Category Archives: Inspire

The Augustinian Accountant’s Creed

I wrote this ten years ago as a way of reminding my students of the “worthy ideals” that they must strive for as “a Christian, a Filipino and an Augustinian.”

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To Find A Way

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

But first we must find a way.

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10,000 Hours = “Genius”

This is like an echo of what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers.  As I pointed out in an earlier post, Gladwell gave, as examples, Bill Gates, Bill Joy and the Beatles and how they put in 10,000 hours to succeed in what they do.

To quote part of this article by David Brooks in The NY Times:

It’s not I.Q., a generally bad predictor of success, even in realms like chess. Instead, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their craft.

He also cites two books which I hope to read in the future: Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code” and Geoff Colvin’s “Talent Is Overrated”.  I read a review of the latter book in one issue of Fortune magazine last year.  Colvin wrote that what makes Tiger Woods a huge success is not innate talent but deliberate practice (and, according to Brooks,  a father intent on improving his skills).  He reportedly would put a golf ball in a sandtrap and practice from that spot for hours.

Brooks conclude this short article with this …

Public discussion is smitten by genetics and what we’re “hard-wired” to do. And it’s true that genes place a leash on our capacities. But the brain is also phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behavior. As Coyle observes, it’s not who you are, it’s what you do.

So the first order of the day is to muster enough discipline to start the first hour towards building up to 10,000 hours.

Why Not?

Today, a niece posed this question on Facebook after noting that she has to be productive because she has only two more weeks of summer left, “what to do, what to do?”  My answers: 1- read a good book or books, 2- go somewhere you’ve never been before, 3- volunteer for a good cause.  Her reply to no. 3 was, “any suggestions?”

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Beyond Borders

Lifted from this site.

www.beyondborders.net
Working for social justice in Haiti from a Christian foundation, Beyond Borders addresses the rampancy of Haitian child domestic slavery (known as the restavek system, French Creole for “one who lives with.”) A common practice in Haiti — a short two-hour flight from Miami — is for traffickers to travel into the countryside and invite children to return with them to the city with the promise of education. Instead, the children often work in other families’ homes, cleaning, doing laundry, preparing meals, and sometimes they’re left with table scraps to eat and nowhere to sleep except on cement floors with no blankets. Coordinator David Diggs says Beyond Borders works to enlighten rural populations to the injustices of the restavek with media outreach, sustainable agriculture education and “model community” programs that retrieve children who have been sent away and return them to their homes in an aim to inspire surrounding communities to make the same effort.

Because education can help protect an underprivileged person against coercion into slavery, Beyond Borders celebrates literacy and encourages the public’s participation in their Read-a-thon fundraiser, where students seek sponsorship for a particular amount of time reading. (Visit the Get Involved section of their website.) A new program is Beyond Borders’s Work-a-thon to end child slavery, which engages youth and college students to participate in community service while also raising funds from sponsors. The funds support their Haitian education efforts and their work for Haitian children and families.

Email David Diggs (dadiggs_at_gmail.com) for information on how to participate in the Work-a-thon program.

The Last Lecture

I’m making a pre-reading  (i.e. scanning) of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  I became interested in this guy when I saw him on Oprah where they also showed a short video clip of him delivering his last lecture.  Randy died shortly after that.

I flipped through the book before buying it and I landed on this chapter that’s entitled “Start By Sitting Together”.  I’m quoting the relevant parts:

Being able to work well in a group is a vital and necessary skill in both the work world and in families.  …

(His) tips … Try for optimal meeting conditions. Meet over a meal if you can; food softens a meeting. Let everyone talk. Don’t finish someone’s sentences.  And talking louder or faster doesn’t make your idea any better.  Check egos at the door: When you discuss ideas, label them and write them down.  The label should be descriptive of the idea, not the originator: the “bridge story”, not “Jane’s story”.  Praise each other: Find something nice to say, even if it’s a stretch.  The worst ideas can have silver linings if you look hard enough.

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