Extra dose of patience

I was driving behind this car with the sign in its back window that says, “Student Driver. Sorry for any delay.”

Knowing this, I was very patient with her slow shifting, and honestly she was doing pretty well for someone who is still learning.

Then I asked myself a tough question: "Would I have been just as patient if the sign hadn’t been there?" I can almost definitely say no.

We don’t know what someone is going through. We don’t wear signs that illustrate our personal struggles.

You don’t see signs taped to people’s shirts that say,
“Going through a separation,” or
“Feeling depressed,” or
“Diagnosed with cancer.”

Perhaps if we could read visually what those around us are going through, then we would have definitely be nicer. 

But we shouldn’t have to see signs and have reasons to treat strangers with kindness. We should do it anyway, whether we know what is going on or not. Whether they deserve it or not, let’s give everyone an extra dose of patience.



Not voting leads to an outcome as much as voting does. You're still responsible, even if you didn't actively participate.

In any situation, not stating your opinion allows things to move forward. Silence isn't nothing, it's still an action.

No sense hiding, from yourself or anyone else.

Today, let's vote for a better Philippines!


Unsolicited advice for Postgrad Students

The days of avoiding the real world are finally over!

Having recently completed my postgraduate degree, my ultimate advice for those who are currently taking or planning to take one is to ask questions.

The line that distinguishes office from school lies along the opportunity to sound stupid. The essence of school is to teach you what your experienced boss doesn't teach you, what you want to and don't know. And your classes are the only time when you can sound like a dummy (at your age). It will be tough, it will be exhausting, and it will leave you broke. But unlike stock market, it's a great investment which you have FULL control of.

Postgrad life is a far cry from college life. So don't come to class with a college mindset. This time around, you shouldn't just aim for the degree, you should be aiming for the learning. Don't aim for promotion, aim for knowledge that can make you an indispensable worker. Mastery can avoid your work from dictating your life. Not everybody gets this freedom.

The quest for a few extra letters after your name should not be an easy one. So the next time you catch yourself in front of a professor asking you to write essays about Life (as you know it), waste your time on college-type presentations, or irritated at questions, think twice or demand for your money's worth. Choose a good graduate school with good (industry-experienced) professors who develop good syllabi.

This goes for short professional courses too. I wish you the best of luck.


Don't be that couple

While there’s nothing wrong with posting photos of you and your significant other from time to time, too much of it can be annoying and only shows that you’re insecure.

According to a new study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (a collection of scientists, not some paid for "report" or something); people who make a huge deal about their relationship online actually felt insecure about their partner’s feelings, tending to make their relationships more visible.

In other words, there's a chance that things aren't really what they seem to be on social media. Couples who habitually post photos of themselves looking adoringly into each other’s eyes on Facebook are probably, in real life, hurting from endless tearful arguments.

There is nothing wrong with announcing an engagement, or sharing wedding photos, or capturing a special moment together in a far off land. These are special occasions, and anyone who really cares about you will be happy to hear of them. But to endlessly document the daily happenings of courtship is just a sad reminder that people who are genuinely having a good time together don’t generally want to interrupt the moment and get a camera out.

Bliss doesn’t need Facebook likes.
Contentment doesn’t need retweets.
And the rest of us really don’t need to know about #datenight.


Your Circle of Influence

"There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did and who always will." (Adam Lindsay Gordon)

Once you get clear on who you are and what you want, you must re-evaluate your Circle of Influence.

Who you associate with is who you become. The term "role model'' is not used enough in our society. It’s extremely important to have role models. A role model will raise your standards. A role model will not let you get complacent. Finding a role model or mentor will spark your mind because they are playing the game at a higher level than you are.

If you hang around three confident people, you'll be the fourth.
If you hang around three intelligent people, you'll be the fourth.
If you hang around three millionaires, you'll be the fourth.
If you hang around three idiots, you will be the fourth.

It’s inevitable.

Such a simple concept, but what a difference it can make on your performance and business. There’s no faster way to advance into the top 5 percent of your industry than this. Yet, most people don’t do it. I challenge you to find those people, because you’ll become a lot like the people you spend the most time with. Their belief systems, their ways of being and their attitudes are contagious. Once you elevate your peer group, your standards will follow.


Business writing tip

Don't do business writing.

Have you ever met someone in industry who talks like he writes? You visit a store and the person says, "effective January 1, 2015, we have ceased operations at this location. For further information, correspondence should be addressed to our headquarters." Of course not. That would be awkward.

Write like you talk instead.

"We closed this store last year. Sorry for the hassle, please call us if you have any questions."

With effort and practice, it's possible to speak with respect, precision and energy. After you speak that way, write down what you said.

That's effective business writing.


Your choice

Habits are a choice.
Giving is a choice.
Reactions are a choice.
Ideas are a choice.
Connections are a choice.
Reputation is a choice.
The work is a choice.
Words are a choice.
Leading is a choice.

No one can be responsible for where or how we each begin. No one has the freedom to do anything or everything, and all choices bring consequences.

What we choose to do next, though, how to spend our resources or attention or effort, this is what defines us.


How professional get the work done

Professionals can get their work done without using emotion to signify urgency.

When a surgeon asks the nurse for a scalpel; she doesn't have to raise her voice, stamp her foot, nor even make a face... She merely asks.
When a pilot hits a tough spot, he's not supposed to start yelling at air traffic control. He describes the situation and gets the help he needs.
And despite what you may have seen in the movies, successful stock traders don't have to start screaming when there's more money on the line.

Compare this to the amateur world of media (even social media), of customer service, and of marketing. Whoever yells the loudest gets our attention.

May it be Facebook users who use cutting language and ALL CAPS to get someone at a company to feel bad; or those emailers (who should know better) who mark their notes as urgent, even when they're not.

It should be clear (compared to say, surgeons and astronauts) that these people aren't angry because so much is at stake. They're angry because it works.

The problem with requiring people to be loud and angry to get things done is that you're now surrounded by people who are loud and angry.

What happens if you take a professional approach with the people you work with?
What happens if you prioritize those who properly prioritize their requests and ignore those that seek to escalate via unnecessary escalation?
What happens if you consistently enforce a rule against tantrums?

If you consistently reward professional exchanges and refuse to take action because it's raining with pointless anger, the people you work with will get the message.

A pitfall of throwing tantrums is that sometimes, people throw them back.


On saying "No"

If you're not proud of it, don't serve it.
If you can't do a good job, don't take it on.
If it's going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.
If you don't know why they want you to do this, ask.
If you need to hide it from your mom, reconsider.
If it benefits you but not the people you care about, decline.
If you're going along with the crowd, that's not enough.
If it creates a habit that costs you in the long run, don't start.
If it doesn't move you forward, hesitate then walk away.

The short run always seems urgent, and a moment where compromise feels appropriate. But in the long run, it's the good 'no's that we remember.

On the other hand, there's an imperative to say "yes." Say yes and build something that matters.


Give up and go up goals

You will benefit when you tell lots of people your give up goals.

Tell your friends when you want to give up overeating or binging or being a boor. Your friends will make it ever more difficult for you to feel good about backsliding.

On the other hand, the traditional wisdom is that you should tell very few people about your go up goals. Don't tell them you intend to get a promotion, win the race or be elected prom king. That's because even your friends get jealous, or insecure on your behalf, or afraid of the change your change will bring.

Here's the thing: If that's the case, you need better friends (that's a good new year's resolution).

A common trait among successful people is that they have friends who expect them to move on up.


Filipino resilience

With an average of 20 typhoons a year and recurrent exposure to other natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions and drought; the Philippines indeed can be classified as a highly disaster-prone country

Just this month, super typhoon Haiyan (one of the strongest tropical typhoons ever recorded) left many Filipinos orphaned, homeless, sick and hungry.

And now, only weeks later, noone hardly even talk about it anymore. After all, several disasters (Ondoy, Sendong, and Habagat 2013) have already struck the Philippine shores, and it certainly won't be the last.

On the bright side, these disasters showed the triumph of the Filipino spirit against adversity.

Although it's more difficult to forecast the weather nowadays due to the severe effects of global warming, the collaborative effort of various individuals and organizations provided Filipinos with the best possible protection despite the uncertainties of disasters like Haiyan.

Additional aid also came from the heroic acts of ordinary citizens who went out to rescue those who were stranded by floods. Even netizens, who preferred to be safe at home, contributed through utilizing social networking sites to push relief efforts, however grand.

Amidst the height of Haiyan; families who were stranded on rooftops, despite not having eaten for days, readily smiled and raised two fingers in a peace sign at television cameras.

Whatever adversity Filipinos found themselves with; they always overcome it with a smile on their faces.

Much of Filipino resilience comes from the people, the community, from the relationships that allow each to lean on each other for support when they need it. From the generosity of people who donated to people whom they don't know personally.

Indeed, resilience is a great gift.
It enables you to take anything that life throws at you.

"The Philippines may not be calamity-proof, but the Filipino spirit is!" (Anonymous)


Go first

Before you're asked.
Before she asks for the memo.
Before the customer asks for a refund.
Before your co-worker asks for help.


Imagine what the other person needs, an exercise in empathy that might become a habit.
The proven way to add value.
Do extremely difficult work.

That seems obvious, right? If you do something that's valued but scarce because it's difficult, you're more likely to be in demand and to be compensated fairly for what you do.

The implication is stunning, though: When designing a project or developing a skill, seek out the most difficult parts to master and contribute. If it's easy, it's not for you.


Service ace

Every successful sales executives understands that success depends not only on the quality of product that they present but also on the level of service that they offer.

Excellent customer service is one of the things that doesn't cost anything but can cost your business a lot. Although smiling at a client when they pay their bill cost the same as frowning, frowning may cost you your clients.

In this digital age, companies should be careful not to give poor customer service because clients are just a click away from publicizing their negative experience on social networking sites or in consumer advocacy websites such as Consumerist.

Building a great experience to your clients will, however, ensure their loyalty to your business. Oftentimes, clients are even willing to pay more for a product or give a tip if the person selling treats them well.

The simplest customer service can ensure long-term loyalty from your public:
Smiling and being polite.
Calling them by their names.
Looking them in the eyes.
Complimenting them.
Turning off your phone when in a meeting.
Showing them empathy rather than assuming you know their needs.
Receiving their complaint without defensiveness and quickly addressing them.
Following through what you will do.
Returning calls and e-mails promptly.

Be a customer service advocate and keep in mind that business is a like a game of tennis. Those who don’t serve well, end up losing. (Doc Anklam)



Know someone who people avoids transacting with because of her unapproachable aura that wards off others?

The pressing demands of work and the loads of responsibilities often leave us carrying the same anxiety on our faces. So be careful not to be that person!

While frowning shoves people away, smiling draws them in.

We're referring to a relaxed smile that says you enjoy whatever you're doing, not a forced and insincere grin.

Even in doing business, it's important to remember that a smile is one of the tools that you can use. It's a very powerful weapon that can break the ice between two people.

Its power can brighten up a room. It can change the mood of others who are under the weather, and make things feel happier. You never know how much your smile may mean to someone who just had an awful day.

Wear a smile and build yourself an optimistic and comfortable ambiance. Don't you prefer to hang out with someone positive?

So the next time you groom, put into mind that you're never fully dressed until you wear a smile.

Try it! Smile at other people and it's almost impossible not to receive one back. Returning one is also the same, even with strangers. Wherever you go, everyone smiles in the same language.

“Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.” (Anonymous)


Failed a lot? Worry not

An employee of International Business Machines (IBM) made a fatal error that cost their company to lose half a million dollars.

Was the guilty employee fired after that incident? Nope, his management retained him.

IBM founder Thomas John Watson (then, General Manager) justified that he couldn't bear seeing another company hire this man who wears half a million dollar worth of experience under his belt.

It was only natural for any company to fire (and even sue) that employee because of the huge run down, but Watson dealt with the incident positively and turned a company weakness into strength.

You should too! Teach yourself to see the light in every negative situation.

If you're a parent of a child with failing marks, don't bring down the spirit of your child by nagging him. Instead, lift him up and encourage him to bounce back.
If you're a job seeker who have yet to land one, don't give up and look at every failed interviews as opportunities to improve how to sell yourself.
If you're an aspiring nurse who failed the board examination, don't give up and consider it as an edge for your second try because you're now familiar with the mechanics.

Even the best basketball player in the world suffered from several defeats, but emerged triumphant from it.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan)

Now that's A LOT of failure!


Lesson from a less fortunate

A lady who just received her first paycheck went to her favorite restaurant to give herself a treat.

On her way to the restaurant, a beggar grabbed her sleeve asking for alms. Since it was a special day for the woman, she brought the beggar with her to the restaurant to dine together.

The beggar thanked the lady, and told her that it was her first meal after several days of being famished.

Contrary to the beggar's supposed hunger, the woman noticed that the beggar only ate half of his meal. To answer the lady's curiosity, the beggar told her that he is saving the other half for his fellow homeless who was outside the restaurant. Surprised and in awe, the lady told the beggar to finish his meal and bought another for his fellow.

Most of us would have just ignored the beggar as if he didn't exist. But this woman helped the needy without expecting anything in return. And that is helping from the heart!

But still, the woman only helped because she was celebrating that day.

Helping from the heart should be done every day.

It's ironic that those who have less in life are the ones who have the heart to willing share their blessings; while those who already have much in life are the ones who are reluctant.

What's worse is when people refuse to lend a hand and still accuse others of wrongdoings. The least you could do if you don't want to offer help, is to give other people the benefit of the doubt.

Some don't want to donate to foundations because they accuse that these solicitations would be used by its management for its own enrichment. Instead, think of the beneficiaries of the cause that you could help.

Some refuse to share loose coins to street dwellers because they assume that these beggars would use it to support their vices. Instead, think of the person that you could have spared from hunger.

Some don't want to help other people whom they're not related to because they think that it would be a waste of energy. Instead, think of the new friend that you might win by helping a stranger.

Rid your mind from negative speculations. Instead, try to make a good impact.

You'll only pass this world once and you won't be able to bring your material wealth in the afterlife.

Let the world remember you with a legacy of how you touched other people’s lives.

Yes, it's always better to give than to receive. Fulfillment comes to those who extend help.

“The measure of a life after all is not its duration, but its donation." (Corrie Ten Boom)


Your title of priority

On a career-defining workday, my colleague unexpectedly didn't report to the office.

Unfortunately, he had to absent himself to rush his ailing father to the hospital despite the need to deliver a critical presentation that would determine his promotion. I could testify to the grueling weeks that he went through to perfect his presentation. And yet, he still prioritized personal affair over work.

Was it the right thing to do?

In life, it's important to set your priorities and determine which title holds the most weight for you:

His decision was very admirable because he knew that the title "Son" was more valuable than the “Manager” title, which he could have gained if he succeeded to please the company.

In determining the title of your precedence, make this question as your basis:
Who do you live for?
Is it your boss? or your loved ones?

Some people commit the mistake of prioritizing work more than anything; to the point that they are even willing to miss rare family gatherings for a regular business meeting, forgetting that the reason why people work hard is to provide the best future for their loved ones.

While your boss only values your contribution to the company, your family will unconditionally stick with you through the toughest of times.

Monetary compensation will never commensurate to the precious time spent with loved ones. No matter how much you earn, it would never be enough to get you a time machine.

Every title is important. Which is your priority?


Never stop growing

You can't be a licensed doctor without enduring a grueling decade of scholastic work.
You can't have a Swarchenegger built without pumping heavy irons and sticking to a strict dietary program.
You can't scale Mount Everest without braving a treacherous track of 29,000 feet.

You need to give up something to go up.

In order to obtain something that you never had, you must be willing to sacrifice and do something that you've never done before.

If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll only get what you've always gotten. (John Maxwell)

If you're already good in your craft, grow and maintain your status by adjusting to the changing environment. Keep yourself conversant with the innovations. Attend seminars and read books (if you're in a tight budget) to update yourself in your field of expertise.

Never stop growing. Plateaus should only be found in geography, not in personal experience.

"Restlessness is discontent, and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure." (Thomas Edison)


Welcome to KIANthology.blogspot.com!
- Kristian "Kian" Anderson R. Santos.