1. Take the time to Thank God...
...not just for the 13th month pay! Yey.
Thank Him for the life that you have. It may not be perfect, but I'm sure you are thankful for many things.
"Thank you Jesus night" is a Christmas tradition that we do every December. My wife and I along with our kids, block off a night to count our blessings. We write it down.
It's a simple activity. Cut the paper into small pieces. On each piece, write one thing you're thanking God for. Do this for 10-15 minutes. Then take turns and share with each other what you wrote. After reading one, put the piece of paper in the box.
"Thank you Jesus for _________." You will be surprised with what your kids will remember.
When you're done, seal the box and keep it as a family treasure. As of this date, we have records up to 2003. Play music and serve hot chocolate. Enjoy!
2. Live as if it's your last 30 days on earth.
The holidays prompt us Pinoys to eat this way – as if it's our last days on earth. With all the exquisite food in front of you, how could you say no? No wonder, "to lose weight" is #1 in the new year's resolutions list.
It's fun to attend parties, but don't forget the essentials – the people you love, the work you're called to do and your quiet time/rest. Make time, don't find time.
3. Plan for year 2012.
Ready or not, the year will start. Be prepared to hear someone say, "Ambilis 2012 na!"
Start the year with a clear direction, an action plan and with the confidence that comes with preparation.
Some questions ...
- What are the changes that you want to implement in your life or business this coming year?
- What are new things you're considering to pursue?
- What's one thing that you've been putting off for the last few years?
4. Start going to Church this December.
If you haven't been to one, there are many Christian churches you can attend to. I go to Victory Alabang.
I go to church for three reasons:
First, to hear from God. Faith comes from hearing the Word. It's how I know God's will for my life.
Second, to spend time with God's people. Somehow, our destinies are intertwined. I get to learn from others. We help and build up each other. Our kids grow together. We share lives.
Third, to worship the Lord. It's the only thing I can give to God. Everything else is for my benefit.
I know. The first time I attended a Christian Church, I didn't get it too. I thought people were singing and dancing to entertain themselves.
Now I understand. It's to give honor and praise to God.
Just like what the Magi did after traveling from afar. As soon as they arrived the place where Jesus was born, the first thing they did was to bow down and worship him. Likewise, let's use our time this season, to honor our LORD and Savior, Jesus.
Are you thinking of doing something that's very ambitious?
Wait for a few seconds.
You'll hear a voice in your head saying... "Hindi mo kaya yan." Four ordinary words, but when you put it together, it's deadly. It will instantly kill your idea. Negativity will follow.
"You don't have enough experience."
"Nobody will back you up."
"No one will like your work."
"Hindi ka marunong mag-english."
"Wala ka namang kilala."
"Baka mapahiya ka lang."
There's a long list of reasons why shouldn't act on your dream.
Some are valid concerns, though many are just fears.
You end up dismissing the idea or you proceed with caution, fear or worry – paranoid that you're bound to fail.
How do you move forward?
1. Face the valid concerns.
If you're feeling inadequate, then take the time to equip yourself. Acquire whatever 'skill' or 'know-how' that you'll need. Set a month or two to learn. If that's not enough, set aside more time or find someone who can help you.
Operate in your God-given strengths. You've been given this gift for a purpose. Align your gift with work or pursuits that are worth doing.
Ask questions. Even what appears to be a stupid question can bring out a revelation or an insight only if you'll ask. Figure out how things work. Experiment. Poke around.
Laziness will tell you 'bahala na', but preparation will make things easier for you.
Always find out the worst case scenario. If all else fails, what can you do to recover? Do your homework.
Proper planning will not only minimize your risks, but it will also maximize your success.
2. Conquer your fears.
Let's admit it. Nobody wants to fail.
"Nakakahiya pumalpak." You may be thinking, "What will they think of me?" or "What if nobody likes my work?"
That's how I felt the first time I asked my friends to read the draft of my book, Productive Pinoy. Later on, I realized that I have more to gain than to lose.
The uneasiness is temporary. It's what you do with the feedback or criticism that matters. Use it to make your work better.
3. Start trying.
The first time my mom offered it to me, I didn't know what to say.
Why in the world will I eat raw fish?
I tried anyway. If I didn't, I'd be missing a lot of good food today.
You've got to start trying. Even if it's just a small bite. Trying allows you to discover things for yourself. Remember when Peter asked Jesus if he could also walk on water? Well, Peter did. He was the only person to be able to do so in human history.
You'll probably know what to do once you get started. Along the way, you'll probably meet the people who'd be willing to help you. Most likely, you'll achieve more than you've hoped for.
Not trying is as good as failing. Give yourself the chance to succeed.
Instead of believing that discouraging voice that's stopping you, tell yourself... "Kaya to."
Instead of putting down a friend, tell her ... "Kaya mo."
Instead of feeling inadequate, let's tell ourselves... "Kaya natin."
When you're tired, shout it out loud... "Kaya pa."
When you feel hopeless, look up, maniwala ka, "Kaya nya."
Walk into a bookstore aisle, you'll see hundreds of books with a title that reads something like "The Secret to Success."
It comes in different forms, sizes, colors – written by different authors from diverse industries. Every book attempts to unfold 'the secret' to building wealth. From attracting good 'vibes' to 'no money down' deals, you won't know which book to pick up first. You'll end up more confused.
But the question remains, "What is success to us?"
No doubt, more money in the bank, isn't. You've seen rich men die broke and empty. Even power, fame and fortune is a boring story you don't want to watch in the cinema nowadays.
Instead, most of us picture success as 'the good life.' Yes, the families you see in the insurance brochures, corned beef TV commercials and housing billboards. To some, it's about owning their own time and being able to do their own thing.
We've gone a step smarter. Now, we are not just after the money, but we are looking for freedom, healthy relationships, security, significance and meaning.
All of which we have the tendency to try to attain on our own.
No matter how smart, sincere or persevering we are, the day when "nothing seems to be working" comes. We try harder, but that seems to make things worst.
Yes, a life of abundance is waiting for you, but you need to look in the right direction. You may need to take a u-turn. Go back to where you're supposed to be.
You may have forgotten that you were never alone. He has always been with you. He has witnessed your challenges. He felt your heartaches. He understands your situation.
There's no secret to success. It's been there for you to know all along. Stop looking in the wrong places.
"He who pursues righteousness (close & right relationship with God) and love, finds life, prosperity, and honor." – Proverbs 21:21
Take a fresh look. Renew your pursuit.
Love God. Love your neighbors. Move within His favor.
Life, prosperity and honor will follow.
Traveled abroad during the long weekend? You may have seen the real condition of NAIA Terminal–1. Witnessing it being labeled as "the worst airport in the world" has led me to write this blog post.
10 WAYS TO IMPROVE NAIA TERMINAL–1
1. Renovate and Improve.
Instead of just watching from the sidelines, Kenneth Cobonque, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda took the initiative. They made a pro-bono design proposal on how we can renovate NAIA 1. If you haven't seen their proposal, watch this video.
Renovation is a doable option. Yes, it's a good idea to use the airport in Clark for international flights, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't improve NAIA–1. A fresh, renewed, positive atmosphere will definitely make travelers feel more at ease or comfortable.
If our local malls are able to provide hotel-like restrooms, why can't our own airport? You'll probably find the answer in #2.
2. Reinvest the Terminal Fees / Airport Taxes.
It's about time to review the budget and ask, "Where is the money leaking?"
The fees collected must go back into maintaining, improving or expanding the airport facility.
3. Make More Money
If the revenues aren't enough to maintain the airport, then we should find more ways to make money.
If you've been to Singapore's airport, you may have seen how they've built a commercial area filled with specialty stores and food concessionaires. It's a great bonding place for the family and collecting rental income is one easy way to build revenues.
4. Highlight the Filipino Hospitality
We Filipinos are known to be hospitable in our own homes. We never fail to say "kain tayo" whenever a visitor drops by during meals. Why not practice the same Filipino hospitality in our airports whenever someone arrives or departs?
Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It starts with having a clean, decent and functional airport, but what will set us apart is the Filipino warmth, smile and genuine care for others. Let's make them feel wanting to come back.
5. Quality Service for Travelers
Unlike Filipino Hospitality in which we freely give, providing quality service goes with the job description - we are paid and expected to do it.
Quality service goes beyond the "good morning – good evening" courtesies similar to what we get in a typical fast-food chain, but instead, it should address the specific needs of travelers.
- Reliable Help Desk – There's a first time for everybody. Many first-time travelers or visitors may not have an idea what to do or where to go. Provide friendly assistance.
- Lost Baggage? Stop pointing them to the wrong direction instead, assign people who will offer sincere help.
- Baggage Handling – The handlers behind the conveyor belt should do their jobs with extra care. Wag po sana basta ibalibag ang luggage sa conveyor belt!
- Get rid of "I'm not paid to do that" attitude – Helping travelers find their way is the right thing to do – even if it means not getting any tip. Every airport representative should put this to heart.
- Airport website – Don't stop with a FAQ page, but use this website to suggest ways on how the traveler can make his stay in the airport smooth, fun and pleasurable.
6. Continuously aim to shorten lines. Streamline the process.
Management should commit to continuously manage the 'waiting-in-line time' of passengers. The best way to do this is to define a standard – "A traveler should only fall in line for a maximum of (X) minutes." Then design the procedure and flow based on the defined standard.
Streamline the Process
Forget opening the trunk of my car if you won't check it properly – Don't do it just for compliance. Make every stop purposeful. If there's a way to combine stops or checks, please do it. This will save a lot of time for both the traveler and the airport personnel.
Side note: Some Filipinos should learn how to fall in line properly.
Here's what happened to us at the check-in counter – A group of five people were in line ahead of us. Suddenly, three people show up with their luggage, apparently, they are a part of that "group", so they joined them. Then, another three came along.
All of a sudden, we found ourselves at the end of a longer line.
7. The small details matter. It will add up and create the "Airport Experience"
- Provide better trolleys. Yes, it's a small detail, but it matters. "Yung walang kabig po pag pinatakbo." Much time and energy inside the airport is spent pushing trolleys. Why not make it pleasurable for everyone?
- Airport Map – No one will get lost. No one will be late. And no one can say "I wasn't informed!" Include a step-by-step guide for smooth travel.
- Signages – Make it big, clear and easy to understand.
- Baggage Storage – a place where you can leave your stuff while going around the airport.
- Baggage Conveyor Belt – To eliminate overcrowding, build longer conveyor belts. Make it clean and dry, so my luggage won't get oily.
- Comfy Seats – you'll spend most of your time seating. Why not make it comfortable? Kenneth Cobonpue is a world-class industrial designer known for the popular furniture pieces he makes for Hollywood celebrities. We should ask him how we can make this happen.
- Communication area – Charging Station, Internet and a reliable WIFI connection isn't a bonus anymore, it's the new standard.
- Best Filipino Food – Whenever we travel abroad, I look forward tasting the 'authentic food' while at the airport. Foreigners or visitors probably would like to do the same.
- Provide a corner where we can promote the best of the Philippines – The airport is a gateway. It's the best place to "sell" what the Philippines has to offer. Let's pitch the best places to visit, food to taste, cultural shows to watch and fun activities to do – all in one corner.
8. Security & Safety
Here's the funny thing. Most of those who complained about the lack of security and safety weren't referring to terrorist activities or bomb threats.
They were referring to pickpockets and rude airport security officers.
Airport Security – Your goal is not only to control and provide physical security, but also to provide emotional security or peace of mind. Your job includes making everyone feel safe. Consider your approach, your tone of voice and attitude while on the job. Allow these reviews to bring out the best out of you.
9. Better Hiring Decisions
"You are the company" is a popular marketing phrase. It implies that any frontline personnel should act as an ambassador of the organization.
When qualifying applicants, we should ask, "Would I like this person to represent the Philippines?"
Hire people who are ...
- competent, but friendly
- fun, yet professional
- strong in Filipino values
- willing to contribute and influence positive change
10. Make it Fun.
A huge percentage of passengers travel for fun. Even those who are visiting for business make it a point to include leisure in their itinerary. Who said airports can't be fun and professional at the same time?
After reading this, don't hesitate to add your ideas by leaving a comment below.
Like it! – if you can relate.