I remember 10 years ago when one of my classmates in college encouraged me to be part of the student government in which I refused because I don’t like to associate with people. I’m an introvert and I had other important things to do and I want nothing to add up into it.
For so many years, I once believed a lie in which my grade 3 teacher told me: “You will achieve nothing in life.”, then she picked out her stainless ruler, hit it into my hands until it turns red because I refuse to give my 10 pesos allowance to her in exchange of a snack she prepared for the class.
I can still remember how many times my classmates voted me to become a leader or be a group leader but I refused it because I have been framing my mind the belief of I was not good enough.
But God has a different plan. It started when I signed up to become a volunteer in the church I am attending. Little by little it stretches me to become a leader and learned how to work with other volunteers.
After becoming a volunteer in the church, I led a small group of young single professionals who were older than me. I was leading a group of men was around 25 to 35 years old when I was 22 years old! I also volunteered twice in mission trips abroad and some outreach projects in which stretched my faith, character and leadership ability. Followed by managing a group of volunteers in one of our company corporate initiatives.
All I can say is that my life has changed because of volunteering. And let me give you some reasons why it can be also beneficial to you.
1. Volunteering allows you to figure out who you are.
I believe each person has their own imprint of what they will become. Some people I know have already discovered their own by the time they reached 13. Some took longer just like me.
I volunteered as a computer operator in church but later on, I realized that I was not only created to operate a computer, hence I tried volunteering in communications group since I love writing, but the demand for the ministry was too low and they never contacted me. Haha!
Until I signed up to be a teacher in the Kids Ministry. At first, I was hesitant since I’m an introvert! I was afraid if one day they will call me to stand in the front! Well, it happened. I was shaking at that moment when they assigned me to become a host! I hated public speaking.
But the more I volunteer to do hosting the more I became comfortable doing it. Then I switch to another role in which I want myself to learn more.
Later on, I figured out that I love teaching. It made me remember my childhood dream to become a teacher in which I didn’t pursue because being a teacher here in the Philippine is such a noble task but let’s face that it cannot give you a high paying job.
2. Volunteering builds your leadership.
Since volunteering requires you to work with people, it will help you to build your leadership skills. I mentioned earlier that I was an insecure person.
The longer I volunteer, the more J understand people and learn how to work with them.
In my job, I wasn’t allowed to practice or learn a skill in project management. And since I cannot do it in my job, I have to find a way to learn it. That’s when I took a project manager role to handle a big event in our company. It was a frightful one but it became successful. Now I learned the skill!
Working with people allows you to learn more about them. Soon you will be leading them and it is important that you know them personally.
Volunteering allows you to meet different people that can help you to achieve your dreams. This is where I learned that leaders are not born, they are made.
3. Volunteering allows you to practice.
Do you want to become a prolific writer? a radio host? what about a public speaker? Do it for free!
Volunteering is a great place to achieve your dreams. I’ve known personalities who took their time in volunteering.
It has been my dream to become a motivational speaker, so I joined Toastmasters International to learn public speaking. At first, I was afraid, but since Toastmasters is a safe environment to experiment and practice my communication skills, I gave it a shot!
Each club meeting I deliver my speech projects and volunteered on certain roles. Until I realized, I can now manage my fear of speaking in public!
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point”, he mentioned that it requires 10,000 hours for a person to master a skill. That’s a lot of time! And volunteering is one of the best ways to practice and hone your skills.
Today, I’m a public speaker, a teacher, a writer, and a published author and a volunteer!. And how I could that? All was started by becoming a volunteer.
I still have so much to learn as of this moment, hence I will continue to volunteer.
Becoming a volunteer is a win-win. You learn and can master a skill and, you help other people. And volunteering allows you to put all your heart into everything you do.
If you grew to be a serious person, and no one dares to talk with you, the chances are you were boring to converse with. Probably you’re one of the many people in this world who were pretty sick at your tasteless and boring you. Or perhaps you wanted to make your date to laugh at your jokes.
Whatever the reasons you might have, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I grew up being a serious person. Not talkative and was painfully shy. No one wants to talk with me. Most of the time when I was with my friends, I am just a wall flower.
I only talk when I have something important to say. Imagine if you’re one of my friends you will not treat me as a human, I am more like a doll. You know what’s a doll?
I’m a nutcracker in a barbie world, it’s fantastic because it’s plastic. You can touch my hair and kiss me anywhere cause I’m not responding, I am worthless! Well, that’s a male version for the barbie song.
Sure kids love dolls but adults? Meh. Adults are not. In a world today where most people are on the social media, it’s still vital for relationships to have conversations.
They said everything started with a simple “Hi!”. You get it right? Haha! And you are here to learn how to add something to it.
Want to make your crush laugh at your jokes? Or make your boring business presentations entertaining?
In my years of exploring and continue learning how to add humor to my writing, speeches, and conversation, I found out the exact thing from my friend shared with me that make people laugh.
But sadly, the world deceives us that making fun of people are more applauded. Gay comedians do it. Others do it by using memes. But it’s a bad and tasteless humor. It is selfish and offensive. Only insecure people who do it and I strongly do not recommend it.
Here’s what really makes people laugh.
1. Your Failures
Nothing can ever more funny than your failures. When was the last time you felt so dumb? When was the last time you fail?
The reason why people becomes so serious is that they are hiding something or they are shy.
When you share your failures to the people you talk with, it opens yourself to them so they can share theirs too.
Get out of your shell and share your failures. When the day I decided to be vulnerable to the people I talk with, I begin to develop fruitful relationships and gain more friends.
It is hard at first but you’ll amaze when people responded to you. You might encourage others too.
Your failures are not you. It is an event and people had the best time when they know they are not alone in their journey.
2. Your Flaws.
All of us has flaws. No one is perfect, but if you find one please do let me know so I can call the Roman Army to prepare a cross for him. We will crucify him!
Kidding aside, our flaws can provide a sense of humor. If bad comedians or humorists make other’s flaws laughable, do it to yourself too.
Show it to them how your flaws have helped you. I have one friend who is an author who has Parkinson’s disease, and every time she speaks at the stage to make a speech about her book, she informs us first that she can talk while dancing.
I am so inspired and at the same time laugh how she is carrying herself. It taught me to carry yourself always in such a way people will admire you for your flaws but most of us were ashamed of it that’s why people respond also in a negative manner.
I believe everyone has flaws. It’s one of the hardest things to reveal to people but when you are truly secure enough, you can! I can name a few personality but there’s no greater than Nick Vucijic who has no arms and legs, carry himself and make fun of his flaws and it helped him to find faith in God
What makes you weird? Sometimes it’s our weirdness that makes people laugh.
I believe every one of us is weird. We are created unique and have different flaws. Instead of using it to bring down others or yourself, make fun with it. People will love you for it.
3. Your Firsts.
Your first-time experiences are rich as others experiences.
Your first heart broken, first rejection, first romance, first failure, first speech. It’s worthy to share how you executed them and how you learned from them.
There was a time I shared to my speech project the first time I dated a woman. I shared all my mishaps and shortcomings.
At first I thought that most of the men in the audience will call me dumb or will give me an advice after, but instead, I received a compliment. They said they can relate what I share and even encourage me more. I just don’t know if they are encouraging me to get more dates or more of my mishaps in my speeches. Haha
Either of this three, when incorporated in a speech, can create humor. It’s like courting a woman, be yourself and do your best.
You can’t be yourself and do your best when you are stepping only your best foot forward. People can smell if you are pretending to be someone you’re not.
I hope you get something today from what I have shared and apply this in your next speeches, book, blog article or conversation.
Seize that boring date. Seize that boring business presentation.
Do you have something to share about how to make people laugh also? Speak up! Share it in the comments.
George Pallon said, “Fight for something rather than live for nothing.”
Have you ever thought why many people don’t come too close to achieving their dreams?
It’s simple, they don’t fight for it. Harry Style author of Dare to Dream has something to say about this. He said, “A dream is a dream until you make it real.”
Too many people stuck at wishful thinking, they dream big dreams, writing ambitious and audacious goals but they can’t even make any single step achieving it.
Our minds are powerful. It has been the master behind the many successes of successful people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. Imagine, your idea has the potential to change the world!
But these people doesn’t stop until their ideas become a reality. Bill Gates dreamed of seeing computers in classrooms. Mark Zuckerberg who once dreamed of connecting Harvard Students together then he expanded it to the world. They fight for it.
We know how many adversaries they have faced before they become successful.
That’s where many people failed. They keep dreaming. They couldn’t see how their dreams will make an impact on the lives of others, or perhaps they dream selfish dreams.
How would you know if your dreams are selfish?
First, you think only of yourself.
Second, it’s not going to make an impact on the lives of other people.
Why don’t people fight for their dreams?
Lack of vision.
“Where there is no vision the people perish..” — Proverbs 29:18
God hates people who are lazy, those who doesn’t have a vision. The writer of psalms and proverbs even called them foolish.
In the Bible, I learned that every good king Israel has, they forgot to pass the vision to their children. King Hezekiah would be a great example when God told him he’s going to die, and he needs to set his house in order.
The king pleaded with God to extend his life, God did it but Hezekiah entirely forgot to pass the baton to his son. He forgot to teach his son the laws and his wisdom.
Are you at the crossroads of choosing which course to take in college? Choose what you really wanted to become in the future and what do you really love to do.
I’ve known many students regretted their decision and chose to shift courses or worst figuring out what will fit for them. In the end, they didn’t finish anything.
You are the only one who can know what you really want, don’t let others dictate you who you want to become. You have the vision and sometimes you have to fight alone.
People will regard you badly for your vision. Sometimes they will accuse you of social climbing when you try to network with people and build relationships with them. Here’s a great story to illustrate that.
One day in the jungle, a wolf was hunting for his dinner. Then he saw rabbit jumping around the area. Wolf tried to catch him but rabbit jumps quickly as he can.
Wolf pissed off when he was not able to catch the rabbit. He cried out, “aw oooooh”. A group of wolves heard him and did the same.
Still, wolf running from jungle to jungle. Other wolfs started to follow him. He was having followers now.
But when they saw rabbit was going to jump from the cliff, other wolf started to quit. They said to the wolf that rabbit is not worth it. They accused him of getting the advantage of them. Stop hunting after it. He’s not going to catch the rabbit.
But wolf made a jump that he was able to catch and made the rabbit his dinner and share it with others. The End.
Like the wolf, his friends or relatives might not see the way he’s going to make rabbit his dinner.
Just like you, some people will follow you for some time when they see your idea is good, but after that, they will accuse you. They will not see your dreams the way you see it. it’s only you can see that.
Wolf has the vision, his going to have a dinner. The other wolves did not, they only follow him to have a share of the meat.
When you achieve your dreams, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it and teach it to others.
Lack of self-esteem.
Many people lack self-confidence about themselves. When you are not sure of yourself, more likely you’ll end up insecure.
I remember when my mentor told me that if I want to become an author, I should start telling myself that I’m an author.
That’s why the moment I joined Toastmasters, I didn’t call myself a toastmaster. I called myself a public speaker.
There’s power in self-affirmation. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.”
The writer of proverbs also said in Proverbs 23:7 AMP, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior—one who manipulates].”
Wolf didn’t fear he might fall off from the cliff if he continue and that’s courage.
[easy-tweet tweet=“Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to manage fear whenever it arises.” user=“writerdhenn” usehashtags=“no” template=“quote”]
I fear public speaking. I am thankful that I have mentors and the community who knows what I am going through. They taught me how to manage my fear in stage and talking with people.
Fear of failure.
Going back to the wolf story, the wolf didn’t fear failure. He knows he’s going to fall off the cliff if he failed What now? It’s only a cliff, there’s a lake underneath, he’s still alive when that happens.
The lake was never mentioned in the story and yet I included that.
Most of the time fear operates in a way like that. We are the one who created the fear. We are creating the worst possible outcome even it didn’t happen yet.
Last week, it was my first time to join a public speaking contest. I was nervous, what if I failed I said. But I’ve been reminded that it’s okay to fail rather than doing nothing at all.
I created a result which was not yet even existed. That’s what fear is even called False Evidence Appearing Real.
After the contest, surprisingly I won the third place in the impromptu speech contest.
It is true that what you really want is on the other side of the fear. Only if you have the courage to get out your comfort zone and conquer that fear.
Early this morning, I watched another Jackie Chan movie. He is one of my favorite actors. And one thing I noticed in his movies was, he dares himself to do it.
Whenever he has a fight scene, you’re going to see a bloodshed and a very intense battle. The one who surrenders first will lose the fight. Quitters never win, you have to fight whatever it takes.
That’s what your dreams are for. Grind all the way you can and fight for it. Silence your fears, stop listening to your naysayers.
Keep in mind that hurt people hurt people. When people see you helping the poor, they will call you fake. When people will see you building network and relationship with people who think the same as you are, they will call you the social climber. The world has enough of negative minded people, be the salt and the light.
And remember that successful people don’t end being successful. They help others to become like them. They share what they learned sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee.
And when it has a fee, only serious people who will take it. The reason why most successful people requires other people to pay for a learning fee is because they want only to cater people who are committed to becoming successful whatever it takes.
And I am grateful to know people like them. I met a friend who was even a student and he’s now saving up just to be able to attend that seminar.
Don’t let your dreams stay only as a dream. Fight for it. Our heroes once dream of having the freedom from our oppressors, they fought and risked their lives for the freedom we enjoy right now.
[easy-tweet tweet=“It is better to die for something than living for nothing.” user=“writerdhenn” usehashtags=“no” template=“quote”]
It’s the last month of the year and before we celebrate this season that God gave us, I believe that reflecting on the past few months of this year could be a great thing for us to face the new year. Are you excited about it?
As I reflect, there were so many things happened in my life that I can be thankful enough and I would like to share it with you those 7 things that I started doing in my life that I believe will pay me off forever and you too!
Here are the 7 things that will pay you off forever:
1. Investing in yourself
One of the best things that happened in my life was the time I invested on it. Before I was frustrated about my life because I didn’t know what to do with it.
I have no direction in life, no goals, no plans and living a life just to exists was not so good because life is meant to be celebrated because of its purpose.
And so while my life was wrecked and messy, I made a decision for myself to invest on it.
If I could invest money on gadgets, online games and some of the things that don’t matter in life, why not use my money to make my life purposeful? And so I started reading books even I don’t read books in my lifetime except for those heavy books I used to carry when I was studying.
After reading books, I learned that there are live events like seminars, training that could open up more opportunities for me to learn from people, and so even it was too uncomfortable for me to be with the strangers because I am an introvert, I coerced myself to sign up to seminars in which I am interested in involving with, and my life has never been the same because of it.
Continue learning is what fuels my passion for lifelong learning, and everything I have learned and I will going to learn… I am generously giving it to you by sharing it here in my blog, so stay tuned!
2. Being honest
Most of my friends told me that sometimes I am brutally honest. And yes, there are times I speak what I feel. If given an opportunity to give feedback to someone, I am proud that I can be too honest about it. Because I believe being honest will help people a lot to reflect on themselves than sugar coating your words to make people comfortable.
And did you know that the great thing about being honest (being true, telling the truth, living in integrity) is that you never have to remember what you said? Why? Because you know to yourself that you tell the truth, there’s no guilt on it and it will not give you stress.
When you speak the truth, you speak and forget it. Otherwise, if you speak a lie, you won’t easily forget what you just have said, because you will keep thinking about it and you’ll stress yourself what if that person figured out that you’re not telling the truth? The chances are you will become stressed because of it, hence better to speak the truth.
3. Watching where your money goes.
While this is a personal finance stuff which one of the things I am passionate about, even you are not a money-mindful person, monitoring your expenses will pay you off.
Where your money goes? Do you love to spend on big purchases? But did you know that you can be buried in debt by spending on small purchases? What are those small purchases? They are the food you eat, your mobile or internet subscriptions, loans and etc.
Monitoring your expenses will pay you off BIG time.
4. Daily exercise routine.
Exercise can be a daunting task for most of us.
First, it’s too uncomfortable because it takes out the blood and sweat out of you.
Secondly, Millenials were the laziest generation of all the generations that have come! I’d rather take vitamins and supplements to lose weight? Why should I go to the gym?
Honestly, that’s one of my many excuses why I don’t exercise but in order for me to live my life to the fullest, I need not only to challenge my brain cells to learn something new but my body also needs to challenge in order for it to grow.
I’m not really a fan of supplements, though they are effective but they don’t challenge your body to grow and teach it to endure pain and challenges along the way. And for me I believe, having an exercise routine is the best, it makes you more attentive, and physically attractive.
5. Practice Public Speaking
I believe public speaking is one of the essential skills that most people need. Throughout the years I hated myself for not being able to communicate my thoughts properly. Most of my friends noticed that I am afraid to speak up, well that’s my nature because I’m an introvert.
Throughout my career, I always received a feedback that I need to improve my communication skills, though I am a more technically inclined person, my previous manager believed that learning how to communicate properly to the stakeholders and customers are far more greatly important than anything else.
And because of that feedback, I took it to my heart as a lesson and started overcoming myself by attempting to visit a Toastmaster Club nearby office. From that day on, my life has changed for the better. I was better than good.
Toastmasters has helped me to build my self-confidence and how I am going to communicate effectively with people either in small meetings or large events like conferences and seminars. And besides one of my dreams is to become a best-selling author and motivational speaker someday and I am thankful that I took this first step.
If you think public speaking is not for you, don’t worry, Toastmasters was not just existed for public speaking training, it’s mission is to make leaders, Toastmasters International is the place where great leaders are made — because great leaders are effective communicators.
6. Documenting everything.
Currently, I have two local mentors in book writing, Sha Nacino and Dennis Sy. Both of them are my good mentors, and I look up to them as my inspiration to write a book.
Just this year, I launched my first book which I intended to write for myself because I wrote my testimony of God’s grace in my life in a hundred-page book. If you want to read it, go buy one copy from me. 🙂
I’ve met many people who want to write a book also but never started writing. Pastor Dennis Sy taught us that in order for us to write a book, write first, then write and write and write.
I have a confession to make, after my first book, I was actually very discouraged to write another one because of the criticism I received from others that my book was poorly written, because of grammatical errors. And I admit that it was poorly edited not poorly written. I repeat, it was poorly edited.
But my mentors have taught me to persevere and continue writing, besides I am not writing for one single person who can criticize my work, I am writing for myself and I just wanted to share it with the world in a form of a book.
So if you were afraid to write a book like me because you are not good at grammar, don’t worry, just write, do your job and the editor will do the rest. Don’t listen to naysayers that you can’t. Don’t listen that you are just doing it for fame, you are writing a book because you want to share your story to the world that can inspire multitudes of people in every nation.
And one thing you should do first is to document everything. Go ahead, write everything that you have observed, what are the lessons you’ve learned for the day. Take pictures of nature and write something about it.
Make no excuses anymore. If you can, you will. And one more thing:
7. Master a skill one at a time.
Before, I was very frustrated that I am not an expert of one skill. I don’t have a degree in business administration to start a business. I am not a finance expert to invest, and I am not an expert coder to become a programmer.
I realized that in order to master a skill, you need to learn it through constant practice. I have learned that it pays forward to master multiple skills.
I know some people who are great at coding but lack technical understanding how the computer works. I know also some programmers who even don’t know what to do when their computer crashes.
I am glad that I learned multiple skill when I was young and I owe it to my father. Because when I was young, I used to watch him every time he repairs the car, a bicycle or even repairing or assembling a home furniture.
Today, I am proud to say that I have learned so many skills in life. From technical, construction, cooking, writing and now I am learning how to write a book and public speaking.
And these are the 7 Things Will Pay You Off Forever and I assure you that your future self will thank you for learning these skills.
Yesterday, I’ve played a couple of downloaded TED Talks on my phone while riding in a van going home at a late night. I was amazed, how these people were able to talk directly to their thousands of audience and made them connected to what the speaker is saying.
To my curiosity to learn more about persuasive communication, I actually watched more than three times from the TED App the video podcasts by Chris Anderson: TED’s secret to great public speaking.
And today, I actually wrote this to share it with you the lessons I’ve learned so far and might apply these lessons to my future speech projects in toastmasters. If it happens that you are a toastmaster as well, hi there! Are you watching TED Talks also? If that so, I hope you’ll be able to get something new today as you read this blog. You’ll never know, maybe you will get a chance to share your idea in one of the TED Conferences in the country in the future and this might be a big help also to you.
Ever wonder why most of the speaker caught audience’s attention instantly? Well, I thought it was a gift or a talent that God gave to each people whom He called to be a preacher or a speaker but oh boy, I was wrong! Here are their secrets:
1. Focus on one major idea.
I’ve started attending seminars and conferences year 2013. All throughout the seminars, I always tried my best to listen and not missed anything from the speaker is saying, I also did observe them while they give their talks.
Most great speakers I’ve known always focus on one major idea, because the mind can only accept one idea at a time.
In order for a speaker to transfer the idea he or she has in mind to other people, he or she should limit his or her entire talk to one major idea.
I have observed this to most speakers as well, however, some, stay long enough to the introduction of themselves by sharing their stories, that they have so many to mention and they eventually forget their major idea.
2. Give people a reason to care.
Speaking is somehow the same as you were writing an article. Most bloggers started either with an anecdote, stories, or a quote, the same in public speaking,
One of the lessons I’ve learned from toastmasters was, it is always effective to start with a story, an anecdote, an information or a quote that will lead to the topic or idea, always gets the attention.
Have your audience participate, ask them provocative questions, give them a reason to care, make them curious as if it is you will reveal a disconnection in someone’s worldview that they will feel the need to fill that knowledge gap that could only be fill by listening to you.
3. Build your idea with familiar concepts.
Build your idea, piece by piece out of concepts that your audience already understands. Chris Anderson suggested that when building the idea, the speaker should use the power of language using the audience language and NOT your language by starting where they are.
4. Make your idea worth sharing.
Ask yourself this question: “Who does this idea benefit?”. If the beneficiary of the idea will be your organization only, then probably it’s not a good idea worth to share. But if you think your idea can brighten someone else’s day or change their perspective for the better or inspire them to do something differently, then you can have already an idea for a truly great talk that can be a gift to them and to all of us.
Learned something new today? Share it with your friends as well who aspire to be a speaker someday.
Do you have something to add? Feel free to add, I am excited to hear from you!
And so, I’ve decided to join toastmasters after being inspired by stories I’ve heard that struggle the same pain I have — which is speaking ineffectively in public. At first, I have doubts because joining toastmasters will be another additional commitment and discipline because you have to prepare your speeches at least two weeks ahead of schedule (this works for me).
And last Thursday, I finally gave my icebreaker speech. For me, I was so nervous that I felt my knee would fail me standing in the front speaking about myself which at first, I am not comfortable with but in my mind, I need to overcome myself. But then I was glad that my peers said that I’ve done a good job breaking my shyness and fear of public speaking and I was surprised that my speech turned out to be good.
Today, I would like to share what I’ve done to prepare and ace my speech project #1 which as they called “icebreaker”
1. Schedule your first speech project.
Unfortunately, I joined toastmasters at first with a purpose of learning public speaking skills and boost my confidence without a deadline. Many people fall into the same trap. And so I decided to volunteer and schedule myself for the next meeting to give my first speech.
Setting a schedule for each speech project will definitely help you out to reach your goals and a definite amount of time. Start with an end in mind.
2. The topic is about yourself.
At first, I was hesitant what topic should I give for the speech. Then I decided to search for icebreaker speeches and watch them how they do it. But I realize, the goal of the first speech is to introduce myself to the club and to discover my own voice and know what should I need further to improve.
Relax, if you will have plans to join toastmasters in the future, the topic is just about yourself. It could be:
Pertaining to some of your unforgettable experiences.
Your first date.
Your wedding day.
Your company or people.
And the list goes on. What I gave in my first speech was some of the things that greatly shaped for who I am today. I started it with a powerful quote then end with a powerful conclusion.
Be creative if you wish to. I did my speech having a few printed illustration in my hand then I showed to the audience so I can gain their attention and they would know where I am in my speech. It’s not required though but I just did it because I am a visual person and I think having it would help me emphasize the points I am sharing.
3. Lastly, write down your speech and make time to practice and prepare for it.
Nothing beats preparation. Practice makes progress, not perfection. Some speakers write everything that was on their mind then evaluate it then summarize it into points that will help them remember it.
What I did was, I think of a topic that I can share to my audience then write something about it. Then I memorized the first line and the last line, which have given me an ace to my speech.
To give you example of an ice breaker speech, I am happy to share it with you:
The purpose of this speech is to introduce myself to you, but before I begin, I would like to start it with a quote from B.J Neblett:
“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.”
I am Dhenn (Dhenn Mark Espiritu) and
Like all of you, I am the sum total of my experiences and tonight I would like to share some of those experiences that greatly shaped for who am I right now.
First, I will start with my parents. My mom never failed to remind us of the important things we need in life. I still remember when I was young, when my mom was mad at us, she repeatedly reminding us that “what if tomorrow we die? Who will take care of your siblings? Who will prepare the meal for you? Who will clean the house? Who will clean the backyard?”
And so as a young man who doesn’t fully understand why we need to learn it, every night I pray to God, “Lord, make my parents live longer because I love them so much”.
My dad was not usually at home because he needs to stay in the camp to fulfill his duty as a soldier.
I grew up as an introvert, I don’t like being with many people as much as I can, I don’t care if I don’t have friends but it changed the time I messed up, almost gave up that one day I was just roaming around a mall near to our hometown, and entered a large room that was full of happy people, and that place re-shaped and change the course of my entire life.
Second, church because I’m a Christian. Remember the room that was full of happy people? That was the church. I don’t like to sound like religious or preachy about here. But the church has become my second home and my second family, because when the time I messed up, I almost gave up, that’s when God showed up. In church, I learned everything I needed to know about life, about my purpose, about my significance and my existence. They teach me that the relationship with God and people is all that matters.
In church, I experienced mission trips that entirely changed my life, approaching locals from different nations and building relationships with them for two weeks. It was truly life changing. I never envisioned myself to becoming a missionary perhaps because of fear but then after my mission trip in Myanmar last 2014, it was followed by another mission trips in Thailand in the year 2015 and China just this year.
What else has shaped who I am?
Books! I used to hate books. Mentioning the textbooks we carried in our bags for years, they are simply boring. But my hatred for books doesn’t last for a long time. My mentors in church taught me the importance of reading books, a lot of books. I only started reading books at the age of 22, since then I started to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding. And now I consider myself as a bookworm because the smell of book for me is addicting and I love to collect books that I’ve read and dreaming myself one day to have my own library at home.
Books have shaped my mind and change my perspective towards life. I’ve become to be more optimistic than pessimistic.
lastly, is Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, I’ve been working with HPE for 3 and a half years already, first as a Level 2 Support and just this year in my new role as an Automation Engineer. In the past, I’ve worked with two different companies both are great but in HPE, I did not only grow professionally but also personally. What I love about HPE was its culture. The culture of empowering people to achieve both their career and personal goals. Plus HPE is like a campus, employees have the opportunity to join different clubs and initiatives being offered.
In HPE I also had the opportunity to join the toastmasters. I joined toastmasters because my mentor influenced me to join. She is an author, she told me that she was like me when she was just started, introvert, and she shared how she cried in front of the audience during her first speech. Because of that, I searched google about the club. Then a colleague told me that she is a member of toastmasters, so I joined meetings not just once but thrice as a guest than finally signed up as a member. And I am looking forward to developing my speaking and leadership skills in this club.
And that how I was shaped as a person, speaking in front of you.
Going back to my point earlier, we are the sum total of our experiences, be they positive or negative, they bring out the best or worst in us and make us the person who we are today and what we will be in the future.
Joining toastmasters is fun. I am encouraging you to join one of the clubs to learn public speaking. You don’t need to be a public speaker to join. I’ve known some people who were afraid of the crowd yet they make a bold step to overcoming their own fear of public speaking.