Unconditional love: the key to success
My parents loved me unconditionally.” That was what COL’s chair Edward Lee said many years ago when someone asked him the secret to his success.
During that time, I remember wondering how a parent’s unconditional love could be the key to a person’s success. It seemed illogical and something that someone would answer only if they didn’t know what else to say. It was like me saying “world peace” every time my daughters asked me what I wanted for Christmas.
Now that I’m older and a mother of two teenage children, I finally understand how a parent’s unconditional love can help a person succeed. In fact, my parents loved me and accepted me for who I was, even though I wasn’t perfect, and this helped me become what I am today.
When I was in school, my parents never forced me to do well. Even though my eldest brother was very smart and graduated valedictorian in high school, my parents never compared me with him or expected me to follow his footsteps.
I graduated college with above-average grades, but without any honors. And this was one of the reasons why I couldn’t get a job in a large multinational company with a high-paying salary.
However, my parents never showed any signs of disappointment. When I told them that I accepted an offer from a small stock brokerage firm, they only asked me the name of the company and the owner. They highlighted the benefits of joining a small company and didn’t complain about my small salary.
I probably could have gotten away with just being lazy, which is why a lot of parents worry about being too lenient with their children. However, there is a difference between being loved and being spoiled.
When parents spoil their children, they allow them to do anything. In fact, they even defend their children when they do something wrong like cheating in school or bullying other kids. Spoiled children are also given everything they want, no matter how expensive. This is why spoiled children feel entitled and don’t understand the importance of hard work and treating other people well.
Although I was loved by my parents, I wasn’t spoiled because I was punished when I did something wrong, like disobeying orders or answering back disrespectfully. My parents also never gave me anything expensive. I had to work for them by studying hard so that I could get good grades in school. Only then would I get what I wanted.
Because my parents loved me, I wanted to love them back by honoring them. And I knew I wouldn’t honor them if I were lazy.
Making my parents proud was one of the reasons why I wanted to be successful. I was not worried, though, that they would be ashamed or disappointed if I didn’t succeed. This made a big difference in my journey because it allowed me to pursue the job that I wanted, take my time and make mistakes along the way. I also didn’t have to compromise my values to succeed because I knew that being honest and having integrity were more important than being promoted quickly or earning a lot of money.
When I started my career as an analyst, I worked hard and did my best to learn as much as I could about finance and the stock market. Unfortunately, the Asian financial crisis struck and the Philippine market entered a prolonged bear market shortly after I started working. However, because I was still young and didn’t need a lot of money to support my lifestyle, I decided to stay as an analyst and took advantage of the poor market condition to take further studies and to analyze foreign markets instead.
The decision to continue working as an analyst during those difficult times eventually paid off. Since there weren’t a lot of experienced analysts left when the Philippine market finally entered a bull market, I was in a good position to expand our stock brokerage firm’s research team. This helped us assist our clients in making profitable investments, differentiating us from others.
Since our company gained a reputation for patiently helping people learn how to invest in the stock market, I made a lot of friends. These included people in the media who frequently called to ask for my views about certain events, stocks and the market in general. This paved the way for me to eventually become a columnist and a TV host.
I know that my success story is not as sensational as that of other people, like COL’s chair who built the country’s biggest local stock brokerage firm despite being a college dropout. But like him, I was privileged to be loved unconditionally by my parents. Now that I understand how my parents’ unconditional love helped me become who I am today, I hope that I can do the same for my children. I also hope that my story can inspire other parents do the same for their children.
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