There are numerous clichés about success and career that have become so ingrained in us. Often times, these cliches are no longer analyzed and questioned, but considered to be universal truths. Hackneyed old sayings all emphasize hard work, busyness, and preparedness. I met some people and came across amazing articles that made me realize how some of these things are overrated. Seven examples include:

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7.) Big Companies

Anthony Pangilinan said:

If you have the ability and the passion for something, but there is no need for you there, go away.

If you have the passion and there is need, but you lack ability, grow yourself!

If you have ability and there is a need for you there, but you lack passion, be ready for the grind.

But if you have the ability and the passion, and there is a need for you there, that’s your ‘sweet spot!’ Go for it, and glow!”

This was the quote that made me appreciate working for start-ups. I always associated well-established companies with stability and success. But career growth (including stability and success) is very much alive in start-ups, too–based on what I experienced firsthand in WIM. I used to think big companies were the be-all and end-all of what a successful career should be. When I went out with my friends recently and was wondering what kind of internship to take, they told me that contribution to the company would matter more than the prominence of the companies you enter.


6.) Speed

When Kinfolk Magazine asked Carl Honore what prevents us from all living slower lives, he replied:

Fear: fear of failure, of scorn, of missing out and the fear of being alone with ourselves.

I wish for so many things to go faster: the cars on the road, the Internet speed, the waiting time for meals. Reading just an excerpt of In Praise of Slowness was life-changing, because Carl detailed how working slowly is often more productive than working quickly. He used so many examples, researches, and case studies that utterly convinced me to change some things about my lifestyle. I found the article really helpful for freelancers. Because of technology, we could now conveniently work anywhere and anytime. As a result, we are often working 24/7–because we’re always on call. Carl suggests using technology not to extend the workday, but to rearrange it. (Full article here:

(I also take this opportunity to announce that Carl Honore followed me back on Twitter.) :”)


5.) Success

When I interviewed him for WIM, Francis Kong said:

Don’t strive for success because success is a destination point. Instead, strive for progress.

This is similar to what he said about people saying that excellence is being “the best that you could be.”
“When you ask people, What is your understanding of the word ‘excellence,’ most of them will say, To be the best I can be. But my question is, what if your best is not good enough? You may be the best at what you do here, but what if what you do fails in comparison to international standards? When people talk about excellence, there seems to be a destination point. There’s never a destination point–the bar should always be raised higher.”


4.) Time Management

Francis Kong said:

I don’t manage my time. I manage my tasks.

He shared how he prioritizes tasks that would add value to his success goals. Among those goals are his goals for his family. Maybe the secret of being more productive is not really getting things done in the least possible amount of time, but choosing wisely which tasks are the most meaningful ones and most worthy of our time and effort.


3.) Preparedness

Vince Golangco, my boss in WIM, often says:

It’s not Ready, Aim, Fire. It’s Ready, Fire, Aim.

It’s one of the things that made me put up this blog in the first place. Looking back, WIM was so different when it was put up compared to how it is now. It continues to change through time.

As the medium, the audience, and the technology changes, continuous adaptability is essential. I’m still trying to get over the habit of preparing too much and not being able to execute anything.


2.) Productivity

Anti-Capitalist Love Notes:

You are worth so much more than your productivity.

I uncovered my fear of unproductivity. I always have to be doing something “productive.” When I’m stuck in traffic, when I’m washing dishes, when I’m waiting for people–I have to be working on something, or at least listening to audiobooks. It takes more discipline to stop working and go to sleep, than to get up from the bed in the morning.

I’m thinking that maybe it’s because sometimes, I get my self-worth from my productivity in work or in school, even if I know that it should stem from things that go way deeper than that. Self-worth that depends on external things is damaging, because nothing will ever be enough.

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1.) Safety

My ultimate favorite quote;

So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality…You could fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”


All these things are important, but perhaps not as essential as I thought they were before.

Photography by Zeus Martinez

Hair and Makeup by Gela Martinez



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