On April 22, 2012, my father, chairman emeritus of the Lopez Group of Companies, Oscar M. Lopez (OML) was bestowed with the title “Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa.” He delivered a compelling speech to the University of the Philippines’ graduates that started with a fitting comparison–graduates and world-class athletes are so much alike.
Oscar M. Lopez delivering his speech to the University of Philippines' graduates
Just as how athletes are conditioned in rigorous training, graduates too, are required to spend years to sharpen their wits in order to compete for the endurance race of Life. With that said, my father gave a few interesting points to consider. One is for the graduates to understand that in this kind of race there are no winners or losers. What’s important is for them, for us, to finish at our own pace, but still be ready to push beyond limits when needed.
Another is the realization that running alongside the company of others can only mean healthy opportunities for support. By pacing with each other, you and your peers get better chances of reaching your finish lines.
My father’s thoughts hold widespread relevance. Whether you’re a university graduate, an Olympic athlete or a Lopez employee, whoever you are, it is imperative that you get a clear picture of what you want to see at the end of your own race—if you want to be greeted with a crowd cheering you on, a shiny trophy and a sense of accomplishment no amount money can buy—you need to let that serve as your guide in order to be motivated towards your own hard-earned success.
Congratulations to the graduates!