Sunday, November 20, 2005


The impressions of thinking big are widespread and impressive. Thinking big is a magic door opener that broadens your perspective and allows you to see new opportunities. Thinking big makes life easier and a lot more fun. It also makes large profits more probable.

I’ve been repeatedly reminded by successful businesspeople in virtually every field that thinking big is one of the keys to success. Let’s consider a few examples. Successful insurance salespersons insist that it takes the identical amount of time to speak to someone about a million-dollar policy as it does a one-thousand-dollar policy. In the real estate field, the concept of leverage applies whether you’re considering a single-family home or a huge apartment building. This doesn’t mean that you can make money I single-family homes, or that your rate of return will necessarily be higher in with more expensive properties. It merely suggests that the bigger your vision, the larger your potential for success. If you’re trying to sell homes for a living, as an agent, it takes the same amount of energy to ask a wealthy person for their listing as it does a low-end homeowner. You can think small, or you can think big.

In any field where public speaking is in order, this concept is critical. It takes an hour to speak to a single person and the same sixty minutes to speak to a crowd of one thousand or more. The size of your crowd will be affected by the same size as your vision. The concept of thinking big also applies to whom you choose to talk to. Are you frightened to go to the top? If so, you’re missing out. It’s very often the case that the people highest up the ladder are actually the easiest to speak to—and the most willing to help. I’ve had the owners of car dealerships actually sit in the car and give me a test drive at the same dealership where the salesperson on the floor wouldn’t give me the time of the day. But in order to make that happen, I had to ask. In the corporate world, the boss is more often willing to sit down with you, even when middle-level managers treat you with disrespect. It’s a strange dynamic, but it’s often true.

As usual, the primary reason many people think too small is fear. Thoughts like, “I can’t speak to a room full of people,” “I can’t risk taking on a larger project,” and “I couldn’t ask the boss to have lunch with me” fill the mind and are taken to seriously. When fearful thoughts enter the mind, try to banish them. You can do it—once you believe you can. The fear you are experiencing is almost always self-created and usually unnecessary.

I have a friend who spent most of his adult life insisting he couldn’t write a book. This was very puzzling to me, because not only was he an excellent writer, but he also felt quite comfortable writing articles and chapters! One day I asked him to consider the idea that a book is nothing more than a series of interesting chapters put into sequence. As obvious as this was to me, he had never thought of it in those terms. Instead, he had always focused on his stubborn belief that writing a book was too big a project. This simple shift in his thinking made all the difference. Two years later, he finished his first book.

Take a look at your abundance. Is your vision too small? Could you be thinking in larger terms? In most cases, the answer is yes! There may be ways that you can reach more people with the same amount of effort. Regardless of the business you are in, the first step is to eliminate any fear or worry that is getting in our way. As your worrisome thoughts gradually disappear and become less appealing, new ideas and insights will begin to emerge.

Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff About Money
(Spiritual and Practical Ways to Create Abundance and More Fun in Your Life)
Published by Hyperion (New York)


The other day, I came across an essay by Nick Joaquin, A Heritage of Smallness; an unsettling commentary about the way we Filipinos are unable to tap our full potentialities by confusing timidity with humility. He observes, “We work more but make less. Why? Because we act on such a pygmy scale. Abroad they would think you mad if you went in a store and tried to buy just one stick of cigarette. They don’t operate on the scale. The difference is greater than between having and not having; the difference is in the way of thinking. They are accustomed to thinking dynamically. We have the habit, whatever our individual resources, of thinking poor, of thinking petty. Is that the explanation for our continuing failure to rise—that we buy small and sell small, that we think small and do small?”

And on that very same day, inspired by his recent readings about certain psychological profiles of successful people, J. Angelo Racoma posted on his blogsite, J SPOTTER, Why The Philippines Will Never Be Rich. He argues, “Sadly, we are subconsciously resigned to being a poor people. Our psychological make-up in terms of finances consists of aversion towards money and success. We tend to associate money with greed and evil. We tend to associate ourselves with the poor, and shun the rich. We tend to stick to our comfort levels, never stretching the limits, never taking that calculated risk, never diving into that pool of opportunity armed with the right attitude to swim across to success.”

Consequently, inspired by the abovementioned gentlemen, I’ve decided to dedicate my Sunday postings to serve as a continual reminder that each and every one of us has the power to co-create with the universe a prosperous life.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Nick Joaquin’s A Heritage of Smallness

J. Angelo Racoma’s Why The Philippines Will Never Be Rich (J SPOTTER)

Conrado de Quiros: There’s The Rub – Day of the Dead

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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:35 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to take offense at Nick Joaquin's commentary or take the subject lightly but, buying and selling a stick of cigarette may now be construed as some sort of marketing strategy. ;)

November 20, 2005 12:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You do have a valid point there, Noel, especially considering the great successes of Smart's E-load and Globe's Auto-load programs. Both marketing ploys were patterned after the per-stick-buys (or tingi in Tagalog).

Be that as it may, the consumer remains at a disadvantage because he ends up paying more the smaller the quantity. Nowadays, we're also hearing complaints about peoples' cellphone loads being eaten up or disappearing way before the time limit. A double-whammy for our small-thinking Juan de la Cruz.

Certainly, he knows he's being taken, but what is he to do? Behind his warm and easy-going facade, deep inside feelings of bitterness and hopelessness are brewing. And we all know what those emotions can yield.

November 20, 2005 1:39 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the link and for the great idea, Eric! You just inspired me to do the same.



November 20, 2005 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enrique, I missed your point there. Abusive business practices and consumer protection issues are global in nature, and the "small-thinking" Juan is not the only prey or victim.

Thinking big is also being creative, smart, innovative and most of all realistic. Otherwise, it is just dreaming big.

What can one expect from a man with 4 kids and no job? A family in this situation comprises a large part of the population. Thinking big for him might be finding ways to provide his family with 3 meals a day. To the desperate, it is resorting to crime.

I am also for "thinking big" if that will help the Philippines rise from all this turmoil, corruption and debasing poverty. But let us be realistic about it, and the reality is Juan can not do it under an oppressive, corrupt, tayo-tayo system.

IMHO, for now, thinking big, for those that have the capacity and means to do so, is finding ways to minimize, if not eradicate the scoundrels and practices that defeat and separate the Juans and Juanas from their dignity and hopes for a better life.

November 20, 2005 4:06 PM  

Blogger bing said...

i admire people who (or who can) think big. but making impossibilities possibilities is like 'suntok sa buwan' for the greater percentage of the Filipino people in the present. can it be that there is an increasing number of Pinoys who think small because of the increasing number of rich Pinoys that (can) think big and dominate selfishly (though this does not apply to all the rich and competent? the rich who gets richer everyday can always think big but the poor who gets poorer will just be satisfied with the day to day's meager provision. i hope i dont sound pessimistic here but this is what is actually happening.

November 20, 2005 5:15 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

So as I don’t insult our de la Cruzes as a whole, Noel,I will cite my own circle of relatives as the example. Believe me, they’re an interesting bunch!

I am among those who believe that for the most part, the choices we make in life lead us to where we are at the moment. I also believe that conditions do not make a man, they reveal him.

The idea of thinking big, for the most part, calls for responsible thinking as well. And as with just about anything, it’s applicable for good and bad intentions. We’ve all heard about those who became even more creative during desperate situations, as well as those who had resorted to crime to pay for a sick child’s hospital bills. I’m not judging anyone here; simply acknowledging their existence.

Thinking big may not eradicate our country’s ills as a whole, but I think (and here’s where I’m thinking big) it could make a lot in my circle of relatives banish their "bahala na" (come-what-may) attitude, which I suspect might have spurred them on to have the children they were unprepared to rear and school decently. It frazzles me to this day how they’ve gained the courage to have more than one child without so much of a prospect for a decent job. And if they were thinking big in those times by having plenty of kids, well, they were thinking irresponsibly.

Instead of this bahala na attitude, I say develop one’s thinking big attitude because it can empower him/her to stand up against the tyrannical elite who prey upon him/her.

Come to think of it, I’m not really saying anything new here. If anything I’m merely reminding those who already knew and might have only forgotten. And I will keep reminding them because in the process, I also remind myself. And as always, I welcome your thoughts.

BTW, Noel, I’m linking your “sow and piglets” in my tomorrow’s posting!

November 20, 2005 7:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Bing!

There will always be those who will succumb to impoverished life. We see them not only in Metro Manila but in Sao Paolo, Brazil as well. We also see them in America as made more apparent during the Katrina crisis.

As for the rich Pinoys against the poor Pinoys, this reminds me so much of the tyrants against the slaves during Rizal’s time, although these days, the once slaves had become today’s tyrants. There is this book I read, “Swatting the Spanish Flies” by Margarita Ventenilla Hamada that expounds on this issue at length. It’s a disturbing book, but enlightening also.

Here’s where I’m thinking big, Bing, now with the advent of technology and blogging, we will witness more young Filipinos who are not only incredibly smart but “emotionally-matured as well” who will guide us to become good people, and in the process of becoming good people, we will create “good government.” They’re out there. And God, I hope I see that happen before I die.

Btw, your Thoughts and Verses made me think of Lennon all day that I changed my About Me profile with words from one of his songs.

November 20, 2005 7:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enrique, good luck to you. I hope your thinking big ideas/objectives succeed.

November 21, 2005 9:47 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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