3 Steps To Finding Success And Happiness In One’s Life

After reading Fallen Angel’s latest article, I find myself wondering just why is it that so many Pinoys love basketball and singing even though they never really excel in either of those. Truth be told, when observed carefully, Filipinos are actually kind of smart. Maybe not genius-level smart like the Germans are but a standard Filipino can probably speak and or understand at least two languages (although their skills in English are now fading thanks to Tagalized programming) and most Filipinos usually have sound street-smarts if it isn’t tainted or corrupted by the stupidity of organized religion and the media. Unfortunately, almost always, stupidity wins them over in the end and they become like any other stupid Pinoy whose only real goal is to breed like a rat.

But hey, it’s Christmas, I think I’m gonna lay off of bashing for now. Yes, today the Great Bringer of Pain is going to hold off on teaching you the meaning of pain and having it in abundance. Today, I will instead teach you how to avoid a lot of unnecessary pain. Yes ladies and gentlemen, think of this as a Christmas gift from GRP’s Undead Templar.

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Find What You LOVE

Truth be told, one of the biggest problems in the Philippines is that we are told to like things instead of being able to find what we actually want. As a comparison, I’ll tell you another episode from my past.

As a young boy, my father would go on and on about how I should be playing basketball with all the other boys in school which I never seemed to do. I was always more of a soccer and gridiron kind of a guy and I went utterly insane with the release of Games Workshop’s Blood Bowl. Still, my father would insist to me how much I was missing by not watching, playing and enjoying basketball and that I could only be considered a “man” by Filipino standards if I watched, played and enjoyed basketball.

My grandfather, on the other hand, always told me to find what truly made me happy and, more often than not, that took the form of listening, reading or telling a story. Both my mother and grandfather were always willing to tell me a story, buy me a good storybook to read (and buy me paperback novels later on in life) and, most importantly, listen to the stories that I thought up myself. Of course, back then, the stories I told were all fairly silly what with beings like Emperor Zen the talking newt and other such shenanigans. Still, I look back on those golden years fondly when there was a place for everything and everything was in its place.

Now, before I go on, I’d like to ask just how many other parents out there are more like my dad. If you’re just doing something because your parents or your friends tell you to like it, I can guarantee that you’ll never really prosper or find happiness in what you do. You will only find happiness and prosperity if you find and do something you truly love be it sports, storytelling, singing, dancing, inspirational speaking or burping.

DO What You Love

Okay, another problem here in the Philippines is that if you excel too much, some people will think of you as boastful. My response to this is how can you be boastful if you find happiness in what you do? Is it boastful, for instance, if you simply do what you do best, be it playing basketball, soccer, gridiron, mixed martial arts or figure skating? Would it be boastful for me to ask people, old and young alike to gather around me under a tree or beside a campfire to listen to a good story?

Look ladies and gentlemen, all I’m saying is that you should do what you love. I think the reason why we suck at stuff like basketball or singing is because we do those things out of peer pressure and not because we really want to do them. Going back to my statements above, what could’ve happened if I had just played basketball like my father told me to instead of pursuing a life of collecting and telling stories.

Now, other contributors like Gogs and Fallen Angel mention that basketball is a tall man’s sport and is why Filipinos don’t really excel in it. Now, I partly agree with them, but only partly. I think the real reason we don’t excel in said sport is because I think a lot of the players grew up under similar circumstances such as I. With parents who decide what their children like instead of taking the time to listen and understand what their kids really like. I’m pretty sure a lot of these players might say that they’re happy with what they do and who they appear to be but the story might be a little different with sufficient introspection. I tend to think that behind closed doors, some of these players may want to be something else and just joined out of a desire to please their family and friends.

Okay, I’m really no expert on the basketball scene, but I have a friend who’s a model and a frequent beauty contestant but was willing to confide to me that she’d rather be an athlete, a kickboxer to be specific. Unfortunately, her mother had other plans for her and would have none of her daughter’s arguments about learning a martial art as she wanted her to marry a wealthy and preferably foreign husband. I did not really know how to respond at the time and while I didn’t like to see her beautiful face damaged in any way, I would have been much happier to see her with a grin of joyful triumph with one arm being raised by a referee and a broken and bloody opponent at her feet.

LOVE What You Do

This is a little more tricky but, once you start doing the things that you love, everything else will come easily. Because unless you learn to love what you do, you will never really excel in it. At the end of the day, you’ll just end up having to go through old routines that you’ll end up hating and that you’ll just hate yourself in the end for the choices you’ve made.

Besides, when you put love in what you do, it will be all the more greater. I think that’s why a good home-cooked meal made by your parents, spouse or any family member will always taste better than any generic, quickly-prepared meal. It’s why a hand-made souvenir so much more beautiful than one made by some kind of automated machine in a factory.

Again, when you do something you truly love, you should put your heart into it because if you do it just for money or because someone tells you to, you will find yourself making sub-par or disappointing products.

14 Replies to “3 Steps To Finding Success And Happiness In One’s Life”

  1. Dude, your suggestions on the key to happiness may as well have been mouthed off by some Dale Carnegie-wannabe con man.”Do what you love”? Are you kidding? Might as well throw in the rest like “honesty is the best policy” and “time is gold”. And you’re suggesting that feelgood crap in a place where people don’t have any other options except survival? For once you’re the one who needs to get a grip and get real.

    1. People have plenty of options except survival. The reason they’re in survival mode is:

      1) they spend 30% of their time being jealous of other people and trying to cut them down to size

      2) They spend the other 30% of their time whining about how shit everything is, instead of trying to make things better

      3) They spend the remaining 40% doing utterly useless things, like sweeping dust around the yard, making big piles of leaves to set on fire, and growing rice.

      Anyone who’s in survival mode for his entire life has plainly forgotten to make any plans for tomorrow, and next week, and next year, to get OUT of survival mode.

  2. If Failipinos in the Failippines were employed at creating heaven on earth, everybody would be happy; instead each Failipino is creating his/her own heaven by creating hell for others.

  3. Do what you love to do; and do it, the best that you can…this will produce magical results.

    Whatever field: in Science,Technology, Sports, Arts, Business, Writing, Blogging, etc…

    It is the secret of successful people. They enjoy working the field, they have chosen to work in.

    “Genius is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration”, they usually say !

    “Whatever man can conceive, it can be achieved”, they also say…

    Most Filipinos are passive people. They let/watch things happen…most are not doer type !


  4. To Grimwald,

    Very inspiring message and I can relate to a degree.

    My parents never pressured me into anything that was the norm, they always encourage me on what I wanted.
    My dad never mentioned basketball to me and even though I am a wimp who couldn’t even score 2 points during a normal game, he was happy that i was doing well in school academically, my dad always told me growing up, that the basketball thing would only work when you are at your prime (20 -30) he told me you wouldn’t survive with that kind of career.

    My mother was a supporter of anything I was passionate about that I even gave playing the violin a try because I wanted too.

    About peer pressure, well since i was an early bully victim, I never experienced being close to any one my age and I discovered and explore what I like whether it would be reading books,stories or playing video games. I never cave in to peer pressure because I tended to be a lone wolf type at first which somehow made me read more about self help books.

    This is very inspirational in this christmas season, hey to Grimwald! maybe one day we can exchange stories and ideas.

  5. I think that this is not only applicable to sports/pastimes etc etc but also to employment. If one chooses a job/career that one is interested in, then one will be more successful and have a generally, much happier life than just doing anything that pays money. I have always tried to inspire my children to follow career paths that they would like to do, as it is they who will be leading that life, not myself & my wife.

  6. very few people are fortunate enough to be passionate about a chosen vocation – most of the rest of us wind up as wage slaves and must learn to accept our fate.
    there are 2 films that have impressed me greatly, about succeeding at life through repeated frustration and failure, O Lucky Man and The Pursuit of Happyness; the one unforgettable scene toward the end of O Lucky Man is when the director, Lyndsay Anderson, hits the main actor Malcolm Macdowell with a telephone book and barks at him, “SMILE!”
    and after another few slaps, he does, and the movie ends in a joyful dance of celebration.
    No pain, no gain.

    1. “fortunate”: reminds me of a (probably apocryphal) quote attributed to several different people:

      “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.

  7. Hi Grimwald,
    My assessment is that individual Filipinos are smart. When they gather as a collective, however, the overall intelligence of the group goes down.

    The main obstacle to finding and doing what you love here in the Philippines is that Filipinos stick stubbornly to “designated roles” across genders and other various categories. For example, if you’re a man, you are expected to be macho, and have at least one girl in each arm. If you’re a woman, you are still expected to be modest, demure, and obedient to men, etc. While these “roles” and stereotypes are crumbling bit by bit, they’re largely still there.

    The primary focus in Filipino society is going with the flow. Unfortunately, this also means that if you don’t like the things everyone else does, society judges you as if you were an undesirable.

    What complicates things is that, in Filipino society, finding what you want to do, and most especially doing things for one’s own satisfaction, are inevitably pushed to the back seat for escaping one’s current undesirable circumstances. No surprise that some of the most common retorts you will hear are: Kikita ba iyan? (will it earn), ano pakinabang niyan sa buhay mo (what use does that have in your life?) As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, the hardness of life in the Philippines restricts the options of most Filipinos.

    Filipinos, for the most part, have very little to no incentive to love what they do. Especially because they are focused on it as a means to an end, rather than the end itself. They also have very little incentive to provide better quality service to their fellow Filipinos, because their prevailing mentality is usually me-first.

    1. to Fallen Angel: re your first sentence “when they gather as a collective..the overall intelligence of the group goes down” –
      it reminds me of the famous comment by former NZ Prime Minister David Lange about Kiwis emigrating to Australia, that it boosts the IQ of both countries!

    2. Thanks for the reply.

      While I agree with you on the dysfunctional way Pinoys carry themselves, I’d prefer to hold on to my grandfather’s words of wisdom about “life is more than mere survival”. Now yes, you’re right about Pinoys being almost always on survival mode but the sad part is, few of them realize that that’s not all there is. Many of them forget or never even discover themselves in their struggle for survival.

      It’s sad really…

      1. Survival, I think, is not just about getting by through the days unscathed, it is also about not sliding into a previous state that is considered undesirable.

        Indeed, “life is more than mere survival”. 🙂 Humankind’s way of life, as we know it now, has afforded it what was once a luxury. No longer are humans in the hunter-gatherer societies of old; through the ages, we have been able to come together in flourishing civilizations, as well as make bold discoveries in various disciplines.

        Getting beyond survival takes imagination. It takes…courage to envision something that is uncertain, unclear, and definitely full of risks. It is not something that Filipinos have been capable of showing collectively at this point.

        Therein lies the challenge for Filipinos – the challenge to imagine something beyond what they are capable of seeing right now.

  8. The candle problem is one proof that people actually become more creative when they’re genuinely motivated regardless of external or material rewards..

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