Thursday, November 24, 2005

If it’s to be, it’s up to me!

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, November 24, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

LAST weekend, I was blessed to facilitate District 3780’s self-awareness and management program for select third-year public high-school students who would be our future leaders. Project Bukas (Bayan Uunlad Kabataan Ating Subaybayan) is hosted by the Rotary Club of Cubao East led by president Celso Hiwatig and project chair Carmi Bergado inspired by District Gov. Benjie Bacorro.

At the onset of the two-day workshop, the youngsters appear to lack the inner drive, stamina and belief to succeed in life. This early in their life, they are prepared to simply live through their present circumstances. After the workshop, they came home energized with their own life plans consisting of their personal vision, mission, values and big life goals after examining their strengths, weaknesses, fears, past achievements, knowledge and skills and opening their minds to the possibilities of the outrageous. I am confident this batch of 56 hopefuls will succeed in whatever undertaking they set their heart and mind on.

And I am glad that I chanced upon this book The Road to Success Is Paved with Failure by Joey Green. It is a fun-filled, fact-filled and star-studded compendium of pop culture and historical trivia that celebrates failure as a necessary stepping-stone to innovation, albeit success.

• Confucius failed to convince the ruler of his own city-state of Lu, China, to make his teachings the official state of philosophy. He then traveled to neighboring states, only to have his doctrines rejected by every ruler he visited.

Confucius became revered as the most influential and respected philosopher in China’s history.

• Joan of Arc was illiterate.

Joan of Arc, a French national heroine and beloved saint of the Roman Catholic Church, liberated the besieged city of Orleans from the English in 1429 and escorted the uncrowned King Chalres VII to the city of Reims for his coronation.

• Sigmund Freud’s first book, The Interpretation of Dreams,”sold only 600 copies and netter the author a mere $250 in royalties in the first eight years after its publication.

Freud became the father of psychoanalysis and one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. His most widely read book, the Interpretation of Dreams, is considered the gospel of psychoanalysis.

• Walt Disney’s first cartoon production company laugh-O-Gram, went bankrupt.

Walt created Mickey Mouse and became the most famous name in film animation and founded Disneyland.

• The Beatles were rejected in 1962 by Decca Records executive Dick Rowe, who signed Brian Poole & The Tremeloes instead, following back-to-back auditions by both groups. The Beatles’ Decca audition tape was subsequently turned down by Pey, Philips, Columbia and HMV.

They were finally offered a recording contract by Parlophone producer George Martin, became the most influential rock ‘n’ roll group in history.

• Martin Luther King Jr., was forced at age fourteen to surrender his bus seat to a white passenger and stand for the next ninety miles.

King Jr. became leader of the American civil-rights movement, delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of more than 200,000 people in 1963, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

• Charles Conrad flunked out of Haverford, a prestigious private boys school in Pennsylvania, where he was known as a prankster who hid in drainpipes and blew up Bunsen burners in the science lab.

In 1969, as commander of Apollo 12, Charles Conrad became the third astronaut to walk on the moon.

• John Denver threw a party to celebrate the publication of his high-school yearbook and no one showed up.

John Denver became an internationally famous recording star, best remembered for his pop ballads “Sunshine on My Shoulder” and Rocky Mountain High,” and starred in the movie Oh God.

• Charles Schulz asked his girlfriend, Donna Johnson, to marry him, but she turned him down and married a fireman instead.

Schulz created the beloved comic strip Peanuts and immortalized Donna Johnson as the little red-haired girl who constantly rejects Charlie Brown. Peanuts run daily in 73 countries and earned Schulz $30 million to $40 million annually.

• Andy Warhol, a sickly child whose white skin was marred by brown blotches and acne, was nicknamed “Spot,” “Albino, and “Andy the Red-Nosed Warhol” by other kids and had three nervous breakdowns.

Warhol became a pop artist famous for his vivid silk-screen prints of Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe’s face. He founded and edited Interview magazine and predicted that one day everyone would get fifteen minutes of fame. We’ll share with you more such stories next columns.

The important thing to remember is when your fifteen minutes comes, what do you have to offer?

Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and the Rotary Club of Quezon City North. Her e-mail addy is

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