How do you Define Success?

How do you define SUCCESS?

Just recently, a good friend visited my office for the first time. One of the first things he noticed were the many certificates from my speaking engagements hanging on the wall, and the many more certificates neatly stacked on a couple of shelves behind me, like books in a library.

He said, “Wow, look at all those symbols of success!”

I simply smiled in response, but my mind was soon filled with thoughts and realizations about how most people have come to define success.

Dubbing with my studentsDubbing with my students

Many people have equated success with seven-digit bank accounts, huge houses and several cars parked in the garage. Okay, that sounded judgmental, and I do know some people who have more profound and non-“material” standards for success–awards received, books written, or places traveled.

Even then, it’s kind of sad how the world has led us to believe that success is measured by what and how much we can GET, instead of what and how much we can GIVE. We praise people for being go-getters, but how about a shoutout to the go-GIVERS?

Those who know me know that I am the founder of the first and only voice acting school in the country, the Philippine Center for Voice Acting. But those who know me well know that I built the school in order to help aspiring voice artists get into what was once an elusive, closed-door and monopolized industry. Because of the school, thousands of aspiring voice artists have been given the opportunity to fulfill their dream of hearing their voices on commercials, movies, anime, video games, and many more. To me, my greatest success as a voice artist is not the thousands of voice acting projects I have done, but the hundreds of voice artists I have produced.

Volunteer broadcasters of Author's Voice and Call Center RadioVolunteer broadcasters of Author’s Voice and Call Center Radio

There’s an unexplainable sense of fulfillment in knowing that someone has become better or succeeded at something because you have given them the opportunity to do so. I have always defined success as “making other people better and happy,” and that’s what I have done for the past two decades. I don’t just share my time or knowledge or experience…I even share the air time in my radio programs and my stage time in my motivational talks, and give that venue to other people! That is how I have mentored some of my students who have now made a name for themselves in voice acting, broadcasting and even public speaking.

Even in my advocacy groups like Voice of the Youth Network, The Microphone Club, and Society of Young Filipino Speakers (just to name a few), we promote a culture of giving, sharing, loving and caring.

Sharing my stage time with my scholar KelvinSharing my stage time with my scholar Kelvin

Perhaps this idea of success comes from having an abundance mindset–the knowing that there’s more than enough opportunity for everyone to succeed in life. I hope that is the mindset that everyone would apply in their own lives, instead of always thinking about competing with other people and asking “what’s in it for me?”

At the end of the day, success is not about whether or not you make it to the top, but rather, how many people you’ve taken along with you.

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