Why You Don’t Need Awards Or A College Degree To Be Successful In Life

A couple of days ago, I wrote a Facebook status about how many Pinoy parents put a lot of pressure on their kids to pursue awards, honor medals, and a diploma. As of this writing, the post has received over 7,000 Likes and has been shared by more than 3,000 readers. That’s just in less than 2 days. (26,000+ likes and 14,400+ shares on the 3rd day)

It’s a very long article but many say that they have read every word that was written. Probably because it was something that they can relate to.

College Diploma With Cap And Tassel

It’s about a culture of being entitled and not being left behind by peers and the community. A culture that has caused many Filipino families a lot of unpaid debts, selling of most precious treasures and assets, and anxieties both among parents and children.

Our parents have told us that we need to finish studies so that we could have a better future. And that is very true especially here in the Philippines. It will be very difficult to find a good job if you did not graduate or at least reached college level.

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But that culture and belief is something that I do not agree with. I personally believe that a college degree or even the awards we received back in elementary or high school are not pre-requisite in achieving success in life.

What this nation lacks are not employment opportunities.

What this nation lacks is people with true humility that is disattached to special treatment.

What this nation lacks is people with entrepreneurial mindset. People who believe that they can take the toughest blows and hardest jokes of life and survive stronger than before. People who believe that they don’t need to become employees forever to be successful in life.

To let you explain further, I am sharing here what I wrote on my Facebook status that went viral in just two days. Here’s the Facebook post:

“Top student ako with honors and awards simula Kindergarten hanggang Grade 2. Pero hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit nagpapagalingan ang mga magulang ng mga kaklase ko para sa kanilang mga anak. Pati mga teachers namimili at nabibili kung sino ang gagawin nyang top 1 o valedictorian sa klase namin.

Naalala ko, sobrang saya ng parents ko dahil salutatorian ako nung Kindergarten ako. Ang galing ng speech at tula na sinulat ng Papa ko para sa akin. Napa-wow ng matindi ang mga teachers at napataas ang kilay ng ibang magulang sa pagbigkas ko ng mga salita in American accent. Naalala ko din na umattend ako ng graduation ceremonies na yun na wala pala akong suot na underwear. Buti pinahiram ako ng pinsan kong babae ng panties niya habang nasa backstage dahil kung hindi, makikita ang birdie habang nagpeperform kami ng ati-atihan dance sa harap ng mga parents, teachers, at mga usisero.

Nung Grades 1 & 2 naman, lagi akong top 1 from first to 3rd quarter. Pero pagdating ng 4th quarter, laging naaagaw sa akin ang trono. Basta ang naaalala ko binubulungan ng parents ng top 2 classmate ko ang adviser namin halos araw-araw ng buong 4th quarter. BFFs sila kumbaga. Kaya siguro naging top 1 sya at top 2 lang ako pagdating sa 4th quarter.

Pagtuntong ko ng Grade 3, in-accept ako ng isang private school sa Batangas. Nilagay ako sa second to the highest section dahil transferee daw ako. Pero di ko rin ma-gets bakit nila ako nilagay sa second to the highest section. Eh wala din naman ako pake. Basta gusto ko lang makapanuod agad ng Batibot sa hapon pagkatapos ng klase.

Ganunpaman, nasa top ulit ako ng klase namin nun. Naging paborito nga ako ng adviser ko at ibang teachers dahil magaling daw ako sa English, Social Studies, Science, Pilipino, Home Economics, Values Education, P.E., Arts, Music. Yun nga lang, bopols talaga ako sa Math. Pero wala pa din ako pake. Gusto ko lang maglaro ako paguwi sa bahay at manuod ng Astroboy, He-Man, Mighty Man & Yuck, Dennis The Menace, G.I. Joe, at Thundercats. (Na-realize ko ngayon, Thundercat na nga yata ako.)

Pagtuntong ng Grade 4, naging OFW ang Mama ko. Nag-umpisa akong mawalan ng gana na maging “top” sa klase. Tapos si Papa sobrang depressed dahil sa pagkatanggal sa kanya ng Cory Aquino administration sa government job nya. Trabaho sa gobyerno na pinagsikapan naman nya. Hindi tulad ng ibang kasabayan nya na natanggap sa trabaho nung panahon ni Marcos dahil sa palakasan. Either kumpare si kung sinong Poncio Pilato na government official o General nung panahon nila.

Tuwing recess hindi ko kasama mga kaklase ko. Nandun ako sa playground mag-isa. Naalala ko ang tawag sa playground na yun eh “Taiwan”. Di ko na maalala kung bakit ganun ang tawag dun. Eh Batangas naman yun. (Pakipaliwanag na lang ulit, mga ka-batchmate ko sa ST.THERESAS ACADEMY BATCH 89,ELEMENTARY GRADUATE.)

Basta yun, nawalan ako ng gana na magpursige na maging mataas ang mga grades. Basta para sa akin pag-aaralan ko ang sa palagay ko na kailangan kong matutunan para pagtanda ko hindi na mag-aabroad magulang ko.

Fast forward to college…akala ko hindi ako makakatapos. Pagdating ng second semester ng 1st year ko sa college, namatay ang Papa ko. Lalong nagunaw ang mundo ko. Naisip ko nun, talaga nga yatang hindi ko mare-redeem at mauulit ang academic glory na nakamit ng Papa ko. Tumigil ako sa pag-aaral. Mabuti na lang tinulungan ako ng Lolo ko na mag-apply for scholarship sa hometown nya sa Pampanga. At nakapasa naman ako sa examinations at isa na naman ako sa top scorers. Kaya nakapagpatuloy at nakapagtapos ako ng pag-aaral ng Accountancy. Isa ako sa kulelat sa klase.

Ganunpaman, kahit kulelat sa klase, ako lang sa klase namin ang natanggap sa Deloitte noon, ang top 1 sa Big 4 accounting firms sa buong mundo. At ang isa ko pang kaibigan na kasama ko sa hulihan ng listahan sa aming klase ay natanggap naman sa SGV na nasa Big 4 din. Pero wala pa din ako pake. Tag-gutom pa din kase kami nun panahon na yun. Big 4 company employee ka nga, ang liit naman ng sweldo.

Ang haba na ng istorya ko pero hindi mo pa rin alam kung san patutungo itong usapang ito. Ako nga hindi ko din alam eh.

Pero ito lang siguro ang bottomline. Wag ka masyadong attached sa mga honors at awards at titulo na matatanggap mo o ng mga anak mo. Ialay mo lang lahat ng yan sa Dios. Wala kang dapat ipagmalaki kundi ang Pagmamahal Niya sa yo.

Huwag mo din itulak at i-pressure ang anak mo na makakuha ng matataas ng marka. O nang madaming awards. Kung wala syang awards na nakukuha, wag mong sisihin ang anak mo. Wag mong isiping tanga sya. Masyado ka lang assuming. Pagmalaki mo sya kahit sya ang pinakamababa ang grado sa kanyang klase. Maniwala ka man o hindi, magugulat ka na lang isang araw sa mga bagay na kaya niyang gawin.

Oo, masarap sa pakiramdam bilang magulang na makaakyat sa entablado. Pero katulad ng lagi kong sinasabi, mas mahalaga na palakihin sila sa mabuting asal at pag-uugali. Turuan sila ng tamang pagpapakumbaba gaano man kalaki ang karangalan na kanilang natatamo.

Tandaan natin, at sinasabi ko ulit: Magpakumbaba ka dahil ni minsan hindi nagyabang ang Taong nilagyan ng titulong “INRI” sa ulunan ng Kanyang pinagpakuan.”

Can you relate to my Facebook post? What do you think are the reasons why many Filipinos still have the employee mindset?

This does not mean that I am discouraging you to finish school or college. But the real score here is that you should learn everything with humility while studying. Applying what you learn is what counts the most. Use that knowledge in pursuing to get the best that life can offer and ultimately, to serve other people.

Here are some of the most successful yet humble people in world history who did not get to finish college: John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Francois Pinault, David Murdock, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Rachael Ray.

If you consider yourself successful but have not finished school, please share your story at the comment section below.

For those who do not speak or understand Tagalog, please comment below if you have any question about the article.

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