This is the Trait That Successful People Have In Common

Just this week, I attended an inspiring talk held by Sun Life Financial called #LiveBrighter. I went because one of the speakers was Apprentice Asia winner, Jonathan Yabut; I've seen a couple of his talks and read some of his interviews, and I love how smart and driven he is; he seems like someone that I'd love to hang out with all the time for a boost. Hearing him talk live seemed like an amazing idea on a slow Wednesday evening.

In the event, we learned one common denominator in successful people.

Jonathan discussed the factors that contribute to one's success; these are:

IQ- logical intelligence
EQ- emotional intelligence and the ability to balance people and personalities, including one's own
Beauty- physical appearance including facial beauty and height
Fitness- overall good health, mobility, and well- being
Wealth- capital and enough savings to go about tasks

All these factors don't necessarily guarantee success, but if you have all of these, you have the edge and you will most likely succeed.


Even if you have one, two, or all of these, it all boils down to one thing, the main key to becoming successful:


According to Jonathan, there are scientists who have done studies on the most successful individuals, from employees, CEOs, and company moguls, and one common thing in all their stories is the way they stood up to failure. That is GRIT.

Grit is the ability to roll with the punches, to learn how to handle and deal with failures, and most importantly, the ability to be able to rise up no matter how many times one falls down.

Jonathan also stressed the importance of having a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset; a person with a growth mindset has more room for success because they understand the importance of the expansion of the mind, which in turn leads to the expansion of skills, network, and opportunities, thus leading to a better life. 

If Grit is what makes a person successful, what makes companies successful?


The most successful companies are aimed at making lives better. Uber wanted people to get from point A to B in the most efficient way possible. Tetrapak's goal is to help prolong the shelf life of food in areas that don't have access to refrigeration. Starbucks' main business is to inspire people through their stores and it just so happened that they are selling coffee. In the Philippines, fashion brand Rags 2 Riches is an example: it is a social enterprise that employs men and women from the poorest communities in Manila, and provides them fair access to the market, equal profit, and business education.

What better way to end Jonathan's talk on Grit with a living example through Mr. JP Cruz, a Sun Life Financial advisor. He shared his own story of Grit and how he was able to overcome life's obstacles through this important attitude.

JP came from a humble family who worked hard to send him to a very good university, even if that meant working double time and borrowing money most of the time from relatives and friends. When JP graduated from college with a degree in Finance, it was the dawn of the Asian Financial Crisis; you could imagine how tough a situation it was for graduates that time. Luckily, through perseverance, he landed a job that paid him P7,000.00 only; although he worked hard, he only got a measly raise. At one point, he hit rock bottom in his finances and maybe fate thought he still wasn't having it hard enough so his beloved girlfriend left him during those times.
JP stood up, gathered, and dusted himself, and decided that he will do whatever it takes to be successful; he applied to be a financial advisor for Sun Life and with sheer perseverance, hard work, and of course, his Grit, he has become successful; he is now happily married, owns a pretty cool house, cars, can travel the world with his wife, and most importantly for him, he is able to give back to his family.
But more than the fancy life, what kept JP going was the fact that he was imparting the value of financial literacy, one Filipino at a time. Over the course of his career, he was able to help families safeguard their future; he even mused that one time, he handed a cheque to the family of a deceased client and he felt very fulfilled because he knew that he helped secure the future of a family. JP's role of being a financial advisor now has a bigger meaning. This is JP's social purpose.

Aside from having GRIT and SOCIAL PURPOSE, one important thing that I (re) learned from Jonathan and JP is the value of starting NOW; we Millennials are known for the YOLO attitude, which is most of the time dubbed as one of our negative traits, but it's time to change that - let's channel that YOLO attitude to investments, savings, setting up multiple channels of income, and making small positive changes in the world day by day because, you know, we only live once. :)

The next #LiveBrighter talks will be held in Cebu and Davao. If you want more information about it, just visit SUN LIFE FINANCIAL on Facebook for more information.

Have an inspiring weekend. :)

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6 Lovely Thoughts

  1. I now really wanted to push through opening a mutual fund in Sun Life along with my fiance though I already have a life insurance with Manulife. I am really into this even if my friend/ roommate doesn't approve of this. Hopefully I could really help her see what I saw and is seeing in investing / saving through this. If my salary will be raised I also wanted to get one for mom. And would love to attend seminars like this as well.

  2. I learned a lot thank you for sharing this great article Ms M. It was really motivating attending this kind of talks

  3. As much as possible, I'm trying to save for the future of the kids and for emergency. My husband and I have an insurance. Thanks for this post Ms M.

  4. I bought a VUL and I started to invest at the age of 23. Though I really start to self study the Philippine market at the age of 16 my only regret is that I don't start right away.

  5. this is great especially to my ka fellow mid 20's but regardless even early age can start a business.:)

  6. Have been contemplating lately if I will push through buying an insurance. I'm one of those impatient people who always want to get the investment as fast as it can which I know does not makes sense. Hahaha! Hope I could also attend seminars like this.


Thank you for your comments!