Pay It Forward!

Keep Calm and Pay It ForwardPay it forward. Three simple words but when joined together becomes powerful enough to affect change. The philosophy behind this phrase states that when someone does something good for you, you have to do something good for someone else in return. To simply describe the concept, it is like the kid’s game called “Tag”. If you know the rules of this game, then you already have a basic understanding of how “pay it forward” works.

Tag is a simple game that requires the “it” player to chase another player. The game can continue indefinitely that’s why others have modified the rules of the game over the years. Hence, pay it forward is like playing a modified version of tag. When you receive a favor or experience something good out of someone else’s generosity, you are tagged. Note that you cannot tag back the person who tagged you. Instead, you have to do something good for another person. You have to pay it forward.

Now, imagine the great positive effect it can have if everyone commits to doing this. After all, a game of Tag without running is Tag made easier, right?

Businesses also practice the philosophy of pay it forward. It works to their advantage because it helps them build a better image for their company. It is of basic understanding that a company with a good image is much easier to trust. That is primarily why many companies nowadays, big or small, have already appreciated the good effects of getting involved in charity works and events. Besides being less costly, a positive publicity is proven more effective than millions-worth of advertisements.

As a natural response of any consumer, they always choose the services of a company they find trustworthy. Take for example a dry cleaning shop in Wichita, Kansas known as “In the Bag Cleaners”. Recently, they started offering free dry clean services for unemployed individuals who need their outfit for a job interview cleaned. It is a kind of charitable work that even employed individuals can and will appreciate.  Dave Coyle, the owner of the shop, is undeniably aware of the needs of the people in his community. Needless to say, this level of awareness worked both ways for him and his clients. No wonder Mr. Coyle’s shop has been operating for more than a decade already in different parts of Wichita. His company sees clients as partners in business and not as a walking dollar waiting to be placed in their cash register. Wouldn’t you be proud to be a part of this kind of company? A business like this dry clean shop is a blessing to any community.

The use of pay it forward philosophy in businesses is not limited to the purpose of generating income. It can also be observed in a working environment. If an owner or a team leader encourages his subordinates to spread goodness around, a positive environment follows thus creating a positive energy in the workplace.

Be it small or big, efforts to pay it forward always count. Even if you decide to just hold the door open for the person behind you, or if you just give a compliment to a colleague, you can make a difference because we all need a reason to smile once in a while, right?

Imagine if you are to receive a good deed from someone, wouldn’t that make you feel good?

Pay it forward empowers us with the realization that we can affect change whether or not it requires money or a great amount of effort from us. Believe that the good we do to others, we also do to ourselves. So go out, wish someone a good day, or simply smile to a stranger and believe that your little good deed will spread into multiple folds.

Tag or be tagged. Either way, pay it forward!

Reaching for the Star

Reaching for the Star_RevFrom being a scavenger of junk to being the first ever The Voice Kids Grand Winner… That is Lyca Gairanod’s Cinderella story.

Her powerful performance of Basang basa sa Ulan, originally by the local band Aegis, captured the heart of the viewers thus earning her a standing ovation not to mention getting the highest percentage of votes. From not having enough to now owning millions-worth of properties and cash prizes, her life was changed forever. After nine years of poverty, Lyca was able to turn her life around through her God-given talent in singing.

As used by Milo for its tagline, great things indeed start from small beginnings and Lyca is the epitome of this popular saying.

The kid’s story is close to my heart because it reminds me of a friend’s journey to being a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). He did not scavenge junk but instead, scavenged a lot of disappointments before he finally became a CMA.

Failing three times was not easy. It broke his self-esteem in shattered pieces. To fail once was tolerable, twice was breaking but three times? Can you just imagine how so down he felt to not make it the third time? However, like Lyca, he was determined to make his dreams happen. He perfectly knew that the only way was to take the exam again.

And so he did.

He used his disappointments to push himself to give more. He hung on to his faith that he was meant for greater things such as being a CMA, and beyond. He studied night and day and in between breaks during weekdays and was almost an anti-social during weekends. He treated his goal as if his life depended on it. He believed in himself and never entertained negative thoughts during his conquest.

After two to three months of waiting, his determination and commitment to win over his failures rendered him positive result. Alas, he passed. True enough, nothing worth having comes easy. He’s now working as a Senior Finance Analyst in one of the biggest utility companies in the Middle East.

I cannot picture the amount of positivity that my friend still has even after failing three times. Could you?

I guess it’s really just about perspective:  Seeing the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.

Nonetheless, the fact that he never stopped believing in himself played a vital role on his success. His is a story that is worth sharing and also inspiring in so many ways. Perhaps, it’s through his story that we may realize that our failures do not seal our future. What we do after failing in our individual endeavor does. It is not what we achieve but the setbacks that we overcome that really matter. That’s what makes the fruit of every labor and sacrifice so much sweeter.

How we are able to rise above unfortunate situations is what makes us a better person. Like my friend, let us use our failures and struggles to better our self, equipped with the realization that obstacles are thrown our way to test us and our resolve from time to time on how much we really want to achieve our goals.