Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Manny Pacquiao and Paris Hilton Met

Aim for the gutter, you can’t miss. Someone named David Wands tells us this. By gutter, he is referring to the channels on either side of a bowling lane. If your ball falls into the gutter, you get zero for the shot. I don’t know if we have all tried bowling but based on experience, it’s difficult to miss the gutter even when we are not aiming for it. David Wands is just telling us that it’s easy to succeed at failing. We don’t even have to try. And settling for that zero is even easier.

Our being human prompts us to fail, but that same humanity also drives us to crave for something better. Now, in this respect, we differ only in our spirit to actually act on this desire to become better versions of ourselves. To succeed at this requires strength of character. And hard work. Even Manny Pacquiao says so.

Before he became the only one in the world to collect ten world titles in eight boxing weight divisions and before he became bestfriends with Paris Hilton, Pacman was a highschool dropout who left his hometown General Santos City at age 14 and went to Manila where, for a time, he lived on the streets before he started amateur boxing. At 16 years old, he became a professional boxer standing at 4’11” and weighing only 98 pounds.

Today, he is an athlete celebrated all over the world; a Philippine congressman; endorser of international brands like Nike and HP; owner of an LA mansion featured on MTV as well as a P388 M mansion in Forbes Park. He can afford giving a 1 million peso bag to Mommy Dionisia. He has a gorgeous wife and four children who are all fluent in English-spokening. Rumors even had it that he might guest in Glee after singing “Imagine” with Will Ferrel in a US TV show. When they came to the Philippines just recently, the best of NBA practically tripped over their shoelaces trying to get his autograph, taking his picture on their camera phones. Even Kobe Bryant felt compelled to come up to him mid-game to pay respects. And topping all of Pacman’s achievements: he is Paris Hilton’s newest BFF.

To quote Anthony Robbins, an American success coach: Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. He tells us that if a person really wants to change his life, the most important thing to do is to change what one demands of himself.

As much as we envy him for his wealth and fame and friendship with Paris, we cannot be a Manny Pacquiao. But we can take from him lessons on self-improvement. Through the years, the Philippines, and now the world, watched as a skinny, underweight boxer from GenSan climbed up from one weight division to the next, ultimately becoming the “number one” pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. From a high school drop-out to a Philippine lawmaker.

We too face our own challengers. Over and over again, we are forced to choose: between hiding behind excuses worthy of a Mayweather, Jr. or stepping up, knees shaking and heart pounding, but gloves ready. In the likes of, you know, Manny Pacquiao, “Let’s give them a good fight!”