Be Bold, and Mighty Forces will Come to Your Aid – Alexander the Great
By Camilla D. Fernandez
BACK in my Junior High School, I remember myself standing on a platform in front of hundreds of people. At that moment, my heart raced like I was about to jump off a cliff, since I was not really into public speaking. Surprisingly, I did it! No, I did not run nor jumped off a cliff, I did the exact thing I was supposed to do. I was alone on that stage holding a little script with my very own speech written on it, while recalling the lessons I’ve learned on YouTube – the proper ways of delivering a speech. I kept my composure and boldly raised my voice to drive home my speech despite all the anxieties within me. Yes, the delivery was a complete success!
It was followed by another unforgettable experience I had when I was in my 8th grade, I joined “The Catalyst Project” with my brother Shawn, and two more friends from Pangasinan National High School (PNHS). The project enabled students from different backgrounds to usher in new ideas and help their communities with sustainable solutions. This nationwide pitching social activity for startup projects had as an objective, to engage the youth— students from public and private schools in a dialogue— to identify the needs of the society and their potential solutions. Our team was so honored for being chosen as the representative of our own province, and as one of the five winners amongst other Manila-based schools in the said event. Our team presented an innovative idea called “Pantal: Ilog ng Buhay” this project encapsulated the regard on the environment, technology, and industry. It was held in the old Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Information and Communication Technology Organization (ICTO) Complex at UP Diliman.
The opportunity was thrilling and I could not contain my agitation getting the kudos sent my way! It wasn’t easy for me, I doubted myself then that I couldn’t present that project proposal in front of a large audience. Most of us today may experience doubting our abilities to do what others can. In reality, we all have the capacity to do it! When a sudden opportunity to progress with your skills don’t disregard it fearing failure. Don’t feel like others are better than us, that we are not qualified to be successful. These negative thoughts kill thousands of opportunities for advancement!
In the end, I did my presentation well and the team succeeded! It was an honor to receive a positive feedback! To quote IBM’s Martin Gomez, co-founder “the mentors and panelists (are) most impressed with your kids’ project. Very feasible.” Another co-founder Lorenzo Mangubat of Intel in Portland, Oregon who was hooked thru the telecast, also gave good recommendations and his group said, “We pledge full support! They (Team Pangasinan) have to do the final report so we can do a final pitch deck for investors.” I am so glad that they like our idea and had this wonderful experience. The potential of being mentored by alumni from Stanford, MIT, University of Illinois, National University of Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University was quite an honor too. Eventually, we submitted it to our Dagupan City Mayor for the opportunity to help our communities especially the young ones like us with this project!
I have encountered some of my fellow Millennials with full of complaints in life, I read their rants and negative posts in social media; while others share or re-post quotes of hopelessness and sadness based on their experiences. I do understand them, because I do feel the same too sometimes, but staying in that stance is not my cup of tea. It could only lead to depression and possibly, suicide. Life goes on and so do we. We must help and encourage each other, especially young ones to have a positive view in life, and keep that mindset.
On the other hand, I love engaging stories of meek individuals who struggled with many diversities of hardships, yet still afford to be positive in life. Just like what Jack Ma says: “When you’re optimistic, it’s always opportunity.” Like him, we may also fail several times, but do not give up! He came from being a failure to being a successful technopreneur he is now. The numbers of failures do not matter, it is on how many times we get up. You see we grow every time we try new experience either it comes out to be good or bad as long as we are learning from it. Learning is lifelong journey. Seize every good open opportunity comes our way. You will never know you can do it unless you try it. Keep moving forward. Continue learning, be bold, never give up and remember, always stay optimistic.
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