10 Valuable Quotes from 10 Famous NBA Players

  1. “Boos don’t block dunks.” – Kobe Bryant
  2. “Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” – Lebron James
  3. “Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you’re ready to play as tough as you’re able to, you’d be better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you’re not giving it all you’ve got.” – Larry Bird
  4. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
  5. Lack of height is not a handicap or limitation in basketball. In fact I turned it into an advantage. I’m very difficult to guard because I’m so small. I made the other players adjust to me.” – Maggsy Bogues
  6. “I don’t care what other people say. I fight every day to be the best player I can.” – Steve Nash
  7. “If you have ability in a certain area, why not capitalize on it and improve it and use it?” – Wilt Chamberlain
  8. “Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.” – Magic Johnson
  9. “I’m not a guy that’s going to brag or feel like I’m better than the group.” – Kevin Durant
  10. “I can score 20 points if I want to, but that’s not my desire.” – Dennis Rodman

Image Credit: edition.cnn.com

No Pressure, No Diamonds: How Gemma Achieved Her Dream of Education

GemmaLet me take you to the mountains with this story of a woman and her firm resolve to provide a better life for herself and an inspiration for her own tribe.

She was *Gemma Dandana Tolentino, a member of the Subanon Tribe in Zamboanga del Norte. She was my friend and a former colleague at TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc., a Canadian mining company where I worked from 2006-2010. Currently, she is a licensed Forester of TVI’s Environment Department.

Gemma walked 8 kilometers every day from her house to school, determined to finish her elementary and high school studies. Completing a high school education was not a common thing in her community. Access to schools, as well as access to other social services, was difficult for people in hometown then because of “poverty”. A college degree was next to impossible. But Gemma was determined to prove to her fellow villagers that earning a college degree was attainable even if you came from the mountains.

Completing a college degree would make Gemma so proud she would consider it her greatest accomplishment in life. Why not? During those times, the ratio of college professionals to the non-college graduates in her community in the Municipality of Siocon was 2:10.

The town of Siocon where Gemma hailed was inaccessible to public transportation some ten or twenty years ago. To travel to and from Zamboanga City, one had to take a common mode of transportation – the habal-habal or a modified single motorcycle. One could also ride a boat to go to Zamboanga City, but this was risky because of inclement weather conditions and the danger of rebels/pirates hijacking or holding up passenger boats.

Despite the lack of access to transportation, Gemma reached Zamboanga City and enrolled at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU). She took up Bachelor of Science in Forestry. She struggled to support herself by doing laundry for her landlady. Each day held lots of challenges for Gemma, but she was undaunted. Her heart was set on finishing a degree and going back to her community with her diploma.

In the midst of her difficulties, Gemma learned about a Christian missionary couple who were in Zamboanga City to do a translation of the New Testament to Subanon language. Thinking that this was an interesting project, Gemma did not hesitate to talk to the couple to offer her assistance.

The Christian missionaries’ names were Bill and Lee Hall. The couple were associated with the Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL), a non-profit organization which at that time had a partnership with the Department of Education to conduct research and documentation of the indigenous languages of the Philippines. The translation of the New Testament to Subanon was one of the major works of Bill and Lee in Zamboanga.

To the Halls, Gemma was heaven sent. She a pure Subanon who came from the bloodline of chieftains hence she was the best person to help in the translation work. The couple agreed to support Gemma’s college education in return for the work she would do for them. Through this arrangement, Gemma was able to finish college.

Gemma returned to her village in 1997 with her prized possession – her college diploma – a piece of paper so unreachable to some of her fellow Subanons. A year after returning to he village, Gemma successfully passed the board examination for forestry graduates and became a Licensed Forester.

Gemma’s story tells us that if we really yearn to achieve something, we must pursue it no matter what it takes. In the process of trying to reach our ambition, we must be ready to make sacrifices. The lack of economic resources must never be a hindrance. We just have to learn how to find the right opportunity to help us through the most trying times. Gemma looked to her indigenous roots and used that as an opportunity to find help she needed to finish her studies. And she came out successful.

No pressure, no diamonds, – Mary Case

Related Readings:

From Hardship to Harvard

10 Students Who Overcame Massive Obstacles to Achieve Their Dream of an Education

*Gemma’s story is included in my eBook available via Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

To Selfie or Not To Selfie?

That is not the question. The question is why not?

Go ahead. Take photos of your self. Post them everywhere to let the world know that someone like you exists. You have waited this era for so long where you can be noticed in an instant.

In the internet era, the limelight is no longer exclusive for the rich and the famous.

To selfie is to be visible.

To selfie is human.

However, it is neither about your eyes nor your eyebrows but what others would remember when they see them. It is neither about your red lips nor your cute mouth but how many hearts and minds have you inspired the last time you used them.

To selfie is easy but to keep others from feeling annoyed is otherwise.

What I Learned from 5th Graders About Success

My 5th grader nephew's drawing

My 5th grader nephew’s drawing

All they need is a box of crayons.

They do not have standards. They will doodle anytime they want. And when they have finished something they will proudly and excitedly show it.

If you criticize their work they will defend it and while crying they will earnestly look for justifications on why the peacock looks like a dog or why the cat can fly.

When you feel stuck go grab a box of crayons and be with a fifth grader.

And you will realize that success is about acting on what is in your mind and making it visible for others to see and to improve.

The Cheridel Factor: 5 Important Lessons On Work from the “Elevator Girl”

rtadHer positive attitude towards work made her an instant social media sensation in the Philippines. I am referring to Cheridel Alejandrino, working as an elevator girl in SM Olongapo City who went viral on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sharing sites this Friday.

Let’s watch here again the video of smiling and entertaining Charidel while performing her work as an elevator girl:

I enjoyed watching Charidel in this video and it inspired me to reflect on what important lessons that she’s trying to teach us about work.

And here’s what I came up with:

  1. No matter how small our work is in the scheme of things, it is still an opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
  2. Convert your job into one you love, not by doing a different job, but by doing the one you have differently. (from the Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into Extraordinary” by Mark Sanborn)
  3. Whatever work we have we must go the extra mile – do more than what is expected to us. Working is not only about earning for a living but rather it is also about giving life a beautiful meaning.
  4. Love for our work and for those we serve will move us beyond ourselves and beyond our shortcomings.
  5. We can always be extraordinary even in doing an ordinary work.

Thank you Cheridel for inspiring many of us and making us rethink the way we approach our work!