Write Your Growth Story


What’s your story of transformation? What’s your story of breakthrough?

One of my favorite growth stories is my transformation from ‘shy to shine’ which I share in my book SPEAK and in my SPEAK 2.0 Workshop (Public Speaking Fundamentals for Employees & Entrepreneurs).

Another is how I have grown from that little innocent boy from the mountains of Kibungan to the person I am today.

Never did I realize that what was once a dream is now a lifestyle –- giving talks and trainings, writing books, and serving as a leader in organizations I belong to.

I still remember the moments when my mother would bring me along with her everytime she attends an event. The emcee would introduce the speaker. As we applaud the speaker who is walking to the stage, I would whisper, “Someday, I would be like that guy.”

When I see a good-looking man in an executive scene, I would whisper, “Someday, I would be like that guy.”

When I attend trainings or conferences, and as I listen to the speakers, I would whisper, “Someday, I would be like that guy.”

I didn’t know when it would happen. I didn’t know how it would happen. I didn’t even know if it will happen. But to this day, that scene, that image in my mind has been fulfilled several times. And I am thankful how God has been blessing me
and has been nurturing my growth story.

All this is grace. But we still would like to know, how does growth happen? How do you help yourself grow? How do you make it happen?

Combining my three decades of experience and learning from great men and women, I attempted to codify how growth happens. Today, let me share with you what I call the Growth Code.

The Growth Code presents three fruits: growth in competence, growth in confidence, and growth in compass (values and vision).

The seed to be planted that shall bear these fruits is YOU — who you are, what you have, what you know, what you can do, and what you aspire to be.

To plant your seed, you need a good soil and nutrients which shall come in the form of people (circles of support and stretch), program, and platform.

Finally, to nurture the seed and reap the fruits, you need a farming guide — actualization, attendance, and alignment.

Even though I am not yet perfect in applying the Growth Code, I have started to gain some fruits from it.

Looking at my previous self, I say that I have grown in competence and confidence particularly as a trainer, speaker, and author. I have been speaking to different audiences across the country. Last May, I spoke to 1,500 local government accountants in their national conference. (The previous years, they had celebrity speakers like Miriam Quaimbao-Roberto and Anthony Pangilinan on their stage.) I have written four books to date. And I intend to write more books to serve you more.

With the growth in competence and confidence is the growth in compass (in values and vision). These accomplishments were not without struggles. There were some challenges with people and personalities, with the planning and implementation.

But those struggles helped me clarify what my values are and what my vision is.

For example, in the past, I put more value to rules before more than anything, now I am learning to value relationships more (even if I still fail on this these days); in my younger years, I tried to seek the false face of perfection, now I am learning to seek steady progress instead; and as a small boy, I dreamt of becoming a famous person, now I simply aspire to give value to the society through my books, talks, and trainings.

Thanks to this process called growth!

I do not take credit for all these. What made me reap these fruits are the soil and nutrients that I met the process.

I thank Francis Kong for opening my eyes to the wider world of public speaking. I thank Bo Sanchez for teaching me a lot about leadership, money, relationships, and faith.

I thank international influencers like John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Simon Sinek, Joel Osteen, Brendon Burchard, and many others for helping me shape my thinking.

I thank my actual and virtual community for nurturing me, providing me resources, and giving me opportunities to develop and share my gift.

I thank Toastmasters, where I am surrounded by people who become my circles of support and stretch — they cheer for me and challenge me to aspire for something greater while being grounded with the right values.

Here, I am glad to have access to well-developed programs that are available to members worldwide. Here, I am given a platform to practice my creative pieces in a friendly and safe environment where an eager learner receives constructive feedback to level up.

But the good soil and nutrients in the form of people, programs, and platform will not help your seed grow and bear fruit without you abiding by what I call the farming guides:

Farming Guide 1 is Actualization. Actualization means to realize in action. You have to put the theory to its tangible form, the philosophy to practices, the idea to implementation. Bo Sanchez said it powerfully, “Education without execution is extinction.” You have to actualize.

Farming Guide 2 is Attendance. Attendance, as defined by Oxford Dictionary, is ‘state of going regularly to’. Let me repeat, going regularly. Not once in a while, not occasionally, but regularly. You have to be in attendance. You have to go to your platform regularly, access your programs regularly, and attend gatherings of your people regularly. Attendance can even outrun ability. What if you even combine the two? So, I repeat, be in attendance.

Farming Guide 3 is Alignment. Alignment in what you do to what your vision and values are is essential. Say No to projects that are not aligned to who you are and/or to where you are. It is just right to say No to good things so you can say Yes to better things. It is Ok to let go of other projects to grow the right projects.

With these farming guides, nurture the seed you plant in good soil with the good nutrients, expect good fruits will come in due time: growth in competence, growth in confidence, and growth in compass.

Let us help each other. Let us grow together.

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