The Courage to Succeed

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When I first found out that Tony Robbins was going to have his workshop in Asia on February, I could not contain my excitement. I looked at the ticket prices and have decided, for the most part, to attend. I was mulling over how much I have to spend, considering I needed to fly to Singapore for the event and have to pay for my food and accommodations.

It was only the start of the year. At this point I had 5 other trips all chained up during that time period.

I was trying to make sure I stay within my budget. Old habits die hard, they say.

 


 

After convincing Zee to come, and booking our tickets. I hesitantly showed him the schedule.

His expression went dark and impatient. It was 5 days straight, some running up to 14 hours in a single day.

But what changed was when he saw what was waiting for us on the first day. His eyes shifted from disbelief to overwhelming concern.

Fire walk.

“Walk on fire?”, he told me. His voice sounded ludicrous.

“Yes!”, I said. I was excited. I was happy. I was determined.

“You know how sensitive your skin is right?”

My skin. I have thin skin that reacts almost immediately to any stressor. Heat, cold, a gentle pull, a tiny slap. I have painful memories of Summer where small mosquito bites can turn into welts. Skin aestheticians keep commenting on how fast my skin gets inflamed. I wish it was an overexaggeration, but it isn’t. I’ve learned to live with it anyway.

“It’s going to be okay.” I told him, dressing my tone with eagerness.

He remained unconvinced.

 


 

It was exactly midnight. The entire convention center was dark and cold. All of 13,000 seats were mostly empty. There were about 7 screens, and we sat close to one.

I can still hear the voices of people outside. They were doing their firewalk. We were done with ours.

I sat in my chair, tears running down my face. I couldn’t stop crying. The blue light from the mega screens reflecting it. Zee sat next to me, holding my hand.

He did amazing. He walked right after I did. I turned to watch him, and he became… different.

For a split second, the gentle, loving man I know shouted at the top of his lungs, gathered all his strength and where the fire was below his feet, I found the one blazing the most in his eyes.

It was almost primitive.

He walked across the fire with slow grace. His eyes focused in front of him, almost delirious. When it was done, he didn’t notice. Three people had to stop him from walking over the edge to spray water on his soles. Within that second, he snapped back from his trance.

He did so well. <3


 

I didn’t.

The crowd was screaming, “Yes, Yes, Yes” continuously, over and over again. People were hyped up. It looked like a possession of sorts, of thousands of people simultaneously. I was one of the first few people who was going to walk. I ran towards the entrance when they opened. Naturally, there was impatience from those lined up behind.

I was getting pushed.

I couldn’t psyche myself up, I could feel my heart beat faster every step I took closer to the firewalk.

I told myself everything that I should. I memorized the instructions.

There were hot coals in front of me, I could feel the heat.

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When it was finally my turn, I couldn’t catch my breath. A woman screamed on my left ear, trying to give me the last few minutes of instructions, and then someone pushed me forward.

Forward the coals.

My first step was excruciating.

That’s not how it was supposed to be.

What went wrong? My head spun. I tried to clear it immediately.

I did everything they told us how.

Still, the fire burned.

I took another step and I felt my heart stopped. It was painful again. I took another one, and the heat was still the same. By my next step, the heat got stronger and the pain shot up my feet. I jumped to the side, at the cool grasses, in shock.

A second later, without even thinking about it, I jumped back to the flames, each step sending a shock to my body, every second excruciating, sending me back to the sides every time I take one more.

I started this. 

I don’t know how long it took before I got to the end. It felt like such a long time.

It’s only over when I’m done.

I pathetically tried to reach the finish line.

In and out of the coal, getting burnt each time.

Some people laughed at how I danced between the coals and the grass, constantly getting hurt, my fire walk lacking grace. By then, I was disheartened… I turned around to watch Zee.


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What’s wrong with me?“, I asked him.

My tears would not stop.

“I told myself I can do it. I silenced my fearful heart. I did what I could.”

At that point, blaming other people seemed like a foreign idea. I couldn’t accept that the reason I was not able to do it gracefully was that someone pushed me in before I was mentally ready. Excuses make me feel sick.

“What if this will become the reason for me to never reach my potential?”, I asked him.

I felt lost and desperate, I don’t even know what the reason was. One of my hand held my phone, a google page of me trying to find the reason why I could not perform as well in fire walks. Was it something subconscious? Am I doomed to never manipulate my mind against overwhelming fear and erase it?

He was quiet, holding me, and stroking my back.

It was too dark for other people to see me, the majority of which were rushing to go home anyway. It’s been a tiring day.

“What is wrong with me?” I asked again.

“Nothing,” he said. “Look at me.”

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I met his gaze, my eyes still full of tears.

The true measure of courage is when you’re deathly afraid but you did it anyway. You were in pain but you kept jumping back to the fire. You finished it, even if you think you didn’t. Anyone else could give up the moment the coal hit their skin and they felt it, but you kept returning.”

There was a deafening silence. I could not hear any other sound in the world. I focused on what he had to say.

“It’s the character about you. When you kept jumping in… Don’t think about those who glided across it and made it sound like they’re really cool. I frankly don’t know what I’d do if the coals burned me like you did.” He smiled. “You know I’m anti-pain. This was even your idea.”

“But anyway… It’s that about you. You kept going.”


 

I remember the beat of the drums that night but my heart overpowered it all. It thumped in my chest like a small animal captive, desperately finding a way to escape.

I remember the fear growing as the heat grew.

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I may not have walked like the most talented firewalker in the world, but I had the heart to finish. I jumped right back in, even as it threw me out numerous times.

A lot of things in my life came to be not because I was fearless, but because I had every ordinary person’s fear, yet I pulled through.

I was afraid of being scrutinized, still, I continued being Celeste. I stood on stage, met a lot of people, started my own projects. Every time I put myself out in the world, I tame and dance with the fear that lives inside of me.

Who am I to keep going and to have the tenacity to dream? I am no one. I just know that I have a dream to rise up to and expectations to meet. I have the ability if I don’t get in my own way. There are people I can help.

There are people who need me to control my fears.

Sometimes, the only way to success is to jump even if you have to scream all the bloody way down.

That moment will push you to be at your best. 🙂

Forever yours,

Celeste

 

Part 1: Everybody is Winning (A Bull’s Euphoria)

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It was a 2 hours drive from my place to the meet-up. I was sick from all the traveling and had initially decided to remove myself from society in general for a few days.

1 hour before the meeting, I stood up anyway and scolded myself. “This is not how you show people respect for their time.”

By the time I arrived, it was late in the afternoon, and I was already tired from driving through the dusty roads of Metro Manila.

It was a Saturday.


 

I sat next to one of ZFT’s junior mentor. We joked about what he wore, and after apologizing for coming last, I settled down to eat the food the host prepared.

It was a beautiful home. Minimalist for quite a large family. There was enough greenery to satisfy the soul, and wooden furniture dominated the interiors.

“Boss,” he said. He turned his shoulder to face the guy beside me. Sitting to my left is Zeefreaks, wearing his usual nondescript clothing and sporting a new haircut. His mouth was still half-full of peanuts.

“I need your opinion on something.”

“Sure.”

The guy speaking was Tor, a junior mentor.

“I’m up 350% this year. Should I reset or should I keep trading with this big capital?”

It was only mid-February but every trader in the room knows the market has been tremendously generous to her players. Congratulatory messages reigned the social media stratosphere. It was almost every day that a stock can hit 50% up, and the next day another 50% more.

Even before Tor asked, he already had his own answer. But still, he wanted to hear what Zee would say.

“Congratulations! But I think you should reset your port. Clean it. Return to baseline”, he said hastily, as if it had to be done now.

It was the weekend.

“Trust me. Your money has grown beyond what you can manage, so before you give it back to the market, and subconsciously return to the level you’re comfortable with, withdraw it now and lock in your profits for real.”

Tor hesitated. He still has a position at a stock that he believes would go long.

“Listen,” Zee continued, this time his voice stressing on his conviction. “I’ve made that mistake a lot of times before. Namimigay yung market ngayon– which is very rare! Kaya kunin nyo na.”

Pero, Boss.”, Nina started. “Isn’t it always like this every first quarter of the year?

I was sure that wasn’t right. I haven’t been trading long, but I have not seen a market like this before. I started trading on a January a few years back, and I remember the massacre that occurred on the stock market during that time.

No,” he replied. “The last I have seen this was around 6 to 7 years ago.

There was a collective gasp around the table.

“Milk it now and make sure you lock in your profits for this season.”

Pero, boss, konti nalang… mag QYM na eh (quadruple your money)”

“Stop… See? That’s where it begins. This is Superman Syndrome. I’ve made this mistake three times before. One time, I turned my 16 million into 8.


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On March 19, 2018

The sky rained daggers. The weather in the PSE has not been good for the past few days. Breakouts would not follow through. ION was a terrible example.

A lot of those who tried to catch the fall, fell down with it. Another casualty, and another casualty, and there goes another one.

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Social Media quiets down again.

The fast risers, tumbled down twice faster. Some of them returning to what they were a month ago.

A new season has begun.

 


 

Unlike most traders, I have not seen the light of day until years after I have started trading.

I heard that the majority of stories of those who jumped into trading had their first successive wins in the beginning, and that got them hooked.

I was tested the moment I planted a foot. I was punished for every wrong turn.

With this, I forever remained suspicious and respectful of the market. Not even the most skillful warrior can survive the wrath of the hurricane.

This is not where easy money can be made because from where I came from, and getting to where I am now, did not come easily to me at all.


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Humor me for a moment and sit back in my bubble to observe.

Right in front of you is a hundred thousand of traders.

Join their group, read their discussions.

What if you can tell which part of the cycle we are in just by observing what they post about?

The night where everyone starts posting news sources from way back 2015, and no one is afraid, and everybody is winning

You gotta be ready. It’s time to sell.


 

Whew! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you guys locked in those juicy profits from early this year! It’s only been 3 months into 2018 but it does feel like so much has already happened– I feel older already!

If you like this piece, do watch out for Part 2:

“Everybody’s losing (The Bear begins)”

Forever yours,

Celeste

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Always ready.

 

Someday, you’ll find me…

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