In everything you do, give your damnedest best. Choose personal excellence over mediocrity. Put your ding in the universe. Be awesome.
Many years ago, I had an eight-hour conversation with Vic. He could express himself best in stories. He was like the Dave Chapelle of inspirational speaking. Every story was connected to the next. The first story sat with the last.
The difference was that you do not need to bleep his sentences. He did not use obscene or vulgar expletives.
Sionil Jose came to mind. I once asked him about pornographic descriptions in writing. He said that there is no such thing as pornography in writing, only bad writing.
Vic has polished wisdom explained in stories and acronyms.
BABY and D’BEST were two of those acronyms.
BABY means Be A Better You. A baby needs help and care. It is the nature of a baby to grow. A baby is curious and has an immense sense of wonder. Failures and shortcomings do not limit a baby’s imagination.
He told me a story of a neighbor, the owner of the big house nearby. They used to own a small vulcanizing shop. The husband used to welcome his drinking buddies, or whoever came by, for two bottles of Quatro Cantos Gin every afternoon.
“One day, many years ago, I was walking by. The husband offered me a shot and asked me to stay for a while. I was a good neighbor, so I decided to stay and listen to their war stories.”
Vic loves to use small but meaningful gestures. He can bring me to the scene.
“The wife, who was watching us nearby, spoke. Sir Vic, can you tell us how to be rich?”
Vic must have answered this question thousands of times in sales conferences and seminars. He was a sought-after motivational speaker. He became famous in his company for delivering a twelve-minute talk that moved hundreds of school principals to get life insurance from their company.
” I thought a talk about insurance won’t work for the wife and the drunk husband. So, I answered that there are two simple actions they need to do every day. I will teach them another lesson if they keep doing these two actions for 30 days. But only if they will do the first two. They took my advice very seriously. You saw results earlier on your way here.”
The other acronym is D’BEST.
“I came up with this acronym because people need simple answers to their questions.”
He told me of an employee who lost his job because of frequent tardiness and underperformance. He was devastated at first. But it did not take long for him to realize that self-pity won’t help him survive. Both husband and wife became fish peddlers.
At first, they invested in two buckets of fish. It was not easy at first because neighbors talked about how the husband lost his job. The couple could not hide that. They persisted. They sold fish in the morning. And then they sold fish again in the afternoon.
“It was about six months after when I noticed that the wife no longer accompanies the husband. I learned from him that they got a tiny stall at the wet market. But the husband must continue for their loyal clients expect them to deliver.”
After two years, they expanded their business and rented more spacious stalls. They invested their monies in other businesses too. They employed people. The husband learned an important lesson about work which he shared with his employees.
I asked Vic if D’BEST are steps to success. He said yes and shared with me the steps.
“But people are likely to forget the steps. So, I told people that D’BEST is a mantra that helps cure procrastination, laziness, indecision, mediocrity, and foolishness. Say D’BEST as if it is one word or say it as a one-sentence declaration when you want to do something important. Say D’BEST when you are in doubt. Say D’BEST if you want to have an awesome day”.
A mantra is a sacred utterance. It is a spoken belief. It is not a wish but a reality for those who believe.
I was waiting for him to tell me what D’BEST means. I wanted the mantra.
“Damn it! Be excellent starting today!” He uttered those words like it was the beginning of the big bang.