Tag: persevere

Joseph the Dreamer: Overcoming Life’s Challenges

 

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Of all the the bible characters I have come to love— one amazing man would have to be the first in line. His life was very interesting and continues to give valuable lessons that are still applicable in our modern times. His name was Joseph … the favorite son of Jacob… a man who had beautiful dreams … the object of sibling rivalry.

In the story, Joseph was always the center of his father’s love and attention. Jacob even gave Joseph a colorful coat or garment that came to symbolize how special he was in his father’s eyes. Later on, he would pay for his father’s foolish actions. Joseph’s brothers resented him because he was the favorite son. Jacob, the father, had two wives, two concubines, and twelve sons — all competing for his attention. Joseph’s family drama have all the makings of a t.v soap opera…with various episodes of jealousy, hatred, deception and self-interest. Reading the account of Joseph’s life is like being glued to the t.v screen full of anticipation about what will happen next.

Joseph, “the dreamer,” once told his brothers about a dream that a day would come when they would all bow down to him. This dream made his brothers grow more angry towards him. One day, Joseph was sent by his father on an errand. Specifically, Joseph was tasked to visit his brothers who were working in the field. Some accounts say that his brothers plotted to kill him but later decided to throw Joseph into a pit. Joseph’s brothers also took his colorful coat and wiped it with animal blood. They later lied to their father by saying that Joseph died after being attacked by wild animals. After some time at the bottom of the pit, Joseph was picked up by traveling merchants and later sold him into slavery.

The young lad was later sold by the merchants to Potiphar, one of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s trusted leaders. As a worker in Potiphar’s household, he became distinguished in his labors. He was later appointed supervisor over Potiphar’s household. The story takes a drastic turn when Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to sexually assault her. Of course, Potiphar’s wife did this to get back at Joseph who repeatedly warded off her sexual advances. Enraged by the accusation, Potiphar sent Joseph to prison.

In prison, Joseph again found favor by being able interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was so full of stress and anxiety about the horrible dreams he had and the visions he could not understand. Through Joseph, the Pharaoh was able to understand the economic implications of his dreams for the land of Egypt. Later, he was appointed governor of Egypt. The famine that struck the land where Jacob and his sons lived became the reason why they were later reunited. Reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers paved the way for Jacob to again see his son.

This remarkable story shows how we, like Joseph, must cling to faith even in the most trying circumstances. Stress and anxiety need not stop us from believing that God has forsaken us and that we have been left alone in the middle of all our troubles. Indeed, overcoming life’s challenges is a journey of trust, faith, and perseverance that all of us must take. Like Joseph, we can also have great dreams and live up to our fullest potential.

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The Other Side of Setbacks

 

American swimmer Dara Torres had a remarkable career. She appeared in five different Olympics from 1984 to 2008.

Late in her career, Torres broke the US record for the 50-meter freestyle – 25 years after she herself set that record, but it wasn’t always the medals and records.

She also encountered a lot of obstacles in her athletic career. Failure after another, mistakes after mistakes, injuries, surgery, and being almost twice the age of most other competitors.

She said, “I’ve wanted to win at everything, every day, since I was a kid.., I’m also aware that setbacks have upside; they fuel new dreams.”

“Setbacks have an upside” is a great life lesson. Her struggles motivated her to reach for new heights.

Romans 5:3-5 states that “… we also rejoice in sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” The Apostle James also told us “consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work…”

Adopting this perseverance on the difficulties of life is not easy, but worthwhile. Trials provide opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. They also teach lessons that success cannot by developing the kind of patience that waits on God and trust Him for the strength to endure.

I remember an excerpt from one of my prayers when I was in one of the darkest days of my life way back then,

“Lord, I hope my prayers will be answered tomorrow, else I could die, but if it remains a ‘no’ until tomorrow and I am still alive, teach me to be more patient and help me to understand more Your reasons, though the same reasons I may not know until tomorrow or the next month or the next decade. All I know is that what is happening at this very moment is for my own sake and my family’s welfare, so that I can share this experience to anyone in the future, so that Your light will shine to others through me, even at darkness”.

PERSEVERANCE (JOHN GOKONGWEI JR.’S AD CONGRESS SPEECH, EDITED, PART 5 OF 10)

 

Understand more of John Gokongwei Jr’s story of rags to riches through his speech by reading the THE IRREPLACEABLE LOSS (PART I)HARD-WORK (PART 2)OPPORTUNITY (PART 3) and GROWING (PART 4)

 

The media called me an upstart. “Who is Gokongwei and why is he doing all those terrible things to San Miguel?” ran one headline of the day. In another article, I was described as a pygmy going up against the powers-that-be. The San Miguel board of directors itself even aid for an ad in all the country’s top newspapers telling the public why I should not be on the board. On the day of reckoning, shareholders quickly filled up the auditorium to witness the battle. My brother James and I had prepared for many hours for this debate. We were nervous and excited at the same time.

In the end, I did not get the board seat because of the Supreme Court Ruling. But I was able to prove to others-and to myself-that I was willing to put up a fight. I succeeded because I overcame my fear, and tried. I believe this battle helped define who I am today. In a twist to this story, I was invited to sit on the board of Anscor and San Miguel Hong Kong 5 years later. Lose some, win some.

Since then, I’ve become known as a serious player in the business world, but the challenges haven’t stopped coming.

Let me tell you about the three most recent challenges. In all three, conventional wisdom bet against us. See, we set up businesses against market Goliaths in very high-capital industries: airline, telecoms, and beverage.

Challenge No. 1: In 1996, we decided to start an airline. At the time, the dominant airline in the country was PAL, and if you wanted to travel cheaply, you did not fly. You went by sea or by land.

However, my son Lance and I had a vision for Cebu Pacific: We wanted every Filipino to fly.

Inspired by the low-cost carrier models in the United States, we believed that an airline based on the no-frills concept would work here. No hot meals. No newspaper. Mono-class seating. Operating with a single aircraft type. Faster turnaround time. It all worked, thus enabling Cebu Pacific to pass on savings to the consumer.

How did we do this? By sticking to our philosophy of “low cost, great value.”

 

Continue reading Part VI here!

Do not miss out Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX and the last Part X.