Proud to be Filipino!
What's your hurry, Superman!
« on: Aug 13th, 2003, 9:27pm »
THINK ABOUT THIS.......(how ironic isn't it?)
(written by Rod Nepomuceno)
In what sense do I feel like I'm Superman? Well, it's the way I have
been living my professional life the past 8 years.
Ever since I passed the bar, my life has moved at the speed of light. I
worked and worked like there was no tomorrow. I felt smarter than a
locomotive! I felt I could leap tall corporate ladders with a single
bound! There were times, when I was working in a law firm, where I would
work the entire weekend in the office, typing away all throughout
Saturday night, finishing Sunday afternoon and submitting the legal
opinion to my boss' house Sunday night. Then work all throughout Monday
morning, afternoon, and all through the night, take a quick shower at 5
a.m. on Tuesday and go straight to a hearing. When I left the law firm,
I took my already crazy schedule to another level. I headed the
corporate and legal affairs of a retail company, co-hosted a daily early
morning TV show, called Wake Up Call, took up a masters degree course in
business economics, and co-anchored the primetime news for Channel 9 --
all at the same time!
My mom used to tell me I was killing myself. I didn't realize it then
but she was probably right.
There were several times when I found myself almost dozing off while
driving back home from the news. If I hadn't been offered a better
paying job by my present employer, IMG, I would have probably ended up
However, it didn't stop there. Working for IMG was not a walk in the
park either. As country manager, I was tasked to set up IMG's Manila
office here and believe it or not, I started off in bedroom-with a fax,
computer and a modem. For a while I thought to myself-"Great! I could
literally work in bed and take a snooze without ever worrying about a
What I didn't realize was-I was a tougher boss on myself than any other
boss I ever had in the past. I pushed myself to the limit in trying to
prove myself in IMG, which has been successful in almost every market in
which it has opened an office. I was certainly not going to let the IMG
Manila office be the 1st IMG to ever be closed down. So, going against
all odds, and withstanding even the worst economic slump the Phils. ever
experienced, I worked long hours-sending faxes at 3 a.m. in the
morning, answering e-mails at 4a.m. and sleeping for 3 hours and going
on marathon meetings the whole day. I tried to do everything by myself.
Just like Superman, I wanted to take on the whole world!
But then came a turning point in my life. Three deaths in one year; an
aunt, and 2 close friends-shook the wits out of me. These deaths really
made me reflect a lot. It's amazing and ironic, isn't it? Death often
makes us reflect on life.
I needed a break.
RECENTLY, I took a short trip to Boracay-and I brought along a book
which I've never gotten to finish but was always on my to-do
list-Tuesdays with Morrie. I had read the 1st 30 pages but could not
quite get into it again and I figured this Boracay trip would be a
perfect time to read it. It was perferct for me because the book talks
about a dying man who makes his hardworking, ultra busy former student
realize what life is all about.
The message of the book is something I've always known, but never quite
practiced---at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you get out of
the world-what matters is what you give. And in the end, all we can give
that's lasting is love. Cliche? Yes, it is. But it's so true and it can
never be over-repeated.
At one part of the book, Morrie (the dying man) talks about the problem
that most professional people have-they are always in a hurry. He said
that the problem in this world is that everyone seems to be in a
"Oh, I have to send this fax ASAP."---"Man, I have to send this e-mail
right away!"---"Wait, I can't meet you for coffee, I have to finish this
report by 5 p.m."
If you really think about it, there's no compelling reason to do these
things as if your very life depended on it. SOMETIMES, things can wait.
Unfortunately for a lot of people, they think otherwise. Myself
When I was reading this part of the book, I remembered the line Lois
Lane said to Clark Kent in Superman II when he was going off in a rush
---"WHAT'S YOUR HURRY, SUPERMAN?" That line kept on going over and over
my head as I strolled along the white beaches of Boracay. Indeed, what's
the rush? More often than not, we're rushing because we put
self-imposed deadlines on ourselves---deadlines that are NOT real
deadlines-but rather just timeframes that we FORCIBLY pound on ourselves
because we want to accomplish MUCH within the LIMITED time we have on
The weird thing is----the more we rush, the more we feel pressed for
time. It seems that the rate of increase of our "hustle and bustle" is
directly proportional to the number of things that we need to do. The
truth is, we really don't need to do that much in such a limited time.
JOHN LENNON, the slain Beatle, had an interesting line in one of his
songs entitled Beautiful Boy. The song is for his son, Sean, and it
talks about how Lennon valued the time he was having with his son and
how he treasured this precious gift from God. I have a favorite line in
the song-"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other
plans." This is so true. Oftentimes, we find ourselves so engrossed in
setting meetings,rushing to conferences, drafting reports, meeting
deadlines. Why? So we can make a living and have a good life! But then,
before you realize it, you're
hitting mid-life, and all you've ever done is run around like a headless
John Lennon died at the young age of 40 and he accomplished much in his
life. But to him, his biggest accomplishment was not his numerous top 10
hits; it wasn't his popularity or his sometimes crazy statements that
stirred controversy worldwide...In the end, it was being able to spend
quality time with his son, seeing him grow, and simply enjoying
the simple things in life with him.
While I will not canonize him, I think John Lennon died a very happy
man. And for all of us, I think that's the same way we'd like to "check
out" for this world, too. But hey, it's important to live happy too!
And living happy means enjoying what you do and savoring every minute of
it-without the rush!
So for those who are ALWAYS in a rush---take it easy! Life is not all
about sending out the most number of proposals or cutting the most
number of deals. The next time you find yourself in a daze with all the
things you need to do, take a step back, and say "What's your hurry,
Superman?" Then prioritize what you need to do, and do whatever you can
within the TIME that you have IN YOUR HANDS.