Struggle, opportunity, or goal. People may not realize this but they can find themselves in one of these spaces. Understanding where you are, why you are there, and where you want to be will define what you’ll do next.


Most Filipinos are in struggle space. We are on the third day of the Jeepney strike. Drivers protest against the phase-out of old model jeepneys. Other Filipinos do not care because they want a better vehicle, and they do not see the struggle, though they themselves are struggling.

These drivers are fighting for their livelihood. What they have today brings food to the table. But the government wants them to buy new ones for the sake of progress. 

It might be because those in the government do not feel the struggle, they see only opportunities. Some of them can make good business with these new vehicles.

And I wonder if they have goals for everyone. I haven’t heard any, have you?

Many Filipinos have to work for less than 75 pesos an hour. And to get to that 75 pesos an hour of work, they must travel an hour or two in a jeepney.

Domestic workers get less than 400 pesos a day. And they have to work more than eight hours a day. The struggle is real.

We struggle because we have challenges we deemed to be much bigger than our capabilities. We struggle to survive. 

We are afraid but we don’t want to surrender.


You may see opportunities while you struggle. But it is very difficult when you are only trying to survive your day.

Surely, you have heard someone say you can turn obstacles into opportunities.

I agree. 

But you’ll find that difficult when you cannot see beyond today. It is more tiring when you are struggling to survive.

Last December, I tried free diving.

The first day was very tiring. The Line Training requires us to dive for a few seconds, feet first, then head first.

It was easy to learn the mechanics of underwater controlled breathing and to equalize when you are on land. But doubt lurks in, it turns into panic, and struggle when you are on the open sea.

I realized that many of us who are no longer struggling could easily talk about the mechanics, and those who are struggling can only nod their heads.

The struggle is real.

Opportunities are real too.

The night of the first day, I wondered about the experience. I knew that I could stay underwater for 40 seconds. I have done the challenge many times in swimming pools.

But fears make one panic, panic makes one struggle, and struggle is tiring. 

I thought I was freediving because I wanted to see the underwater beauty.

The best way to enjoy the beauty under the sea is to let go of fear, dive head first, equalize regularly, and trust the process.

Then, the practice became less tiring. I was not afraid to die anymore because I knew how to get to the surface.

The same is true for all of us.

I may not be able to convince everyone there are opportunities to earn thousand pesos a day. We can earn more than two thousand pesos a day. And we can keep earning because opportunities are waiting for us.

But we need to look beyond ourselves. Look around. Look ahead. Look further.

We need to trust, learn, and set our goals.


Imagine yourself waking up each day to achieve goals, not for struggles and survival. You want to move from X to Y.

You want to move from 75 pesos an hour to 200 an hour. You know that can happen because it is real for others who have advanced their skills and positioned themselves for new opportunities.

You want to own a house. You have been renting one house after another for the last forty years. But, actually, you want a home. A place where you can find peace and quiet. A home where you can listen to old songs while caring for your small garden.

You want a new reality.

Opportunities are real, but they won’t force themselves on you. You have to grab them and make the most of them. And you’ve got to start with setting actionable goals.

Those who struggle have no time to dream. All they want is to survive. 

Dreams are for those who see opportunities. But dreams not acted upon become frustrations.

We must wake up from our slumber. Stand up. Make a goal and take action.

Jef Menguin

P.S. A mindset shift will help you see opportunities in every struggle and will give you the courage to set your next goal.

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