The Impact of “The Difference”: Making a Difference

The Impact of “The Difference”: Making a Difference


You may be thinking ya,ya the book is good but so what?

So, how did this book The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough” by Subir Chowdhury impact me?

This funny, fuzzy weird story can be summed up with: kindness begets kindness.

Last weekend, I woke up unusually early at 830am on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday: After showering, I proceeded downstairs to the hotel lobby to have breakfast before the breakfast buffet closes.  The staff was attentive and delivered my order of café latte in record time, maybe because it is fasting month and the restaurant was not really full.

After breakfast, I took my place in the café lobby and worked there until almost I think 4pm.  My post in Facebook captured nicely the activities of the day:

“A fruitful day that started at 830am, unusually early for me especially I wasn’t attending the Ateneo LSE class today.

Spent the day:

1) reading a John Maxwell book

2) re-planning the training agenda for the ID MP given that we only have 2 wks vs the original 3wks because life sorely happened to his eyes 🙂

3) completing the online course “The Fulfilled Women” – lots of learnings, self-reflection and inspiring me to pursue my own blog site customized to my liking

4) reflecting and working on the blogging mission map in preparation for the move of my blog to a paid site so I can have more freedom for the design, layout and customization (but, still my main challenge is the blog name hahaha which I still have not addressed and I was also hoping through the mission map exercise it will suddenly pop out – this is where my creativity fails me hahaha)

5) working on the Biz Plan for Social Services (this is what I am currently working on) – I am late vs my committed timeline and I want to finish my comments, suggestions and additional inputs on her biz plan and financial analysis so I can move on to our group’s Biz Plan and she can continue working on her Biz Plan

To think it’s only 7pm ID time :)”

Sunday: Surprisingly, I woke up again at 830am so this made me want to replicate the productive day I had yesterday.  But this time I made sure I had my notebook with me as I missed to bring it yesterday when I wanted to scribble some notes or reminders.

The staff was even more attentive on that day.  As I approached a staff to order café latte, before I could say anything she already was asking me if I wanted a café latte.  Another staff was clearing up the plates and utensils from other tables and when not doing that she is replacing the utensils and serviette on the empty tables.

The manager, when I asked for orange juice to be refilled as it was empty, quickly went to the kitchen to inform the other staff.  It was promptly refilled.  The manager even informed me that it has been refilled though I could see it from where I was seating.

At breakfast, I am not sure what came over me but I was really appreciative and highly grateful to the staff of the hotel restaurant that I just felt compelled to write a thank you note, with initially having an intent to just write a short and simple thank you note but I ended with a back to back handwritten letter from a paper I tore from my notebook, thankful that I actually remembered to put my notebook in my bag.

I felt that the handwritten note was not enough to show my appreciation of the good customer service.  I was thinking should I give them a tip but then how much is enough and I thought they might get offended so I decided to go up back to room, despite having all my stuff for working in the café lobby with me, just to get a packet of mixed nuts and a bag of chocolate.

I went back again to the restaurant, gave my note and my bag of goodies and thanked them and how they made me feel extra special today.  The surprise and unexpected appreciation of their hard work clearly showed in their faces that inspired me the whole day.

I then proceeded to the café lobby to get some work done for the day:

  • Searching for venues for the make-up workshop I am mounting in Oct as a concept testing of the events management company I want to put up. This is also a way for me to actively challenge my limiting belief that I cannot be a successful entrepreneur.
  • Spent some time on our business plan, the culminating activity for Ateneo LSE. Biz Plan Idea: Therapy Center for children with ASD. The intent is not only do this on paper to execute this plan.

As I was working, the restaurant manager approached me to thank me for the letter and the goodies.   I could sense his bashfulness and at the same his gratefulness, as he was not around earlier when I gave it to the staff.

So, can you imagine the power of passing on our positive vibes and energy to other people?  It will create a chain reaction of positivity, wanting to make a difference, more appreciation of each other.

Can you imagine that with just a simple act of gratitude and acknowledging their work to keep on inspiring them to give their best all the time, every time, it actually creates a ripple effect?

They were just 3 people but if each person will pass this to also another 3 people so that will be 12 people.  What if each of these 12 people pass this on to another 3 people?  This in effect is compounding but for the greater good.

This AHA moment validates my want to pursue my dream and mission to spread financial literacy to mainly OFWs but not limited to.  As each person learns about handling his personal finance better, there is an inner need in each of us to level up and at some point you will feel compelled to share your story or your learnings to other people.

In Success Academy’s online course re John Wooden, Sue Enquist said that you don’t need to know the whole Pyramid of Success in order for you to share it to other people.  If you are at level 2, then share it or train the other people who are at level 1.

We impose such high standards to ourselves that we think we need to be the super guru or the know-it-all expert and have perfected and mastered everything before we can train other people.

But guess what?  Mastery and perfection is a journey and not a destination.  We will always have areas for improvement.

Windows has version 10, iPhone has version 7, Samsung has version 8 (S8).  So, what makes us think that we can deliver ourselves perfectly in one version?

Did you dream of becoming a speaker on something you are passionate about? Go and create that presentation material and teach people.  This is version 1.0. For sure, you will find things to be adjusted, added, removed and changed so go and create version 2.0.

Did you dream of becoming a writer to share your message to other people?  Go and start drafting that book or blog and share it to other people.  This is version 1.0. For sure, you will find grammatical and spelling errors and that there are some things that you want to add so go and create version 2.0.

This is forging us towards the journey of perfection, similar to how a sword is made.

So go ahead.  I am giving you permission to pursue your dream.

I am giving you permission to just go ahead and create version 1.0 instead of already getting fixated on version 20.0 that you don’t even take action towards version 1.0.

I am giving you permission to adjust your standards for the meantime in order to create version 1.0 but then I will need you to have a higher standard when you are looking at how to improve version 1.0.  This is being critical of the work and not being hard or critical of yourself as this will help you be objective in analyzing the areas of improvement but do not forget to first acknowledge yourself for a job well done by having a version 1.0.

And yes, I am also giving myself permission to focus on the action vs obsessing about perfection that it paralyzes me and stops me from taking the first step.

So go ahead, let’s soar to heights that we’ve never imagined possible.  Let us stop procrastinating, dreaming and dilly-dallying and just take action.


  • Success Academy has 2 online course re John Wooden: 1) The Path to Greatness: Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and 2) Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success The Next Level.
  • Sue Enquist met Coach Wooden when she was a freshman softball player at UCLA. As her career progressed from player to coach, she became closer to Coach, eventually forming a lifelong friendship with him. In the interview for the online course, Enquist talks about her first meeting with Coach, important lessons on leadership and how—to this day—she applies success principles learned from Coach.
  • Just in case you are wondering and interested, the hotel name is Hotel Ciputra Cibubur and no, this is not a paid or sponsored post, I stayed there as a hotel guest from 28th May until 16th June and it’s funny as I finished writing this article the manager was passing by and asked me if I wanted anything like a coffee. See?  Indeed, kindness begets kindness.

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