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Jonathan Yabut Dishes Wisdom on Diverse Passions, Strategic Goal-Setting, and More

Jonathan Yabut Dishes Wisdom on Diverse Passions, Strategic Goal-Setting, and More
What’s on your list of things you want to accomplish? 

Filtering that list and getting specific about your goals will help set you up for success, said Jonathan Yabut at this year’s #YouGotThis: Rewrite Your Story summit. Jonathan was the winner of reality TV show The Apprentice Asia, which led to a stint as Chief of Staff of AirAsia, reporting directly to Malaysian business mogul Tony Fernandes. Now dubbed “Asia’s Millennial Guru,” Jonathan is a leading motivational speaker on topics involving leadership, talent development, and productivity. 

Below, we share some of the thought-provoking insights he dished out during his #YouGotThis talk. 

On strategy: 
When you lay out your strategy you will always have such a big number [of things you want to do]. If you're ambitious, there are a lot of things you want to include. But don't just list what you want to accomplish. Filter that list. Your list will probably have things that are must-haves, things that are just nice-to-haves, and things that are important but can be delayed or delegated to someone else. 

Understand that strategy can be specific or general. Sometimes we set goals that are too general that you don't know what to do next. The more you become specific [about your goal], the more you can quantify it. If you can quantify it, you can improve it. What can be measured can be improved. 

On productivity: 
Productivity is not just about getting things done traditionally from Step 1 to Step 10. If you can find a way to get things done, you’re working smart; the other person is just working hard. And both are important at work. 

On balance: 
[People have] the belief that work-life balance is a linear concept, meaning you work from 8AM to 5PM and your personal life is before 8AM and after 5PM. I disagree with that. My belief about work-life balance is that you don't need to wait for 5PM for life to start. I think a lot of us realized that during work-from-home moments. You have meetings in the morning, and at lunchtime, you feel you deserve a break, so you’ll watch some Netflix. That's inserting life [in your workday]. You don’t need to wait for 5PM for that to happen. 

My tip for people is to design an environment that will foster work-life balance or work-life integration. This sounds very simple, pero kung ano’ng nasa paligid mo, ’yun ang gagalawin mo. For example, if you always feel dehydrated, always make sure you have a glass of water nearby. 

For most of us, our equation of success [includes] talent and time. We forget the third part of the equation. That is the environment. No matter how good you are, no matter how talented you are, if your environment is influencing you to act in a certain way, you will not be able to succeed. 

On dealing with limiting beliefs or negative self-talk: 
In the time of Covid-19, mas dumami pa [ang negative self-talk ko]. Silence can be deafening. You start having all of these noises in your brain: “You’re not good enough” or “this will happen to you in the future.” One way for me to manage negativity is to embrace it and say, "This is normal." The reason why I’m probably thinking this way is because I want it so bad. Remember, the reason why pressure is a privilege is because you’re pressured to do it because it’s something that’s so important to you. For me, it’s a sign—if I care about [something], I will think about it a lot. 

On passion: 
My recommendation to everyone is to treat passion like an investment. You don’t put your investment in one bank account, you put your investment into different baskets. Passion is also like that. Please do not anchor your life and yourself to only one passion, to only one person or only one thing because the moment that person or passion goes away in your life, you also get to crumble with them. 

This is the best part: Time is finite but passion is renewable. When you run out of passion for one thing, you can go and move to another thing. 


Our interview with Jonathan, titled “Aim for Audacious Dreams: Achieving Big Goals With Tenacious Planning and Strategy,” was a meaty and fast-paced one, so be sure to catch up on the full video here. (You can start at the 29:38 mark.)