Don’t Play It Safe, Kids!

A Call For Fellow Young Filipinos to Take More Risks

I’m inspired by what Gary Vaynerchuk is pushing for, that 22, 23 year-olds coming out of college ought to take advantage of what he calls the “5 year window” to not play it safe.

What to do after college by Gary Vaynerchuk. This one really resonated with me.

I integrate this with my readings from books such as “Purple Cow” (by Seth Godin; this book has influenced my thought more than I had expected!), Robert Greene’s “Mastery”, and probably other books that I don’t remember now (but I’m sure are influencing my subconscious thought):

I’d like to believe that EVERY SINGLE person has a calling — “a vocation”, if you will (though I don’t mean this in the Biblical sense — but I believe this too! I mean it more of in the secular, Robert Greene sense). This vocation is born out of each individual’s unique genetic makeup, the way he/she is wired.

Every single person is a “Purple Cow”, using Seth Godin’s language. Every single person has something to give that no one else can.

Every single person has something new and impactful to contribute to the world.

And, as Gary Vee would say, each person needs to know exactly how they are special — what they are good at — and then go all in on these strengths, and excel.

I think most especially Filipinos should figure this out, because now, as our economic growth continues to skyrocket (I’m optimistic about this, no matter what anyone says about the current political situation), we need a solid group of visionaries, hustlers, and thought leaders at the forefront. And I don’t mean Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs- & Mark Zuckerberg-copycats. I mean leaders that are authentically Pinoy.

I know that, somehow, this sounds obvious. But seeing life here in the university (I study in University of the Philippines Diliman!), it seems to me that people don’t get it! It’s like everyone has to fit into the mold of the “ideal student” — the good test-taker, the high IQ guy— and this dimension is the only measuring stick for success.

One of my favorite Einstein quotes

The good students are looked up to as idols, and the subpar, average students as the “underachievers”. (I’m reminded of Gary Vaynerchuk’s anecdote that he was a D student in a bad school — look at him now). We should get rid of this mentality! We do not need just good test takers! We need risk takers — tinkerers, people who go big on their passions, people who don’t play it safe.

On the other hand, I admit that this “vision” I have for Filipinos (and myself) is still “up in the clouds”. How this plays out in the ground level? I haven’t figured this out entirely. For more future blog posts, perhaps? ;)