While I joined sea (a completely uncharted territory and my family knew nothing about it until I got selected into T.S.Rajendra, Bombay) in 1975, as a navigating officer cadet, I was already deviating from the success path charted by my mother to become an Engineer, which was one of the well known career paths in the 70s. Despite getting admission into all prestigious colleges in Kerala for every discipline in Engineering, Naval Architecture & Ship Building, the T.S.Rajendra popped up out of nowhere while my mother was reading the Manorama newspaper.
Rest has been history with 45+ years of successful journey in shipping. Never looked back for a moment, while my life was centered around 2 passions, shipping and hiking. The quest for becoming an ‘Inner Engineer’ as defined by the Indian mystic and yogi, Jaggi Vasudev, known internationally as ‘Sadhguru’ started from the last decade.
What John learned from his dad - All of life is about people. No matter what you do or where you do it, there will be people involved in the beginning, the middle, and the end. Your ability to connect, relate, and communicate with people will be the difference-maker in every endeavor you undertake.
Combining these 2 concepts for people development, personal mastery by explaining the WHY of everything we do to create a win-win situation for ship management teams at sea and on shore in Pacific Basin Shipping was a no brainer for me.
The purpose of People Development and ‘leaving People and Places better than we found them’, started to get concretized around 2012.
During the year round weekly training walks on MacLehose trail, in rain, heat and humidity, my hiking partners heard me listen to the audio books and speeches of John C Maxwell, Robin Sharma ….etc. They also had to speak out certain concepts which we were going to introduce to Pacific Basin Shipping teams on ships to multiply leadership at all levels in a company that was all set to expand leaps and bounds from 2012. Making videos on scenic hills on topical issues on our fleet, based on leadership concepts was a regular affair during our 25 km walks, and the walkers also practiced speaking these concepts in a marine concept in the next officers’ seminar for people development.
When you know your purpose in life and are growing to reach your maximum potential, you are well on your way to being a success. But there is one more important part to the success journey: helping others. Without that aspect, the journey can be a lonely and shallow experience.
Helping others is something you can do right here, right now, whether it is spending more time with your family, developing an employee who shows potential, helping people in the community, or simply putting your own desires on hold for the sake of your team at work. The key is to link your purpose with your desire to help others.
Entertainer Danny Thomas said, “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
The success journey will not look the same for everyone, because the picture of success is different for every person. What doesn’t change are the principles used to take the journey. They can be applied at home, in school, at the office, on the ball field, and in church. It doesn’t matter where you are now. You can learn and apply these ideas. You can be successful today”
Easier said than done, it's not easy to give up our self or put our purpose above our self. How many people we know in person, who has done it?
I have found one. It's none other than Tess Aquino.
Applaud Tess Aquino, who has lined her purpose to help others
Tess Aquino, was my colleague in Pacific Basin Shipping during my entire service of 16.5 years with PB. She broke free from her comfort zone and remarkable career for 18 years with the company. Despite her busy work schedule during the week, she found time to volunteer during weekends and she has retired early in 1Q 2021, to put her PURPOSE above her SELF and jumped into full time voluntary work for The Mission for Migrant Workers (HK).
I haven't seen any other person like that, who has displayed such courage to give up a reputed company, history of 18 years of impeccable service and affectionate colleagues for volunteering, while she is full of energy and enjoying good health.
It’s indeed difficult to find people like Tess. I salute Tess Aquino, for finding her purpose, losing her self for her purpose, or putting her purpose above her self, while many of us are still figuring it out and are not fully ready to put it above our self, while we struggle to let go our self!
Thank you for your perseverance in assisting the Pacific Basin Trampers year after year to collect a million HK$ in charity for Oxfam Trail Walkers despite your work load and busy schedules.
Tess, I wish you a very fulfilling journey on your success path as helping others and developing others is very joyful and fulfilling experience.
Tess, you have truly inspired us and we are humbled by your noble mission. We are proud of you and having worked with you.