Chin-Ning Chu’s The Art of War for Women

20140119-230412.jpg
I was having internal struggles/conflicts the past weeks/months that I decided to start my year with this book, ‘The Art of War for Women’ by Chin-Ning Chu.

I bought fifteen new books before the year started and out of those new treasures, this seemed to be the most appropriate at this time – ‘It’s about the Art, not the War’ it says.

So here are 32 valuable lessons I picked up from this book that I hope will help those who, like me, are facing/dealing some challenging things or tough times with their work/career:

1.You have to give up your attachment to clear-cut realities and instead embrace the whole spectrum of colors and paradox and ambiguity

I learned this early on during my salesman career – attach, detach. But it never gets easy.

2.Don’t look for rules or consistency. The only rule is, there are no rules

While I long have accepted that there are always exceptions to the rules, it’s quite hard for me to accept that there is none. Rules always give that sense of direction.

3.When you do the right thing for the right reason, the right result awaits

4.’Having it all’ means something different to different people

5.Always find a new job before you quit your old one

I have this principle when it comes to relationship and work not to look for another one when I’m still involve with one. I usually wait until it’s all over and done with the previous one before hopping on to the next. But it’s never successful – I always end up staying. Playing safe, it seems is the surest way to go.

6.Sell yourself first. Until you have convinced the world that you are worthy of great things, don’t expect to be given much responsibility

7.You need to take a giant step back. Understanding the opposition begins with understanding yourself

8.Live every workday as if it were your last day on the job, and you’ll be amazed at how focused and confident you’ll be

9.If you get hurt enough, eventually you learn

Hardest way but the surest way! ūüôā Nothing beats this one – tried and tested.

10.A unique resume requires some soul-searching

11.Win first, then fight.

12. Victory is not in your control but rather the gift of your enemy

13.No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you prepare, you will encounter things that you didn’t plan for – you will have to adapt

14.The battle plan will change as your opponents grow stronger. What will remain is you

15.Be nice to yourself first. Let the rest of humanity take care of themselves

16.You cannot climb the corporate ladder with glass slippers on; for that you need combat boots. It takes a warrior to climb a ladder – the point is, we need to choose

17.Notice the signals of timing hidden all around

18.The truth is less important than what your opponents believe to be true

19. You need to call on that power of perseverance when things are not going your way

20.We all need to simmer from time to time

21.Women from Mars never get to the top

22.There is something that all Venus women forget: there is always a younger Venus waiting to replace her

23.Earth women succeed

24.If you know how to handle one person, then undoubtedly you can manage a million people as a single unit

25. No good can come of praising or punishing people when they don’t deserve it – you need to impose discipline appropriately

26.The hotter the position, the hotter the seat

27. Why fight if you don’t have to?

28.You do not always know why people do what they do; they just do it

29. The courage to finish the job, that’s the killer instinct

30.Not every battle is worth the fight

31.When you play with fire, you get burned

32.The secret is endurance – change what you can, endure what you cannot

Reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Valkyries in the Spirit of Christmas: Love, Courage and God’s Glory

In my attempt to make this celebration a meaningful one, beyond spending it with family and dearies, I decided to open this gift to self book I have long bought and is reserving for special occasion or for right moment to read and to explore.

I was first caught with this question on the first paragraph: ‘Something that is of great importance to me?’

And then the book ended up talking of love – true love, of courage to win and of angels. And reading it at this time when Jesus was born, I kind of connected these words J. said to Paulo in this occasion:

You have died and been reborn many times. All you have to do is remember

We do this yearly. We remember God’s love every 25th of December when he gave us Jesus. And then we become merry and joyous because we know we are loved and we are blessed. But what else do we need to remember?

It is for love, for victory and for the glory of God

LOVE

‘Love of God and of others shows us the way. Accept all that is wrong about us – and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life – little by little our defects will disappear, because one who is happy can look at the world only with love

COURAGE

Have courage! Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. Follow those dreams, because only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God

GOD’S GLORY

You will still have many problems in your life, some of them normal, some of them difficult. But from now on, only God’s hand will be responsible for everything – you will interfere no more

God has the right to destroy me. I do not

If all these are that easy and simple, why is this question so disturbingly enlightening: Why do we always kill the things that we love?

And here are the words from Paulo in an attempt to make sense of it – of killing the things we love:

Because (we) are desperately in need of help. (We) have won important things for (ourselves), but we are going to destroy them, because we tell (ourselves) that they have lost their meaning. (We) know it’s not true. (We) know they are still important, and if (we) destroy them, (we’ll) be destroying ourselves as well … it’s just that the unknown was becoming too familiar to (us)

And Valhalla’s words:

Everyone has at some point in our lives, enter into such an agreement (not to win when victory is possible) … before long, (we) had destroyed all meaning in (our) lives because (we) just didn’t care about (ourselves) anymore

And it all boils down to finding meaning in our life – to answering the why’s? Why are we doing some things? Why are we celebrating this occasion? Why do we love and still believe in angels?

I kind of see myself in Rhoda who ‘have loved many … but spurned true love’.

And in Valhalla herself who, compared to Chris, Paulo’s wife, Valhalla ‘knew the arts of war by heart but had forgotten the lessons of love, knew the five rules of victory and had slept with every man she desires but she had forgotten the art of love’

May we all have a meaningful celebration this Christmas and may we not forget to spread love and light to all we come across with!

Some things are so important that you have to learn them on your own

20131226-020007.jpg

Book Clip: Page 204 of ‘After Dark’

‘someday you’ll find the right person…and you’ll learn to have a lot more confidence in your self…so don’t settle for anything less. In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount’

20131017-221337.jpg

Tonight I’ll Be Escaping with Haruki Murakami’s ‘After Dark’

‘the world is broad, myths are universal – and that while we sleep, the world out there is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways’

20131015-210634.jpg
There’s something inexplicably exciting about opening a new book ‚̧ butterflies in my belly, lots of beautiful images running through my head – i know i'll be stepping into someplace great beyond my imagination every time.

So tonight I'll let Haruki Murakami take me to his world, ‘After Dark’

Crash Course in Sales: The Law of Influence

The true measure of leadership is influence – John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I was organizing my photos in my phone when I chance upon this newspaper clipping from our GM, Boss NMT. And then I remembered how he influenced me in a good lot of ways.

20130609-185804.jpg

1. It’s so easy for him to throw a compliment.

I was new in Frabelle then when one afternoon, when I was remitting my collection, he suddenly uttered, ‘magaling ka palang magsulat. I’ve read your blog. It’s been an unexpected motivating pressure that I welcomed ever since that I replicate when I was also given a chance to have people under me. I made sure to always recognize and compliment small or big successes of our team.

2. He’s thoughtful in his gifts.

My love for reading came back when during our very first Rara in Sales on our first month of selling, he gave out ‘Straight from the Heart’ prayer books for the dealers but since I was the only girl in that group that time, I was given my own copy as well. And then I’ve been lucky enough to be given more books by him during important sales celebrations: The Greatest Salesman in the World 2 and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Then I made sure I have lots of books (opened and unopened) in my car every time so that when any situation calls for it, I have a ready gift for my dearies, on the spot. One can never go wrong with good books.

3. He has unwavering commitment to having high standards when it comes to quality and execution that made me love my chosen profession even more.

He knows when to challenge the team and he knows when to say the right words when the team needed it the most. He takes time to really share what he has read that he thinks will help the team. So I, in turn, make time as well to download those to my team and to really put high value to the standards he had set for the Company.

Our interaction may be short but his influence lingers – a great leader, indeed, one of my inspirations. I was also able to save some of his texts:

‘Found this quote today (author unknown): ‘A diamond is simply a lump of coal that did well under pressure’ Go T**D******* team! Hoo-haah’

‘Nice. That’s what admirable about your work attitude. Keep it up Rikki. :)’

‘I’m glad you found the book meaningful. I wish it will influence you positively as much as it has helped me develop personally and professionally. Keep up the good work. Keep the faith and fortitude. Happy New Year! :)’

THANK YOU, Boss Noel!

‘No matter what anybody else may tell you, remember that leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less’ – John C. Maxwell

20130616-020850.jpg

RikkiTickTalkin’: Transformations

If there are two things I like least going to a bookstore, it’s losing sense of time and losing touch of the real world.

Hours after that visit to the wonderful world of letters and texts this afternoon, I find myself still floating – not literally, of course – just floating, as if on a high.

The feeling is wonderful. My mind’s restless but my inner being is experiencing pure bliss. And it’s scary and it’s great at the same time being able to connect deeply to each story as if those words are my own and those experiences are all mine – you know, as if life is just the same for every one (in a hard-to-explain way).

Call it timely or with divine intervention (oh, by the way, I am a strong fanatic of signs and stars :p), I happen to see this planner of Paulo Coehlo which has quotes from his book Aleph (see how crazy life sometimes is, I’m addicted to all these – planner, Paulo, Aleph) and its theme for this year is Transformations (coincidence?). Great.

I was just seriously contemplating this afternoon on ‘Be(ing) the best version of (my)self’ at 360 Fitness Club and I was just thinking drastically this morning improving all aspects of my life until I saw this – a good push perhaps.

The world is being created and destroyed in this very moment. Whoever you met will reappear, whoever you lost will return. Don’t betray the grace that was bestowed on you. Understand what is going on inside you and you wil understand what is going on inside everyone else

Maybe this is what is really going on inside me – I’m changing every single time without consciously knowing it and so is everyone else. But I’ve to make a reality check and yeah, I’ve to hurry.

20130302-210623.jpg

Just a Phase: Points in Paulo Coelho’s Aleph

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho’s book Aleph¬†¬†and it left me smiling how the Universe seemed to conspire for me to get hold of it.

I was at that ‘phase’ when I am decided to throw everything away again for a reason I myself was not convinced – self fulfillment gone empty.

I was praying and praying but instead of finding justifications for my rather impulsive decision, the more I was being shown that I have all the reasons to stay and to continue my success story for the very simple reason that everything is a blessing from Him and I am, in return, is being a blessing to others especially to my family and to the people around me.

I came across this book one Saturday, when I promised my¬†ate that I’ll take care of my nieces’ school needs¬†(It’s the start of the school year here in the Philippines and kids really look forward to the day they’ll shop for their new bags, shoes, school supplies, etc.).¬†

My boss, having the biggest heart I’ve ever known, allowed me to leave work earlier than usual to realize this promise I made to my dearies who came all the way from our province in Quezon for this. I met them at SM Megamall and I’m so happy the whole time because it reminds me of me and my ate’s childhood days that even if it is so tiring, carrying my nieces JC and RJ most of the time, I feel like I’m being a big sister to my ate¬†taking care of her kids.

When we were already at the National Bookstore for the kids’ school supplies, I saw the store’s current best sellers and this Aleph¬†is the number one. I have no plans buying a book that time knowing that I do not have time for that these days but something told me I needed it without even looking at the back part to know what this book is all about so I included it in our purchase.

Exactly a week after that, I have finished reading the book. ¬†Funny thing is, it is also the same day as my supposedly last day. Was I able to reclaim my kingdom the whole time I was going on with Paulo’s journey to finding where he wants to be, doing what he wants to do?

When I talk of right time, I talk of these points I got from Paulo and Hilal’s Aleph that made me realize we all go through phases like this at some point in our life, but reading this when I am exactly at this phase … it’s not just timely, I know this is divine.

So here are the 26 points in their journey that made me feel like I am reading my very own life notes in my 26 years of existence:

1. Now and then I go through periods of inner conflict that can persist for months … long enough to keep me frustrated because I can’t absorb everything I learn.

2. When a sense of dissatisfaction persists, it was placed there by God for one reason only: you need to change everything and move forward

3. Here I am trying to persuade myself that I always give the best of myself, and nature is telling me exactly the opposite: anyone truly committed to life never stops walking

4. We will always need to be humble enough to accept that our hearts know why we are here… We simply have to trust and follow the signs and live our Personal Legend;¬†

5. If I believe I will win, then victory will believe in me. No life is complete without a touch of madness.

6. I learned long ago that in order to heal my wounds, I must have the courage to face up to them. I also learned to forgive myself and correct my mistakes.

7. We need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our souls will illuminate what we need to see.

8. Routine has nothing to do with repetition. To become really good at anything, you have to practice and repeat, practice and repeat, until the technique becomes intuitive

 9. What hurts us is what heals us

10. Dreamers can never be tamed

11. We learn in the past but we are not the result of that. We suffered in the past, loved in the past, cried and laughed in the past, but that’s of no use to the present. The present has its challenges, its good and bad side. We can neither blame ¬†nor be grateful to the past for what is happening now. Each new experience of love has nothing whatsoever to do with past experiences. It’s always new.

12. People aren’t used to that way of thinking. They want everything to stay the same ¬†– and the consequence of that is pain.

13. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own responsibility.

¬†14. It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory … visit your soul; don’t visit your past

15. We are both creators and creatures, but we are also puppets in God’s hands, and there is a line we cannot cross, a line that was drawn for reasons we cannot know.

16. Being alone may make me more vulnerable but it makes me more open, too

17. Train your heart. That is the discipline every warrior needs. If you can control your heart, then you will defeat your opponent

18. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call on an infinite variety of responses

19. The search for peace is a form of prayer that generates light and heat. Forget about yourself for a while and understand that in that light lies wisdom and in that heat lies compassion

20. We can never wound the soul … , but we can become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched even when we have everything we need in order to be happy

21. Let us concentrate all our efforts on achieving Perfection through the imperfect gestures of everyday life. True wisdom means respecting the simple things we do, for they can take us where we need to go.

22. Going back into the past and reopening old wounds is neither easy nor particularly important.

23. A warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does  and not from what he imagines himself doing

24.Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near

25. That’s what makes life interesting – believing in treasures and in miracles

26. Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love

At the end of my reading, I found light and I found myself getting out of that phase and found myself moving forward again to realizing my dreams by being here – in the present.

My friend L’s right, this is just a phase and true to what she said that this, too, shall pass – this has passed and I’m so back spreading my love. Hope you find your Aleph, too.

Love, Rikki.