very competitive entrance exams and boards. 

The next A is ADAPTABLE: be adaptable to different situations. Don’t wait for the return of the normal, don’t wait for everything to become easy. It will not get easier. Don’t fear change, welcome it! Remember the only thing that does not change is change. 

The next A is for AGILE. Time is of the essence. Be expeditious, be energetic, be excited, and immediately do what you think you need to do.  If you need to, dive into the unknown and explore different opportunities and overcome challenges. Be fast! Be ahead of the rest, and most importantly, be yourself. I have two favorite reminders for this:
The big don’t eat the small, but the fast eat the slow!
Make yourself obsolete everyday.

Then, be  ACTION-ORIENTED- the first two letters of Goals are Go,. so go go go, no matter what others say, no matter what the condition and environment. Just do it. 

Be ADEPT- constantly improve yourself. Find your gifts. My greatest mistake is focusing on my weaknesses. You see, when I was young, my grades were really high in Science and Math, and my English, well it was only 83 or above average. So in college, I took up Communication Arts to make myself a better communicator, completely giving up on Science and Math., thinking to myself,. I am already good at those subjects anyway.  

So now, I am not good at English, Math, and Science! 
Here is a tip, spend 80% of your time honing your gifts, 15% in working out your weaknesses, and 5% in finding other gifts that you may have. 

Your biggest mistake is believing your natural gifts aren’t good enough. 

Here is what I have learned that made me successful. I did not buy a lot of bags, shoes, and clothes like my friends, instead, I invested in myself. I attended a lot of seminars and workshops- in fact, there is rarely a week that I don’t attend one, before the pandemic and now. I also went on many vacations – I realized, I was able to think more that way as I learned more about our world. I also invested in a lot of books. 

Now it is easier to learn because there are many more ways than just reading books.  I learn from Youtube videos daily. I love TED Talks, especially when scientists talk about normally complicated topics in just a few minutes! And the bonus is I don’t have to travel and spend.  There are also podcasts and book summaries. 

Build yourself up. When you start working, learn hard during the first quarter. Then, work hard in the 2nd quarter. Enjoy your life early and develop a proper work-life balance.

Stay away from lazy and unambitious people; they tend to influence you and try to drag you down to their level. 
Remember that there are no perfect bosses, no perfect companies. Find yourself a good boss and work to learn! 

Go work for small companies. You can get nearer and learn more from great bosses there. You may be on the fence but stay in your job for three years. Anything less than that is a lack of commitment to learning. Commitment is key to success.
It is said that the grass is always greener on the other side but it may not be true all the time. 

There may be no free lunch, but take your boss to lunch and fish out all his secrets to success.

To be a winner, you have to look, feel, and think like one. 

Being adept helps you develop the confidence you need to win in life!

AGREEABLE – An optimistic person supports and welcomes new ideas, viewpoints, and various possibilities. Engage in more discussions. If you can’t look at the bright side you cannot be as successful because you will always have doubts.

ALTRUISTIC – Give to others, share what you have, what you know. It is a small world and we need to support each other. Success is meant to be shared.

AHEAD-THINKING – Obviously this is my favorite word as my company is literally named AHEAD Learning Systems. And all our companies are named AHEAD.

So what do you think of AHEAD thinking?

Always think ahead – predict what will happen, what others are going to do about it, and most importantly what can you do about it.

When you’re planning your career path, always plan ahead. Consider the state of companies and how they hire. Times change, so you should predict how companies will change in the next few years. Consider their hiring processes, and find out how you can stand out!

In the regional job market, ask yourself, “What do Asian companies need?” Meet their needs. Be sure to build your own solutions, or join companies offering solutions. 

Watch your expectations. These companies hire more than just top graduates. You won’t be a manager in just two years.

If you want to strike out for yourselves as entrepreneurs, be ready to fail fast so you can restart again fast. Just be sure you learn from failures. Working is a learning experience.

Being ahead-thinking helps you build effective solutions.

To build an effective solution, here’s what you should do. You can develop something new that people need. Or, you can make existing products or services easier to use by making them cheaper, smaller, thinner, or faster. You can make them with better and more environmentally-friendly materials!

Most importantly, no matter where you are, contribute as if your company is yours. Your success is tied to that of your company.

Again to be successful, you have to be alert, adaptable, agile, action-oriented, adept, agreeable, altruistic, and ahead-thinking!

You have all that it takes to be successful. Just remember your goals, focus on your strengths, and coach yourself!

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